Brembo S.p.A. Business Report FY ended Dec. 2016

Financial Overview

(in million EUR)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2016 FY ended Dec. 31, 2015 Rate of change
Net Sales 2,279.1 2,073.2 9.9 1)
Operating Income 327.5 251.3 30.3 -
Sales by application
Passenger Car applications 1,736.2 1,546.2 12.3 2)
Motorbike applications 205.1 193.9 5.8 -
Commercial Vehicle applications 224.5 207.0 8.5 3)

1) Net Sales
-The Company’s net sales for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016 increased by 9.9% compared to the previous fiscal year to EUR 2,279.1 million. The Company had increased sales in car applications, commercial vehicle applications, and motorbike applications. These gains were partially offset by a decline in sales in the Company’s racing segment. The acquisition of Asimco Meilian Braking Systems also contributed to the increase in sales.

2) Passenger Car applications
-Sales in the Company’s Passenger Car segment increased by 12.3% in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016 to EUR 1,736.2 million. Excluding the consolidation of Asimco Meilian Braking Systems, sales increased by 9.3% in the segment. Improved sales in Europe and China contributed to the gain in sales in the segment.

3) Commercial Vehicle applications
-Sales in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016 for the Company’s Commercial Vehicle segment increased by 8.5% over the previous year to EUR 224.5 million. Sales across light, medium and heavy commercial vehicle segments all increased compared to the previous year, thus driving the Company’s increase in sales.


-The Company announced that it has completed the acquisition of a 66% stake in the share capital of ASIMCO Meilian Braking Systems (Langfang) Co., Ltd. The transaction consideration was set at RMB 574.4 million, or approximately EUR 78 million. The remaining 34% of ASIMCO's share capital will be held by the state-owned company Langfang Assets Operations Co., Ltd. ASIMCO Meilian Braking Systems, based in Langfang, Hebei, owns a foundry and a plant for the manufacturing of cast-iron brake discs. ASIMCO primarily supplies regional joint ventures between Chinese companies and top European and U.S. OEMs. ASIMCO Meilian Braking System’s Q1 2016 sales amounted to RMB 109 million, or approximately EUR 15 million. The company has a workforce of 637 employees. (From a press release on May 19, 2016)


-The Company announced that it was named a Supplier of the Year by General Motors, marking the first time that it received the award. (From a press release on March 15, 2016)

R&D Structure

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

-The Company has research facilities in Italy, Poland, China and the United States.

R&D Activities

-The Company is part of the Lowbrasys project, an advanced research project financed by the European Commission Program Horizon2020, which aims to accelerate research, development and demonstration of technologies which enable the efficient use of clean energies. Lowbrasys features five automotive companies in collaboration with five research institutes and universities. Having launched in September 2015, the Lowbrasys project will spend three years to develop and demonstrate a low-environmental impact brake system which can reduce micro and nano-particle emissions by 50%. Target areas for research include the development of new materials for brake pads and discs, technology to capture particles near the source of the brake system, and integration of braking components. (From a press release on January 11, 2016)

-The Company continued the development of a new simulation methodology which includes parameters that can influence a brake disc’s vibratory capacities. The completed methodology would allow the Company to define parameters that could improve the brake system’s comfort characteristics early in its design.

-In regards to 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 continued its development of innovative friction materials for use in lightweight brake discs. The Company can be considered to be the only manufacturer with the in-house expertise necessary for innovative material development.

-The Company continued research on developing mechatronic systems, which has become more commonplace in the automotive market. The high level of integration will allow the brake system to interact with other vehicle systems, such as electric traction motors and new suspension-steering concepts. The Company is continuing to develop a Brake By Wire system, and electric parking brakes (EPB) where the electronic control is integrated in the ABS units.

Product Development

Lightweight brake discs
-In the Company’s work towards reducing brake disc weight, in order to reduce fuel consumption and lower emissions, it created a new brake disc concept. The concept utilizes cast iron for the braking ring and thin steel laminate for the disc hat, which reduces the weight of the disc by up to 15% compared to standard brake discs. A production version of the concept is being used for the entire range of the Mercedes MRA platform which includes the S-Class, E-Class and C-Class.

Aluminum alloy brake calipers
-The Company was able to create a brake caliper from an aluminum alloy in a thixotropic state, that is, an alloy made at a lower temperature than that of casting. In doing so, the new brake caliper provides weight savings between 5 and 10% while still providing the same performance capabilities.

Capital Expenditure

(in million EUR)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2016 FY ended Dec. 31, 2015 FY ended Dec. 31, 2014
Overall 263.6 155.9 126.8

-Of the Company’s capital expenditures for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, EUR 231.4 million was invested in property, plant and equipment, while the remaining EUR 32.1 million was invested in intangible assets.

-The Company’s capital expenditures for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016 were distributed by region as follows:

  • North America: 42%
  • Italy: 22%
  • Poland: 18%
  • China: 13%

Investments in Italy

-The investments made in Italy during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016 were used primarily for the purchase of production plants, machinery and equipment to enhance production automation. In addition, EUR 17.1 million was used for development costs.

Investments outside Italy

-The Company announced that it has inaugurated a new plant for the production of aluminum calipers with an investment of USD 36 million in Escobedo, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. When fully operational, the plant will be capable of making two million aluminum calipers per year. The plant, which covers an area of 377,000 square feet, is expected to contribute over USD 100 million a year in sales. The Company also announced that it will invest an additional USD 93 million to build a new foundry to produce cast iron discs, which is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2017. The new facility will have a melting capacity of approximately 100,000 tons per year and will cover an area of 269,000 square feet. (From a press release on October 20, 2016)

-The Company conducted the first pour at its new cast iron foundry recently completed in Homer, Michigan, U.S. The first pour is a preliminary test of the facility that ensures all systems are functioning properly and is the first step before production ramp up begins. Construction on the 266,000-square-foot foundry began in 2015. The Company will begin production ramp up in May 2016, with the foundry expected to be fully operational in 2017. The Company invested USD 100 million into the Homer cast iron foundry. At full capacity, it will produce an annual output of 80,000 tons of brake disc castings. The foundry operations will cover an area of approximately 300,000 square feet and will create 250 jobs at the foundry and at the Company’s North American Headquarters in Plymouth, Michigan. (From a press release on April 28, 2016)

-The Company continued its EUR 34 million investment plan in Eastern Europe, which is expected to be complete in 2017. The investment is aimed toward the construction and operation of a new plant in Niepolomice, Poland. The Niepolomice plant will specialize in the processing of steel disc hats to be assembled on light discs manufactured at the Company’s plants in Poland, China, and the U.S. The investment will also be used to expand the Company’s plant in Dabrowa Gornicza, Poland for a third casting line and new machining lines. The new lines will increase casting capacity by 100,000 tonnes per year for grey iron used in brake discs, and spheroidal cast iron for calipers in light commercial vehicles.

-The Company is investing approximately EUR 100 million across a three-year period from 2016 to 2018 to construct a new aluminum caliper production plant in Nanjing, China. The new Nanjing plant will span 40,000 square meters, have a casting capacity of more than 15,000 tonnes per year, and have a production capacity of more than two million calipers and spindles per year. Components manufactured at the new Nanjing plant will be distributed to various OEMs with production facilities in China.