Brigade to celebrate 40 years of saving lives

Published:  24 February, 2016

Brigade Electronics will return to the CV Show this year, 40 years after the company made its debut at the same show in Earl's Court, London.

Brigade's stand will have a 70s theme exploring the company's history and successes with a good measure of fun and a few surprises to celebrate the milestone.

Emily Hardy, Brigade's UK Marketing Manager said: ‘We are really excited about this year's show and plan to add a touch of nostalgia and real seventies flavour juxtaposed against Brigade today in 2016. Think orange and brown wallpaper, space hoppers, big moustaches, birthday cake and fizzy pop.

‘We are really proud of Brigade's history and want to walk customers through time to show them how far the original concept of reversing safety has come.'

In 1976, founder and now chairman Chris Hanson-Abbott introduced the reversing alarm to the UK market but while the press were curious, vehicle manufacturers and fleet owners were not impressed. The 1976 show ended without a single sale. To add insult to injury the publicity culminated in the Department for Transport announcing that reversing alarms contravened the Construction & Use Regulations and were, therefore, illegal!

Undeterred, Chris continued his quest for safer roads and worksites. He challenged the mind-set of potential customers and lobbied Government tirelessly until he was eventually taken seriously. It was still a further two years before Brigade's first sale to a prestigious bus company and many more years for health and safety culture to be fully addressed.

Chris continued to innovate new vehicle safety products for the commercial vehicle market including introducing to the UK and Europe; the first Doppler radar, the first ultrasonic rear detection system, the first rear view camera system and the first white sound reversing alarm.
The Brigade brand is now global with 14 subsidiaries across Europe, America, Canada and South Africa and partners and exports across all continents.
More recently Brigade has been pivotal in reducing cyclist and HGV collisions with a range of products to detect the cyclist and warn the driver they are in the blind spot. The company continue to innovate and lead the way with cutting edge technologies including Backeye 360, an intelligent camera monitor system that provides a bird's-eye view of the vehicle's surroundings to eliminate blind spots.

In 2014 Chris finally received the recognition he deserved in the Queen's Birthday Honours list and was awarded an OBE for services to Vehicle Road Safety.

Despite growing rapidly in the last few years, Brigade retains its family values and passion for improving safety. Asked what he does, Chris simply says: ‘We are in the business of saving lives.'

Brigade will be on stand 4J98.

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