Brian Mountford (left) with Jim Morris
Coventry-based motorsport engineering company Lifeline Fire & Safety Systems Ltd has completed a landmark deal to break into the Italian market.
Lifeline Fire & Safety Systems Ltd has secured a lucrative contract to supply fire suppression and safety equipment to Italian manufacturer Fiat Abarth for their R5 rally programme.
The deal was completed on the stand at the Professional Motorsport World tradeshow in Cologne, after the company received tradeshow support funding through the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s international trade team.
Lifeline specialise in providing fire suppression and safety equipment for cars used in world motorsport, including F1 and the WRC.
Its latest system was on-board the car that won the Monte Carlo Rally in January, driven by reigning WRC champion Sébastien Ogier.
Based in Charter Avenue Industrial Estate, the engineering company employs 28 people at its 16,000 sq ft premises and exports to 43 countries around the world.
Working closely with the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA), in 2007 Lifeline diversified into defence – gaining a number of contracts with the UK Ministry of Defence.
In the past 12 months, Lifeline have developed two new fire safety systems in-line with new regulations and managing director Jim Morris says this has given the company the edge over its competitors.
He said: “We have left our competitor base standing and they can’t keep up with what we’re doing.
“Fiat Abarth were really impressed with us and our engineering and design capabilities, they are actually talking about a further order of units in March.
“Motorsport stimulates development in high-performance engineering, allowing us to push the boundaries in what we do.
“It’s very important to be at tradeshows like this, it’s a global show and allows us to access these new export opportunities and the support from the Chamber helped us do that.”
While at the show, Lifeline also finalised a deal with Hyundai, adding to its impressive customer list including Aston Martin, Mercedes Benz, Audi and BMW.
Brian Mountford, international trade adviser at the chamber, added: “I have been working with Jim for some time and I’m delighted that the funding we were able to give to Lifeline has helped with this milestone deal for them.
“Being out there, face-to-face with buyers at tradeshows is a great way to boost your exports and I hope more businesses take advantage of the tradeshow support provision we offer.”