The Great Italian Brake-Off.
For a company that has built its reputation on the superior stopping power of its products, Brembo sure can’t seem to stop growing. The Italian motorcycle and automotive brake manufacturer just scooped up 100 percent of SBS Friction A/S.
Both Brembo and SBS Friction have been working in the brake space since the 1960s. SBS produces motorcycle brake pads in both organic and sintered compounds, as well as brake shoes, discs, and clutch kits. The parent company of SBS Friction A/S was previously SBS Group, which is also a parent to SBS Automotive A/S. Brembo’s acquisition announcement regards only the motorcycle side, not the automotive side.
Brembo is interested in the eco-friendly innovations that SBS Friction brings to the table. The braking giant intends to strengthen its ability to offer high quality, environmentally sustainable products to customers.
“We are particularly glad to welcome SBS Friction in our Group”, Brembo chairman Alberto Bombassei said in a statement. “Despite the highly complex market context, Brembo has maintained its natural propensity to invest in innovation. This acquisition is an important step in our strategy: it enables us to integrate even more specific competences in a key sector, to further strengthen our range of ‘made-in-Brembo’ solutions for the benefit of our customers.”
Since the early 2000s, the Brembo Group has steadily and strategically been expanding its reach around the globe. The motorcycle industry is global, but in some respects, it’s a small place. In the early 2000s, Brembo acquired Brazilian company Alfa Real Minas, which machined automobile brake discs and assembled engine flywheels. Shortly after that, it acquired Britain’s AP Racing Limited, which made brake and clutch systems for race cars, sports cars, and motorcycles. Around the same time, it also acquired a 70 percent stake in magnesium motorcycle wheel specialist Marchesini.
Around the globe, Brembo purchased a 70 percent share of Nanjing Yuejin Automotive Brake System (NYABS), a joint venture with Yuejin Motor Group. It also established another joint venture in India, called KBX Motorbike Products Private Ltd. If you’ve ever seen Bybre-branded brakes, they’re produced by this subsidiary, formed in partnership with Bosch subsidiary Kalyani Brakes Ltd.
In 2003, Brembo partnered with Daimler Chrysler AG to form Brembo Ceramic Brake Systems SpA, with a specific focus on carbon ceramic brake technology and production. Just four years later, in 2007, Brembo purchased the Hayes Lemmerz International Brakes division, which focuses on both brake discs and drums for commercial vehicles and automobiles in North America. We think it’s safe to say that Brembo is on a mission to make as many people stop as possible.