Features - Firm Guidance
AUGUST 13, 2000
BY JOE SAWARD
Alberto Bombassei established the Brembo company in the town of Paladina, near Bergamo in northern Italy, inÊ1961. His aim was to design and manufacture brake discs. The company had its first big break in 1964 when Alfa Romeo began to use its products and in 1968 Brembo expanded to supply other companies as well, becoming an international business in 1970. The enormous growth was largely due to the fact that at the time the car industry was switching from the old drum brakes to brake discs. With success Brembo has diversified and now designs, manufactures and sells 1,200 different products including brake discs, brake calipers, master cylinders, wheels and antiskid braking systems (ABS). The company has used competition to help its development and to build up Brembo's image. The company has been supplying Ferrari since 1975 and today Brembo supplies 80 percent of the Motorcycle World Championship teams; half of the Formula 1 grid and the majority of CART, NASCAR and World Rally Championship teams. Brembo has equipped competitors who have won 120 World Championships in different categories. Brembo supplies braking systems to all the major car high performance car companies in the world, notably Ferrari and Porsche.
The company's rapid expansion meant that a new factory had to be built at San Giovanni Bianco and this was followed by a second facility in Curno where the company makes hydraulic componentry. The firm also runs its own aluminum foundry at Mapello and has production facilities in eight different countries, employing 2,000Êpeople. Brembo has always specialized in introducing new technology and has enjoyed a long and successful relationship with the US parts company Kelsey-Hayes.
Forty percent of the shares in the company were floated on the Milan Stock Exchange in July 1995, although the Bombassei Family still control 57% of the company, the remaining three percent being owned by the management.