The History of BBS Wheels
BBS Wheels WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1970.
BBS Wheels was established in Schiltach, Austria, when Heinrich Baumgartner and Klaus Brand established a plastic body parts manufacturing company. For Baumgartner, who is a racing aficionado and an inventor, the concept of an aluminum wheel is what drives him.
1972 FIRST STEPS IN THE WORLD OF RACING
As early as 1972, the business was successful in its attempt to create a three-part wheel. Introducing the three-piece racing rim, which has a cast aluminum wheel core, with the front and rear rim pieces constructed of rolled aluminum. This is a revolutionary design.
THE CROSS SPOKE’S SUCCESSION IN 1975
It is with great pride that the BBS cross spoke starts its triumphant march, first as a three-piece, then as a one-piece version requested by BMW as original equipment.
1975 TECHNOLOGY THROUGH THE PERSPECTIVE OF MOTORSPORT
Whether in the German Racing Championship, with Porsche in the World Championship, or in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the firm from the Black Forest has established itself as the industry standard as a wheel provider. By the end of the 1970s, BBS wheels were already being used on the majority of racing touring cars, and they were becoming more common on modified road legal vehicles. Although BBS was a provider of alloy wheels in the 1970s, the company saw itself as more of an accessory supplier for automobiles at that point in time. In addition to plastic parts and aerodynamic kits, the catalog offered suspension systems as well as other mechanical components.
BBS SERAL WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1976.
In the same year, the BBS Seral manufacturing plant in Fréland-Kaysersberg, France, was created for the purpose of machining and painting wheels for the company. BBS acquired a 50% stake in the CETEF facility in Soultzmatt, Alsace, towards the start of the 1980s, owing to a shortage of available casting capacity in the early phase of the acquisition. There was usage of the counter pressure technique, which would become a procedure that would be associated with BBS for years to come.
BOOMING MARKET IN 1980’s
OEMs are likewise depending more and more on customisation ex works. Alloy wheels, particularly those manufactured by BBS, are now in great demand. The firm from the Black Forest has a high level of prestige.
BBS RS – THE BIRTH OF A LEGEND IN 1983
The three-piece “RS” design, which was introduced in 1983, is a top-selling item. It becomes a status emblem, the cross spoke a permanent classic design.
1983 LEHENGERICHT GETS A NEW CHAPTER BBS
expands its operations to the Lehengericht region, where it will spend more than 28 million German Marks in new manufacturing facilities and generate around 200 jobs.
STARTING IN 1983, ACTIVITIES FOR WORLDWIDE SALES
Founded in 1983 in New York, BBS of America relocated in 1987 to a location near the “Road Atlanta” racetrack in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1989, the sales business BBS Seral S.A. is reformed and re-established as BBS France Co. S.A. in Bordeaux, where it continues to operate today. In Japan, the joint venture BBS Japan Co. Ltd. is established in 1983; the company’s 50-percent partner Washi Beam Co. Ltd. helps to establish the brand as the market leader in the Japanese replacement market. Although the term “globalization” has not yet been coined, BBS is already attracting customers from the most distant corners of the globe. Joint ventures are created, collaborations are formed, licenses are issued to utilize BBS technology and to use the brand name. “By BBS” serves as both a quality assurance certification and a marketing tool.
THE FIRST PUBLIC OFFER WAS MADE IN 1987. (IPO)
BBS becomes public for the first time in May 1987. Approximately 200 million German Marks in sales are generated annually by BBS Kraftfahrzeugtechnik AG, which employs more than 500 people across the globe.
1992 BENCHMARK AT THE PINNACLE OF MOTORSPORTS
Ferrari’s Formula One team uses the world’s lightest forged and rotationally rolled magnesium wheel, which is developed exclusively for Ferrari.
1993 A DESERVING SUCCESSOR
The “RSII” was introduced in the mid-1990s to bridge the gap between the three-piece wheel with forged technology “RS” and the one-piece wheel made of cast aluminum at the time. The two-piece design is a development of the three-piece version that came before it. High-quality aluminum alloys are used in the construction of the wheel center and rim section, which are heat-treated before being joined using titanium bolts. A stainless steel rim guard, a built-in valve and a basic anti-theft device are just a few of the extras. On the RSII wheel, the tire is located in a part of the rim that does not have a junction. In addition, the likelihood of pressure loss as a result of escaping air is limited.
1994 On BBS WHEELS, MICHAEL SCHUMACHER
becomes the first-ever World Champion.
