Engineering firm SM UK, which designs high-tech CCTV and security systems to improve safety for commercial fleets, is investing £2m in a new specialised vehicle conversion centre.
The Leeds-based firm said the new 10,000 sq ft facility, which will be staffed by the firm’s team of engineers, will provide bespoke fit-out and conversion services for customers, which range from blue-chip commercial vehicle manufacturers and distributors to individual tradespeople with a single van.
In addition to fitting on-board safety technology, including the firm’s own award winning HALO cyclist detection system, the new conversion centre, in the Gildersome area of Leeds, is designed to kit out fleets of vehicles with bespoke equipment.
Contracts range from full van fit-outs, to security systems for large HGVs, and communications equipment for NHS ambulances and first responder emergency vehicles.
Managing director Steve MacDonald, who started the £5m turnover auto-electrics business from his garden shed in 2000, said: “As a business we pride ourselves on providing the best service for our clients and our new facility means that we can work on vehicles in a purpose built, clean and well-lit environment, with state of the art tools and equipment.
“Clients see swift turnaround times and, with room for up to 15 large HGVs in our new workshop, our team of skilled engineers have a modern, high-tech environment to work in.”
He said the group has seen a surge in demand for fleet safety and awareness systems in the last couple of years and SM UK has become a go-to supplier, building up a UK-wide network of customers and strong partnerships with vehicle manufacturers.
“Our new vehicle conversion centre will equip us to meet the rapidly growing demand across the North for both top quality safety systems and professionally delivered vehicle fit-outs and conversions," he added.
"We are looking to duplicate the model in the coming months with new facilities in the Midlands and the South East and will inevitably be recruiting further skilled engineers to staff those new centres.”
SM UK employs 55 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.