Brembo S.p.A. Business Report FY ended Dec. 2019

Financial Overview

(in million EUR)
  FY ended Dec. 31, 2019 FY ended Dec. 31, 2018 Rate of change
Net Sales 2,591.7 2,640.0 (1.8) 1)
Operating Income 318.5 345.1 (7.7) -
Sales by application
Passenger Car applications 1,943.3 2,018.4 (3.7) 2)
Commercial Vehicle applications 259.5 255.2 1.7 3)


1) Net Sales
-The Company’s net sales for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 decreased by 1.8% compared to the previous year to EUR 2,591.7 million. The decrease in sales was primarily driven by a sales decline in passenger car applications, which offset gains made in the Company’s other segments. In addition, the reclassification of figures related to Brembo Argentina S.A. to discontinued operations led to an additional negative effect to the Company’s sales.

2) Passenger Car applications
-Sales in the Company’s Passenger Car segment decreased by 3.7% in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 to EUR 1,943.3 million. The segment’s decrease in sales was due to the overall downturn of the automotive market, with declines in China playing a role in particular.

3) Commercial Vehicle applications
-Sales in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 for the Company’s Commercial Vehicle segment increased by 1.7% over the previous year to EUR 259.5 million. The Company’s primary commercial vehicle market, Europe, had an increase in registrations of commercial vehicles by 2.5%, leading to the segment’s growth. Notably, sales of light commercial vehicles increased by 2.8%, while sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles increased by 0.9%. 


-In previous years, the Company had developed a light brake disc, which utilizes cast iron for the braking ring and a thin steel laminate for the disc hat. The light brake disc consequently reduces the weight of the brake disc by up to 15% compared to standard brake discs. With the development of the light brake disc, the Company was previously chosen to supply this brake disc for the entire range of the Mercedes MRA platform, which includes the S-Class, E-Class and C-Class models. Mercedes-Benz has again chosen the Company to supply light brake discs for the next generation of models under the MRA platform, which are set to debut in 2020. With some modifications and optimization of disc size and geometry, the light brake disc can also be used in applications for high-performance vehicles.

-The Company is supplying brake components for all four corners of the mid-engine 2020 Corvette Stingray. It supplies the all-aluminum four-piston caliper, zero-copper non-asbestos-organic brake pads, cast-iron disc and electronic parking brake. The calipers, available in four different colors, shine through the Corvette’s five-spoke 19- or 20-inch wheels. The Corvette Stingray, when ordered with the Z51 performance package, gets an upgraded brake package to provide increased stopping power. In addition, for the first time in its history, the eighth-generation Corvette comes with a Company Electronic Parking Brake, which replaces the brake pedal, brake lever and associated cables with a button. (From a press release on July 26, 2019)

R&D Facilities

-The Company’s research and development facilities are located in the U.S., Mexico, Poland, India and China.

R&D Structure

-Approximately 10% of the Company’s total employees are engineers and product specialists that work in research and development.

R&D Activities

-The Company continued development and consolidation of simulation methodologies in 2019, to identify and quantify specific parameters that would improve the comfort provided by a brake system. The Company also worked on simulation methods related to system comfort and disc fluid dynamics.

-For cast-iron brake discs, the Company’s research and development activities include reducing the disc’s weight, changing the disc’s geometry, and improving the disc’s cooling and ventilation capacity.

-The Company has also continued work on various solutions for brake discs regarding shapes, materials, technologies and surface treatments to satisfy the requirements of future electric vehicles.

-The Company is a participant of the AFFIDA project, which studies the use of cement-based materials to replace phenolic binders used in friction materials. Currently, the project is in the prototype development and testing phase. The new materials must be able to meet the standards of their predecessors while limiting environmental impact and particulate emissions. Cement-based binders help to reduce volatile organic compound emissions.

-Since 2015, the Company has been involved with the LIBRA project, which replaces the steel backing plate in brake pads with high-performance composite materials. This enables a lighter pad while also reducing brake pad production times. A U.S. company has already decided to use components from the LIBRA project in its parking systems. A press dedicated to manufacturing LIBRA brake pads was installed at the end of 2019 to prepare for the start of production. The project aims to transfer the technology from the LIBRA project into rear brake pads in 2020.

Product Development

Brake-by-wire system with decentralized architecture
-The Company continued development of a new brake-by-wire system focused on a decentralized architecture. In this architecture, each wheel side would have its own electromechanical actuator to generate and control braking force. This would enable greater control of vehicle dynamics, with potential applications in autonomous driving systems. It is also working with a group of companies to create brushless motors based on permanent magnets to provide high levels of performance for future brakes, particularly in the Company’s brake by wire systems.

Brake pads with co-molded friction and composite materials
-The Company has developed advanced technical knowledge in the field of brake pads to achieve a superior quality product. The Company’s expertise has enabled it to research a new type of pad, arising from optimizing the manufacturing process. Under the new process, the friction and composite materials are co-molded, producing a complete brake pad in a single step. New machines and tooling have been developed, which will lead to a completely automated process that reduces the product's manufacturing time. As a result, the new pad delivers a weight reduction of up to 60%. At the same time, it completely eliminates corrosion in the caliper housing and reduces thermal conductivity. This ensures the highest safety in parking and emergency braking manuevers under all road conditions. (From a press release on September 10, 2019)

Dyadema advanced brake caliper
-The Company will present its most advanced brake caliper, Dyadema, at IAA 2019. Dyadema is a monobloc 6-piston aluminium caliper with innovative air cooling technology, incorporated during the casting process. The caliper integrates a pioneering cooling duct that increases the airflow around the brake pads. Thanks to this forced ventilation, the caliper operates at lower temperatures and therefore delivers better, more consistent performance. The increase in airflow reduces the brake fluid temperature up to 15% compared to a standard caliper, allowing the system to maintain maximum braking efficiency. (From a press release on September 10, 2019)

Capital Expenditure 

(in million EUR)
  FY ended Dec. 31, 2019 FY ended Dec. 31, 2018 FY ended Dec. 31, 2017
Overall 247.3 285.6 356.2

-Of the Company’s capital expenditures for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, EUR 172.3 million was invested in property, plant and equipment, EUR 38.1 million invested in intangible assets and EUR 36.9 million in leased assets.

-Most of the Company’s investments for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 were focused primarily in its European operations, specifically in Italy, Poland and the Czech Republic, receiving 35.7%, 20.0% and 14.6%, of the Company’s total investment, respectively. Other regions receiving significant investment included North America with 16.9% of the Company’s investment during the year, and China receiving 8.5%.

Investments outside Italy

-The Company inaugurated its new production hub for the manufacturing of aluminium brake calipers in Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. The Company set up a new production hub next to the existing plant where brake discs are manufactured. The hub covers an area measuring approximately 40,000-square-meters. All of the production stages in the value chain have been integrated into the new site, from delivery of raw material to shipping the finished product. Having invested EUR 100 million, the Group is supplying aluminium calipers and knuckles to plants belonging to its European, Asian and American customers operating in China. (From a press release on April 3, 2019)