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Brembo: a brake to speed up the country

From braking callipers for Moto Guzzi to brakes for Formula 1 cars: Brembo braking systems for maximum speed.

reading time5 minutes

Without proper brakes, there would be no speed… this concept is at the heart of the philosophy of Brembo Spa, an outstanding Made in Italy company synonymous with brakes worldwide.

It all began in 1961 when, in a farmstead in Sombreno, a hamlet in the municipality of Paladina (BG), Emilio Bombassei – father of the current president Alberto Bombassei He and his uncle Italo Breda started a family-run workshop, initially called OMS (Officina Meccanica Sombreno), employing around ten workers.

Alberto Bombassei
Alberto Bombassei

Disc brakes production

In 1964, Brembo began production of disc brakes, which until then had been imported from England. Pirelli and Alfa Romeo soon became customers. In 1972, the brake callipers for Moto Guzzi were made, and three years later, Scuderia Ferrari entrusted Brembo with the production of brakes for the Formula 1 cars.

Since the 1980s, the company has focused on technology and innovation. Leading car and motorbike manufacturers choose braking systems from the Bergamo-based company, winning hundreds of world championships. At the same time, Brembo also decided to enter the segment of disc brakes for industrial vehicles and became a strategic supplier for Iveco, Renault Industrial Vehicles and Mercedes.

Acquisitions and globalisation

Brembo has been listed on the Milan stock exchange since 1995. With Emilio stepping down in favour of Alberto Bombassei and his children Luca and Cristina, the company became a global group expanding through acquisitions in Italy and abroad. These include Brazil’s Alfa Real Minas, Italy’s Sabelt Spa, England’s AP Racing Limited and 70 per cent of Marchesini. Finally, thanks to the collaboration with the Chinese Yuejin Motor Group, Brembo established the Nanjing Yuejin Automotive Brake System to produce braking systems for cars and commercial vehicles.

In June 2018, a new Nanjing Plant was also opened in China, with an investment of €100 million and a target to produce two million pieces. The company previously opened another plant in Mexico, in Monterrey, a few hundred kilometres from the Texas border. At the end of 2019, Brembo had a presence in 14 countries. QS9000 and ISO 9001 certified, in addition to producing brake systems, it also owns the factories for processing raw materials to control every step of the process in-house, from refining the raw material to distributing the finished product, including prototyping, component assembly and testing.

When innovation rhymes with design

“If it were not a brake, it would be a sculpture worthy of any museum of modern art.” With this explanation, in 2004, Brembo was awarded the prestigious Compasso d’Oro for its carbon ceramic braking system for road cars. It was the first time this prize had been awarded to a component company, but it won’t be the last. In 2020, Brembo won it again for its brake callipers designed for Formula E single-seaters.

Its headquarters are in Stezzano, and it was the first company to set up in Kilometro Rosso, one of Europe’s leading innovation districts, with laboratories and research centres designed by Atelier Jean Nouvel.


Alberto Bombassei is Chairman emeritus. He has held prestigious positions in Confindustria, was a Member of Parliament and is a Knight of Labour. With 11,000 employees and around 2.7 billion in turnover, today, Brembo is the world leader in braking systems. For the past three years, the CEO has been Daniele Schillaci, who joined the company after more than 25 years of experience in the automotive industry.

Congratulations to those who braking take Italy at the top speed in the world!

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