I was taking a few minutes to clean my desk today, and ran across this coffee table book celebrating Brembo SpA's 50th birthday.

The fact that I didn't see this huge tome on my desk notwithstanding (paperless society? Ha!), I wanted to give it a closer look.

Known for its automotive disc brake technology -- between 5% and 7% of the company's revenue is earmarked for research and development -- Brembo is a high-end product. So was the book.

Did you know that the original name of the Italian company was Officine Meccaniche di Sombreno? That wouldn't have fit on a brake pad.

It started as a small machine shop. Through three quarters of fiscal 2011, the global company has sales of close to $1.3 billion, with an income-to-sales ratio of 3.2%. The company's red brakes even equip "virtual" cars in video games.

Photos chronicled everything from its Formula One involvement to the materials used in its carbon-ceramic discs (for the record: resin, carbon fiber and silicon). New products also were highlighted. The Star Pillar disc, one of Brembo's most recent advancements, was developed for commercial vehicles (the book says It is characterized by "unprecedented pillar venting technology").

The last words in the story portion serve as a fine ending to a beautiful book. In the words of President Alberto Bombassei, the son of co-founder Emilio Bombassei,

"Our job is to produce ideas: With our roots in the past, we build the future, day after day."

Thanks to Caroline Fallara, communications manager for Brembo North America Inc., and industry veteran Jack Gerken, public relations consultant, for sending us a piece of history.

Author

Bob Ulrich
Bob Ulrich

Editor, Retired

Editor Bob Ulrich has earned a reputation as an industry expert thanks to his insightful, in-depth articles and blogs on the tire industry. Before joining Modern Tire Dealer in 1985, Bob earned a B.A. in English literature from Ohio Northern University. Also, he graduated from the University of Akron School of Law with a J.D.

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Editor Bob Ulrich has earned a reputation as an industry expert thanks to his insightful, in-depth articles and blogs on the tire industry. Before joining Modern Tire Dealer in 1985, Bob earned a B.A. in English literature from Ohio Northern University. Also, he graduated from the University of Akron School of Law with a J.D.

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