EXPANDING THE BRAND GLOBALLY
Brembo inaugurated the new millennium with a strategy of market expansion, acquiring the Brazilian company Alfa Real Minas for the machining of automobile brake discs and the assembly of engine flywheels. Brembo also acquired the British company AP Racing Limited, which is specialised in the production of brake and clutch systems for race cars and motorcycles and for high performance sports cars. To strengthen its presence in the motorcycle segment, Brembo acquired 70% of Marchesini, a company specialised in the production of magnesium wheels for race motorcycles.
2000 also marked a decisive step forward in Brembo's incursion into the strategically vital Chinese market, with the creation of a joint venture with Yuejin Motor Group and the constitution of the company Nanjing Yuejin Automotive Brake System for the production of braking systems for automobiles and commercial vehicles. Since 2008, Brembo has had a 70% shareholding in the joint venture NYABS. In January 2010, Brembo Nanjing Foundry Co. Ltd purchased a cast iron foundry from Donghua Automotive Industrial Co. Ltd, a member of the Saic group, China's leading manufacturer of automobiles and commercial vehicles. This operation consolidated the Brembo Group's foothold in China by contributing to the creation of an integrated production centre in Nanjing, complete with foundry and machining plant for brake calipers and discs for automobiles and commercial vehicles. The facility is now capable of offering braking systems to the Chinese market that meet Brembo's standards for performance, style and comfort.
Over the past decade, Brembo has also been looking with great interest to the Indian market. 2005 saw the creation of the Pune based KBX Motorbike Products Private Ltd., a joint venture between Brembo and Bosch's Indian subsidiary, Kalyani Brakes Ltd., for the production and commercialisation of motorcycle braking systems. 2009 was another landmark year, when Brembo inaugurated its new plant in India for the production of braking systems for motorcycles and scooters, and launched the new brand Bybre (an abbreviation of “By Brembo”) dedicated to braking systems for scooters and small-mid engine size motorcycles (up to 250 cc) for the BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and other countries in South East Asia (ASEAN).
In Europe, Brembo invests in Poland, where in 2006 the group's third foundry was opened in Dabrowa Gornicza to optimise the production cycle of the disc manufacturing plant. In 2010 construction got under way for the expansion of this industrial centre for the automobile and commercial vehicle markets, with a goal of doubling output of brake discs.
2007 was a particularly important year for Brembo: the new Research and Development centre was inaugurated in the Kilometro Rosso Technology and Science Park, which employs over 500 engineers, designers and technicians working on research and development. In the meantime, the company continues its strategy of international growth, acquiring the Brakes division of Hayes Lemmerz International in the USA: a division consisting of two plants (one near Detroit, Michigan and another in Mexico) that produce brake discs and drums for automobiles and commercial vehicles for the North American market.
Brembo's activities in Eastern Europe were further consolidated in 2010 with an investment of over 35 million Euros in the Czech Republic for a new automobile braking system plant. This move brought the company for the first time into the mid premium segment, working with clients such as Land Rover, BMW, GM and Audi.
The acquisition of new brands and products
The activities of the Brembo Group recently extended to include the design and production of passive safety systems, with the acquisition, in 2008, of the Sabelt brand, the leading producer of racing safety harnesses and child restraint systems.
In 2009, Brembo and Newmax presented the new Brembo-branded helmets for motorcyclists and scooter riders developed in a collaborative venture between the two companies. Brembo helmets are conceived to offer superior safety, comfort and design, and introduce a number of innovative features, concerning mainly the new Automatic Fit Belt helmet fastening system and the shape of the visor.
In 2010, Brembo presented the innovative Brembo Life Jacket: the first collection of airbag jackets combining protection with unparalleled comfort and style for the urban motorcyclist.
That same year, Brembo launched the new Bybre brand in India: the brand dedicated to braking systems for scooters and small to mid engine sized motorcycles (up to 600 cc). The new Bybre range is produced in the Pune plant, which was inaugurated in 2009.
From 2010 the Brembo range is complete for the parts market as well: their vast experience gained in braking systems and co-operation with the major automotive manufacturers has allowed Brembo to offer a complete package of components for braking systems at maximum levels of performance, reliability and safety.
A complete range of pads, shoes, drum brake kits and hydraulic components for brakes and clutches is added to the traditional offer of disks and drums intended for professionals in the parts market.
Carbon ceramic technology
Brembo has always been a pioneer in using innovative materials to continuously improve the performance and durability of its products. Carbon/carbon has been used since the 1970s in braking systems for aerospace applications and since the 1980s in motorsports. Since 2000, carbon ceramic (CCM) has also been used in the production of braking systems for sports cars, as it offers substantial benefits in terms of performance in both wet and dry conditions, weight, comfort, corrosion resistance, durability and high-tech appeal.
To develop the best possible applications for this innovative material, the company Brembo Ceramic Brake Systems SpA was founded in 2003 at the new “Kilometro Rosso” Science and Technology Park in Stezzano. This was a joint venture between Brembo and Daimler Chrysler AG for the development and production of carbon ceramic brake discs. Daimler subsequently withdrew from the venture while Brembo continued in this direction with SGL Group, with which it constituted an equal joint venture in May 2009 dedicated to carbon ceramic brake discs - Brembo SGL Carbon Ceramic Brakes. The mission of the company is to develop braking systems in carbon ceramic and to manufacturer and commercialise carbon ceramic brake discs exclusively for the automobile and commercial vehicle OEM markets. The medium term objective of the company, which is actively engaged in the research and development of innovative materials, is to develop a new generation of CCM brake discs for larger scale applications.
Brembo SGL Carbon Ceramic Brakes employs approximately 350 persons in its two facilities at Stezzano, in the Kilometro Rosso Science and Technology Park, and at Meitingen in Germany. Its client portfolio includes prestigious automotive marques such as: Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Daimler, Ferrari, General Motors, Lamborghini and Porsche.