VW, the world’s second car maker is still improving

The “Think Small” company Volkswagen (VW) continues to make small and big cars and becoming a world powerhouse in car manufacturing and sales. The Wolfsburg, Germany automaker is now the second largest car maker in the world. In 2011 it sold 8.4 million vehicles and earned $18.5 billion. During the first six months of 2012, its sales rose 23 percent generating €95.4 billion. It plans to become the world’s biggest car maker by 2018 and sell more than 10 million units. The Porsche family still holds the majority of common shares of the company.

It produces eight brands including VW, Porsche, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, SEAT, Skoda and Audi. It holds a commanding 12.4 percent of the global auto market share. In Europe, its biggest market, it has a 24 percent market share and China has become a success story for VW. VW has three main street best sellers; Beetle, Golf and Passat. Audi has become world’s bestselling luxury vehicle and makes more money for the company.

Moving forward economic slowdown in Europe and China is its main worry. Car sales in Europe dropped seven percent during the first half of 2012. However, Audi still the bestseller in China and elsewhere.

Brembo, a disk brake giant

By now you may have seen the Cadillac ATS advertisement where a red car speeding down through the Morocco’s Atlas Mountains hairpin turns.  Cadillac also ran few other commercials during the Olympics highlighting its disc brakes among other things.

Disc brakes in the Cadillac ATS are made by an Italian company known as Brembo.  It started on January 11, 1961, as a small machine shop known as Officine Meccaniche di Sombreno by Emilio Bombassei and Italo Brada and started manufacturing brakes for cars in 1964.  Since that time it has produced auto disc brakes for Alfa Romeo and in 1975 expanded its manufacturing to cover Formula One race cars and motorcycles in 1972.  Today it is headquartered in Kilometro Rosso Science and Technology Park next to the A4 motorway just outside Bergamo, one of the most important science parks in Italy.  This area is the Lombardy region of Italy.  With 36 plants in 12 different countries including Sweden, France, and Germany, Brembo employ over 6,000 employees.  Brembo’s revenue for the first six months of 2012 was over $871 million.  It has several brands including Brembo, Breco, Bybre, Marchesini, AP, AP Racing and Sabelt.  It design and manufacture braking systems for high performance cars and motorcycles, both street and competition.