Kiwi rallying computer aid is global hit
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Mount Maunganui-based Monit Rally Computers is exporting its specialised rally-driving electronics equipment to more than 26 countries worldwide, says director James Holder.
The GPS-based trip meter equipment is being used by top international rallying teams, including Citroen Racing, Peugeot Sport, Toyota Motorsport and Ford's rally division M-Sport, he said.
The equipment is used to help rally drivers to prepare their pace notes and navigate to and around the closed road special stages they compete on.
Mr Holder, a Canterbury University engineering graduate who previously worked for Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, was doing some rallying and spotted a gap in the market. He and a partner - who he bought out three years ago - started the business in 2006.
Monit Rally Computers is now the leading manufacturer in its industry sector globally and the only rally trip-meter company to supply the WRC vehicle manufacturer teams, said Mr Holder.
"It was hard yards going to Europe and knocking on doors," he said. "We got traction pretty quickly, but it still takes a long time to convince people. It's exciting to see how our product brand and distribution has strengthened over the past decade, allowing us to develop key relationships with most of the motor vehicle companies who produce rally cars."
M-Sport business manager Andrew Wheatley said the Monit Rally Computers were the perfect choice for the Ford Fiesta. "They are compact, lightweight and have really useful features including fuel readout, all the while managing to be the most intuitive, easy-to-use tripmeter around."
New Zealand has some of the most challenging rallying roads in the world, from the damp and cold conditions of a deep south winter, to the sub-tropical summers of the north, so products needed to be tough, said Mr Holder.
Monit Rally Computers is also aiming to encourage new Kiwi entrants into rallying. The company has sponsored prizes for novice drivers and co-drivers in the recent rally in Tauranga and upcoming events in the Catlins and Coromandel.
"We're in an ideal situation, with the world's top rally teams and cars using our Monit products," said Mr Holder.
"And we're able to feed this positive profile through to club level Kiwis who are after the same product performance."
Mr Holder said he was seeing strong interest at grassroots and clubmans events, as well as classic rallying categories.
- David Porter