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SIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN THE HISTORY OF BREMBO
Brembo was founded in 1961 as a small mechanics garage located a few kilometres from Bergamo, run by the current President's father Emilio Bombassei. Experience gained in mechanics and metallurgy was put to good use when the founder started working for customers such as Alfa Romeo. 1964 marked a milestone in the company's history: Brembo began manufacturing the first Italian brake discs for the aftermarket. Until then, discs had been imported from Great Britain. The production of brake discs was then followed by other braking system components. The skill, specialization and quality of the products and services of this Curno-based company began to gain recognition on an international level, gaining leadership in Europe's brake disc aftermarket. In 1965, Brembo had 28 employees.
For the first time in 1972, the Brembo brand was applied to motorcycles manufactured in Europe, with a supply for Moto Guzzi. In short, Brembo became leader in the braking systems market for two-wheel vehicles. Brembo's high technological standards were consecrated in 1975, when Ferrari's patron, Enzo Ferrari, entrusted the Bergamo company with the task of attending to the most prestigious Formula 1 car. Brembo soon became leader in braking systems for racing. Since then, teams equipped with Brembo brakes have won hundreds of car and motorcycle world championships. Brembo amounted to 146 employees in 1975, with a turnover of 2.8 billion lire.
Following a precise strategy of expansion into specialized market niches, at the beginning of the eighties, Brembo started developing innovative products and technological processes for cars, racing and motorcycles. The brake caliper for cars in aluminium, added to the product range in 1980, was highly innovative in terms of design and material and it were later adopted by high performance car manufacturers, such as Porsche (still supplied 100% by Brembo), Mercedes, Lancia, BMW, Nissan and Chrysler. In the mid-eighties, Brembo decided to also compete in the sector of brake discs for industrial vehicles, becoming a strategic supplier for Iveco, Renault Industrial Vehicles and Mercedes. Brembo's increasingly international outlook took a step forward in 1983 when Kelsey-Hayes, an American multinational working in the production of braking systems, acquired a share in the company. This new collaboration allowed the management and Italian shareholders to continue setting corporate strategy guidelines. In 1985, Brembo amounted to 335 employees, with a turnover of 51 billion lire.
At the end of 1992, the strategic ambitions of this Bergamo company took a different path from Kelsey-Hayes, that in March 1993, after a negotiations period, transferred its share. Brembo's management won its challenge to reacquire the holding originally transferred to Kelsey-Hayes. Brembo began focusing on its future and indirectly on competition in the Italian industry, where the company was already a strong competitor, by exploiting its management resources and technological capacity. The company continued to grow over the following years and in 1995 it was quoted in the Milan Stock Exchange: a success gained through intense teamwork, as is always the case in Brembo. In 1995, Brembo had a total of 1,115 employees, with a turnover of 331 billion lire.
At the beginning of the year 2000, Brembo took over the company Alfa Real Minas for car brake disc machining and motor flywheel assembly for O.E. in Brazil. Brembo took over the UK-based company AP Racing Limited, which is specialized in manufacturing brake and clutch systems for racing, the upgrades aftermarket and O.E. brake and clutch systems for high performance sports cars. In the aim to develop in the field of motorcycles, Brembo acquired 70% of the company Marchesini, which specializes in magnesium wheels for racing motorcycles. The latest Joint Venture was signed in China with Yuejin Motor Group, forming the company Nanjing Yuejin Automotive Brake System for the manufacture of braking systems for cars and light trucks. In 2003 Brembo Ceramic Brake Systems SpA was founded, located in the new Science and Technology Park “Kilometro Rosso”, in Stezzano (Bergamo) Italy, a joint venture between Brembo and Daimler Chrysler AG for the manufacture of ceramic brake discs. In 2005 Brembo started to supply Harley Davidson with the 2006 VRSCR-Streetrod platform and in 2007 with Touring platform. In October 2005 KBX Motorbike Products Private Ltd was founded in Pune (India), a joint-venture between Brembo and the Indian Bosch subsidiary Kalyani Brakes Ltd., for the application engineering, production and sales of two-wheeler brakes.
In 2007, Brembo acquired the American Hayes Lemmerz Automotive Brake Component division, with two production facilities in Homer (Michigan) and in Mexico, that manufacture brake rotors and drums for the North American passenger car and light truck markets.
At the beginnig of 2008 the Group started to operate also in the reasearch, development and production of passive safety components thanks to the acquisition of Sabelt trade mark, leader in production of seat belts for both racing cars and child safety.
Through Brembo China, a joint venture with the public-private merchant bank SIMEST, in February 2008 Brembo acquired a further 42,25% of NYABS from Nanjing Automobile Group Corporation . The company is a JV between Brembo and NAC. As a consequence, Nanjing Yuejin Automotive Brake system Co. Ltd. will become the main industrial pole of Brembo in China, intended to produce braking systems for passenger cars and commercial vehicles.