Italian brake system manufacturer Brembo has signed an agreement with South African parts company Sparepro for the distribution of its brake systems into the local aftermarket.
Brembo aftermarket marketing director Marco Moretti said at a press briefing held in Johannesburg on Wednesday that the company hoped to secure a 20% share of the premium-car brake-pad and brake-discs aftermarket in South Africa over a three-year period.
He added that an assessment of the South African market showed that the premium car segment was growing, along with the country’s economy. South Africa also showed a strong preference for European car brands, which were some of Brembo’s most loyal customers.
Moretti said the decision to target South Africa followed Brembo’s ambition to expand globally. The company already had three research laboratories, 19 industrial sites and 23 commercial sites worldwide, including in India and China.
“The only empty space is Africa.”
Moretti noted that Brembo had “to anticipate the future”, and that it must be “careful and prepared” for the continuous shift in the global vehicle market away from Europe to developing countries, such as those in Asia.
Brembo’s presence in Africa would be through brake pads initially, with brake discs to follow.
Moretti said Brembo’s products were suitable for any vehicle, “from a Fiat Panda to an Aston Martin”.
He added that Brembo was, however, a premium brand, and that it will be offered at “a premium price”.
Brembo aftermarket area manager Francesco Aresi also emphasised that Brembo’s focus was on quality, and not price.
Moretti said the Italian parts manufacturer had followed its original-equipment manufacturer customers, such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, into India and China, providing parts into their plants there.
“It could be an option in South Africa, yes, but I have to say that it is not on our agenda today.”
Brembo is the owner of the Brembo, Breco, Bybre, Marchesini, Sabelt brands and operates through the AP Racing brand.
The 51-year-old company’s 2011 turnover reached E1.25-billion, up 17% from 2010. The company employs 7 000 people, with 5% of its turnover spend on research and development, and 10% of its employees involved in this activity.
“Brembo is a research-and-development-driven company,” said Moretti.