Founded in 1972 by brothers Piero and Giorgio Marsiaj, Sabelt, whose name comes from the English word safety belt, soon became the leading manufacturer of safety belts for both standard production and racing cars in Italy and all over the world.
The first Sabelt production took place in 1972, when Fiat and Alfa Romeo started to export cars worldwide. After receiving the license by the English company Britax, Sabelt developed the static belts for original equipment and in the same year the company’s most experienced engineers designed the six-point belts with quick-release buckle, introduced in 1976 on request of the FIA and commonly used in motorsport.
In the Seventies the use of safety belt became compulsory: since then production has increased significantly and Sabelt produced 6 million seatbelts in the mid -70s.
In 1975 Sabelt built the first dynamic crash test on fixed barrier becoming one of the most avant-garde company of that time.
Sabelt has revolutionized the racing world as a supplier of seat belts for rally cars. From the world of rallying, Sabelt switches to Formula 1, where the company made its debut with the Alfa Romeo at the beginning of the 80’, followed by Renault, Williams, Ligier, Arrows and Ferrari.
In 1985 Sabelt signed an agreement with the American group TRW, a global leader in passive safety: the process of internationalization was necessary and the Turin-based company took the opportunity to fly overseas.
Together with the Authorities, Sabelt set new standards for road safety: raising awareness among ministers and people of the impact that safety belts can have on their lives has been crucial. The company’s founders Piero and Giorgio Marsiaj and their engineers helped drafting a new Directive which required the use of seat belts in cars, becoming mandatory in Italy in 1988.
In 1990 the relationship with FIAT intensified and brought to the joint venture between TRW Sabelt and FSM, the biggest Polish car maker licensed by Fiat. This agreement gave birth to TRW Polska: leader in production and distribution in Europe of the latest automotive products: the Airbags, developed in the polish plants, which became a fundamental accessory for passengers safety.
In 1995 Sabelt produced the first line of Safety belts for child seats. The late '90s marked an important moment for Sabelt: the brothers Marsiaj decided to buy out the brand Sabelt from TRW for racing seat belts and special applications business areas. After this experience Sabelt expanded their range of products, which included in addition to seat belts, suits, seats and a range of accessories for motorsport.
Meantime Sabelt developed the automotive seating segment with the OEM Business Unit, an area dedicated to the development and production of carbon and fiberglass seats for sports cars: Ferrari, Abarth, McLaren, Renault, Alfa Romeo, Dodge and Jaguar among the major customers.
A further breakthrough came in 2000 when the company’s founders signed a joint venture with Brembo, the world's leading manufacturer of braking systems and components for cars, combining two complementary business of automotive safety.
After transferring 65% of the company to Brembo in 2008, the Marsiaj family took full control again in 2015.