More Than $115 Million Invested in Global Brakes Manufacturer's Southern Michigan Facility

Posted on May 23, 2014

ALBION TWP., MI – An Italian company that touts itself as the no. 1 innovator in automotive brake systems has expanded its global footprint in Calhoun County’s Albion Township.

More than $115 million is being invested in Brembo North America’s facility at 29991 E M-60, meeting high demand from sports and luxury vehicle brands as well as Detroit’s Big Three. The high-performance brake systems manufacturer has about 450 employees at the Albion Township plant, up from 110 in 2007.

“We realized that we had a lot more runway than we thought we would have (at the Albion Township plant),” Daniel Sandberg, president and CEO of Brembo North America, said at a celebration of the expansion Wednesday, May 21. “This is quite an accomplishment. It’s been a substantial impact.”

The expansion has added capacity to the facility’s manufacturing operations and engineering offices and is in response to increased demand from customers worldwide.

The company also has a history in racing, dating back to 1975. Its brake systems have supported F1, IndyCar, NASCAR and Sports Cars Racing Series, among others.

“Brembo has a very, very strong history in motor sports,” Sandberg said. “When the fastest cars need brakes, they come to Brembo.”

Brembo has been approved for state tax credits based on the company’s job creation and retention and investment in the facility. The amount of the tax credits was not available as of Wednesday evening.

Brembo has an extensive client list that includes sports and luxury companies Ferrari, Porsche, Corvette and Mercedes, as well as some other mainstream carmakers: Chrysler, Chevrolet, Ford, General Motors and Fiat.

Brembo has been a supplier to Chrysler for more than 40 years and a “true partner every step of the way,” said Sergio Marchionne, chairman and CEO of Chrysler Group, LLC. “We will continue to do our part to make sure we share the success,” he said.

In 2007, Brembo bought the Hayes-Lemmerz Automotive Brake Component Division, which included facilities in Homer and Mexico.

The company operates in 16 countries with 22 business sites and about 7,600 employees worldwide. About 10 percent of those employees are engineers and product specialists in the research and development field.

Sandberg noted the economic downturn in 2008-09 and its devastating impact on the automotive industry. However, Brembo was able to stay strong, and the manufacturing and auto industries are coming back.

“We’re pretty resilient people, and we’re a resilient company,” Sandberg said. “Manufacturing is up strong today.”

Gov. Rick Snyder said collaboration with companies such as Brembo is the beginning in Michigan’s bright future in the automotive and manufacturing industries.

“Our better days are ahead of us,” Snyder said. “Now we have a foundation we can build on because we’re stronger and wiser. We’re in the forefront of this industry still.”