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Published: 7th October 2019

Safety technology innovation triggers growth for auto engineering firm


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Leeds-based automotive engineering and safety firm SM UK is celebrating a year of growth as demand for its advanced safety technology products continues to escalate.

Working with clients such as Scania, Mercedes and Volvo Trucks, the firm designs and fits vehicle safety and awareness systems and carries out conversion and refit projects for commercial vehicles. SM UK won a number of new contracts in the last 12 months as demand from fleet owners for improved safety features grows.

Contract wins including for recycling firm LSS Waste, Generator Power and Kloeckner Metals have driven the creation of 12 new jobs at SM UK since October 2018, increasing the workforce from 50 to 62, and boosting turnover by 20%, from £5m to £6m.

Hilux Storage Safety

Just last year the business, which was started by managing director Steve MacDonald from his garden shed in 2000, invested £2m in a 10,000 sq ft vehicle conversion centre in Leeds to ensure rapid turnaround times for its clients.

Mr MacDonald said: “This is SM UK’s 20th year of business and it is a tribute to our team of skilled and committed staff that we have had such a tremendous year of growth. The high-tech systems that we design and install are helping to make the roads safer, and saving the lives of cyclists and pedestrians, every day, which is incredibly rewarding.”

He added: “The last 12 months have seen a surge in demand for fleet safety and cyclist awareness systems. Fleet-owning businesses are becoming increasingly aware of their responsibility to ensure their vehicles are as safe as possible, both for the sake of their own drivers and for other road users. Thanks to advances in technology we are able to offer clients the most innovative products available.”

In addition to appointments at its state of the art Leeds vehicle workshops, SM UK has also grown its UK-wide team of mobile engineers and expanded its apprenticeship programme.

Full Workshop

The firm now employs 62 people across its Leeds headquarters and nationwide fleet of mobile engineers. Its HALO cyclist awareness system was shortlisted for the 2018 Brake Fleet Safety Awards.