Brembo is one of the leading players in the field of automotive disc brake technology. Speaking to APF’s Manish Pant, Sudhir Nirantar, Executive Director & CEO, Brembo Brake India Pvt Ltd, says that the company will focus on helping its customers in meeting the new safety regulation for braking systems even as Brembo adds new approaches to styling in its products.
What new products do you have on offer in 2020?
Brembo is famous worldwide for performance that comes packaged with fantastic styling. Our attempt this year would be to add a fresh perspective and styling approach to brake calipers, which are used by most of the two-wheeler manufacturers in India. We have designed new calipers with very sharp and distinctive lines and are offering them in different shades to match with a vehicle’s overall colour scheme. The central piece in the calipers is changeability, with the user having the option of choosing different colours. We attempt to add a new dimension to styling, which was never discussed earlier. Of course, when it comes to performance, you can continue to rely on Brembo!
We are currently in a very challenging market that is witnessing several important changes. As an important player in your segment, how are you helping your customers move to the next level?
The foremost contribution from Brembo is to be able to help our customers is in meeting new safety regulations. The 2019 regulation on safety mandates the use of the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) for two-wheelers above 125cc and the use of Combined Braking System (CBS) on two-wheelers less than or equal to 125cc. I am glad to state that we were already ready with the products and services. We have extensive knowledge and experience in integrating ABS with the braking system. Be it a single channel braking system for the front wheel or a dual channel system for both wheels, we are competent in both areas. We set up a dedicated plant for a customer in Chennai to service this demand. On the CBS side, we are already ready with an actuator for the disc-drum combination. It’s not easy to have CBS on disc and drum as they are two different families. The drum brake on a motorcycle is mechanical, while the disc brake is hydraulic. The patent for the actuator was filed in Italy. The product is already available in the market and the customer response has been very encouraging.
In your view, what are some of the immediate trends emerging in the market and how well-equipped is Brembo to meet them?
One distinct trend which I have witnessed over the past several years is that the power of the motorcycle and, thereby, even the engine size that delivers that thrust has been growing. If you look at the 2000-5 period, I think anywhere between 95-98 per cent of the market was sub-125cc. It was, in fact, 100-110cc. But with Pulsar’s entry, 150cc became very popular and, subsequently, the number of OEMs getting into the higher cc segment of the market has grown much faster than the overall market. So, the demand for the front as also rear disc brakes have grown significantly over the past decade. Brembo has solid experience and competency to offer products required by such high-power bikes.
As new technologies are imbibed in the automobile industry what will be your strategy to ensure your successful run in the market?
We engage nearly 10 per cent of our resources on engineering and R&D. Around 5 per cent of our revenue is spent on R&D to offer customers high-quality products that are either emerging or new. We also spend a considerable part of our revenue on sourcing friction materials and different alloys. In India, we support the core activity at our headquarter in Italy by allocating a sizeable portion of our resources to our global engineering and development efforts.