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SBD Automotive celebrates 25 years of industry leadership, client dedication & employee success

Today we thank all SBD Automotive customers, team members, alumni and partners for your incredible support and ask you to please take a moment to celebrate with us.

This week, SBD Automotive celebrates its 25th Anniversary around the world, now recognized as the mobility industry’s foremost partner for specialized automotive technology consulting, industry research, and data services.

SBD Automotive was born as a collaboration by David Bell, Gareth Jones, and David McClure in the United Kingdom, who set out with a singular vision to prevent vehicles from being stolen. These three former Nissan engineers began visiting prisons to interview convicted car thieves and reverse-engineering commonly used theft tools to identify countermeasures. They founded SBD Automotive in 1997 (at that time ‘Secured by Design’) to help apply these lessons and lay the foundation for delivering innovative solutions to automotive challenges for decades to come.

The early days

Today SBD Automotive supports hundreds of automotive OEMs, suppliers, investors and governments worldwide and boasts a team of over 110 employees passionate about solving problems and helping our clients succeed.

David Bell, SBD Automotive co-founder and board member said, “I could have never imagined that SBD Automotive would become what it is today. While it has come with hard work and personal investment from so many, it is especially gratifying to see the sheer impact we’ve had on the automotive industry, the growth of our people, as well as such loyalty from our customers since our inception.” Added Bell, “I could not be more grateful, nor prouder than I am today – thank you.

SBD Automotive has never veered from its original vision of making cars more secure. However, in addition to a thriving anti-theft and cybersecurity consulting practice, the company has expanded its mandate over the past two decades to sharing world leading expertise in connected vehicles, autonomous cars, shared mobility, as well as electric vehicle research, which is the company’s fastest growing practice area.

CEO Andrew Hart, who has been with the company for 18 of its 25 years reflected, “Whether it is helping our customers bring a new feature to market, improving the dealer experience, preventing a car from being hacked, shortening the timeline to electrification, keeping children safe, protecting the environment, or improving the car’s user experience, I like to think we’ve played a significant role in helping our clients develop smart, safe and sustainable mobility solutions.”

In March 2021, under Hart’s leadership, the company the company underwent a management buyout to transition from being founder-owned to becoming employee-owned.

Today marks an incredibly important milestone for SBD Automotive. When I look around at how difficult it is for any automotive company to survive 5 years - let alone thrive for 25 years-plus -today marks such an important anniversary for the company. And to do so independently, bucking the trend of so many recent corporate acquisitions or mergers, around a vision to be the best. Our clients and teams appreciate our commitment and approach to providing fully objective guidance and expertise in such an agile and nimble way,” added Hart.

Since its original founding, SBD Automotive has added teams of research experts and offices in key automotive hubs in Japan, N. America, China, India, and Germany to be closer to valued customers worldwide. In each market, SBD Automotive continues to recruit exceptional people who have built SBD Automotive’s culture based on dedication, teamwork, attention to detail and a great sense of humor.

Added Hart, “Today we are celebrating as One Team committed to building a company the right way. As we continue our journey to make a lasting impact for the next 25 years, we are committed to respecting SBD’s heritage as well as our values which we apply to every decision we make.”

You can read more about SBD Automotive’s milestones over the past 25 years here.


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