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Challenged by electric vehicles, Brembo wants to put the brakes on for the noise

BERGAMO, Italy (Reuters) – Brembo’s (BRBI.MI), a characteristic coloured brake to stop, many of the world’s fastest cars, but when it comes to electric vehicles of the future will be faced with a problem – in addition to the brakes are very good.

A brake system of the Ferrari (R) can be seen on the Brembo is headquartered in Bergamo, Italy, from October 7, 2019. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo

Without the roar of a performance petrol engines to overcome its inhibiting action, they run the risk of being a distraction to the driver and enjoy the relative quiet of their battery-powered vehicles.

The development of the center brake is the only one of the challenges facing the company as it looks to expand beyond its traditional businesses and to outrun the threats to the legacy technology, such as the automobile industry evolves in a digital age.

Brembo has been the development of lighter, longer-electric brake-by-wire mechanism which is to be used in electric cars, to replace the traditional hydraulic brake system and will be faced with a serious threat to the business of the so-called regenerative braking to capture energy lost when the car’s slowing down the pump and back into the battery.

“The electric motors make no noise at all, so the brake system is unpleasant for the passengers,” said Brembo’s Executive Deputy Chairman Matteo Tiraboschi.

“They might even be watching a movie in the future, all while sitting in their cars, thanks to autonomous driving, thus our goal is to make sure the brakes are always quiet,” he told Reuters on the Brembo’s headquarters are in the City.

Founded in 1961, in a small workshop in the vicinity of the northern Italian city, it’s a family business that is owned, it is of the opinion that a takeover is not the answer, so that they can become digital devices, and to keep pace with the changes in how automobiles are designed and used.

Brembo is not the only one. The German car parts maker ZF Friedrichshafen, for example, bought the US one of the Wabco (WBC.For the more than $7 billion this year to bolster its expertise in autonomous driving technology.

“Cars will become more and more a service,” Tiraboschi said. “People are going to be there less and less, and less and less on the bottom line. A ball of light is either on or off, all of the electric motors, it will immediately release it’s power.”

“Some people will look at is the interior, comfort and infotainment,” he said.

OUT OF THE BRAKES

Tiraboschi said, the brake maker, which supplies premium brands such as Ferrari, RACE.MI), Tesla (TSLA.(O), BMW (BMWG.DE and Mercedes (DAIGn.DE), as well as several Formula 1 teams, and was on the lookout for the car industry, for mergers & acquisitions.

“We have to be in the range of the products that we have to offer, but it needs to be in line with what we’re doing,” he said, adding that, the Brembo’s research is focused on companies, such as electronics, autonomous driving and infotainment.

Tiraboschi said in June that the company, which has a market capitalisation of 3.1 billion euros ($3.5 billion), was studied with a goal of “significant” – even one as large as the Brembo themselves.

Earlier this year, the company has been approved to be a true part of a scheme that makes it possible for the family to retain control, even if they have the interest to below 50% following the acquisition.

While the Brembo’s sales are expected to grow by about 2%-3% this year, from 2.64 billion in 2018, as a result of the continued global weakness in the automotive industry, Tiraboschi said that he would like to double revenues in the next few years.

“It is very difficult to do, it’s just what we’re doing today, so long as our shares are very high,” he said. “We have to think of something else in the braking system.”

Andrea Balloni, an analyst at Mediobanca, said that the revenue target was “challenging, but doable, by means of a take-over”.

“But the risks, in terms of margin reduction, and will have to pay a high premium for the acquisition, at a time when the whole of the automotive sector, trade at very low multiples,” he said.

The change in the direction of the regenerative brakes, which are connected to the electronic “brain” of an electric car can also be a amount of car manufacturers and consumers are willing to spend more on traditional brake calipers, brake pads and disks, industry analysts say.

Slideshow (7 Images)

I Ski at the consultancy Alixners, said that he expected that the traditional brakes to lose relevance, “Then, it will probably be a smaller, less expensive and require less maintenance.”

Tiraboschi, however, said that he was convinced that e-mobility does not mean the end of traditional brakes, as well as high-performance braking systems is essential for heavier vehicles.

“If you’re driving on a mountain road, or have to brake suddenly, you have traditional brakes,” he said. “I can’t imagine that you will be in a position to secure the brakes with only one electrical system, as you are driving a high performance car.”

Edited by Joseph White and David Clarke

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