When BBS succeeds in industrializing magnesium forging technology in Formula 1 with Ferrari, the breakthrough looks within reach: Wheels made of cast aluminum are 20 percent lighter per set than those made by casted aluminum wheel providers. While BBS has already earned countless racing titles, the golden age is only starting. Michael Schumachers F1 world title with his Benetton-Ford in 1994 works as a spark. Even lesser series are opting for BBS: Porsche Super and Carrera Cup, Ferrari Challenge, Formula ADAC Junior, Formula Barber Dodge, Formula Mazda etc…. Wherever racing occurred, the vehicles are outfitted with BBS
Not only that, but in
1994 SCHUMACHER IS TRIUMPHANT ON BBS WHEELS
The year 1994 is the most successful racing year in BBS history: In addition to the Formula 1 World Championship, the Indy Car Series, the DTM and the ADAC Touring Car Cup are all won on BBS wheels.
THE DEBUT OF A NEW MILESTONE WAS MADE IN 1995.
The first one-piece flow-formed cast wheel (the RC300) for road usage is manufactured for mass production in the United States. BBS starts to design the wheels using FEM analysis in order to be able to make a forecast regarding the life cycle in advance.
1997 BBS CONTINUES TO RULE THE MOTORSPORTS INDUSTRY.
BBS is once again the top supplier to the Indy Car Series and, for the first time, the primary supplier to Formula 1 with five teams and ten vehicles using BBS wheels. In 1998, there are six teams with twelve automobiles.
NEW TECHNOLOGIES ARE INTRODUCED BY OEM COOPERATION IN 2000.
Porsche and Kuka collaborated to develop the world’s first hollow-spoke wheel, which was protected by a Porsche patent (RT185). The wheel had a displaced sand core and friction-welded wheel section.
2002 BBS – FERRARI – SCHUMACHER:
A STORY OF SUCCESS
BBS has been recognized by Ferrari with the “Podio Award” for its continuous development of creative solutions for the Ferrari, Ferrari Formula One, and Maserati GT vehicles. BBS is also regarded as a source of exceptional quality. Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher wins the title for the sixth time in his career on BBS wheels, and for the third time in a row with Ferrari. In the German Touring Car Masters, Laurent Aiello drives an Audi TT-R fitted with BBS, and the Abt team takes first place (DTM).
2002 ONCE MORE – A REVOLUTIONARY TECHNOLOGY
The BBS Air Inside technology (without sand core and laser-welded) is developed for Porsche and mass-produced in 2004 for the aftermarket as well as for VW, BMW and Audi. For the casting process, the MAGMA simulation software is introduced for the first time. The filling up and solidification processes in the casting tool are represented in this simulation.
NEW INVESTMENTS AT A HIGH LEVEL IN 2003
A total of 65 million euros is spent in manufacturing facilities, resulting in an increase in production capacity from the Schiltach and Ruina factories, as well as the new Herbolzheim site, to more than 4 million wheels. The latter is to become a fully integrated manufacturing plant with double the casting capacity of the headquarters. The new facility, according to the company’s management, will serve as an expansion rather than a replacement for the company’s primary operation in Schiltach. Because of its proximity on the A5 motorway, Herbolzheim will be transformed into a logistics hub. The ultra-modern paint shop serves as the focal point of the facility.
DRIVER OF TECHNOLOGY, FLOW FORMING IS IMPORTANT.
Flow forming and forging technologies are among the technologies that will be prioritized long-term. The FI wheel brings the promise to fruition: the wheel’s size and load-bearing capability are optimized, and flow forming is commonly used in its production.
BBS WHEELS FROM 2007 ARE UNDER SPECIAL PROTECTION.
The adhesive-bonded stainless steel bumper, which is now also conceivable for one-piece wheels, is already being manufactured in large quantities.
IMPROVED SURFACE FINISHING FOR THE YEAR 2008.
The use of laser etching to customize wheels in the aftermarket and original equipment manufacturer (OE) sectors is now available. When compared to chrome plating, the higher-quality ceramic polishing substitutes the lower-quality ball polishing. If you compare it to the chrome-plated variant, the benefit is that it is far lighter and more recyclable than the former.
ADVANCED OEM PROJECTS AND NEW SUCCESS IN THE INDUSTRY IN 2010
First-place winners cross the finish line on BBS wheels: three Volkswagen Race Touaregs, to be exact. For super sports cars such as the gullwing SLS AMG, the Ferrari 458 Italia, or the new Porsche Panamera, the new original equipment references are an excellent fit with their race heritage. In addition, BBS provides the new Volkswagen Touareg with ceramic-polished and weight-optimized wheels that are installed as OEM.
The year 2012 marked the beginning of the company’s independence.
After being split off and acquired by the Japanese Ono Group, also known as Washi Kosan, BBS Motorsport & Engineering GmbH began operations on January 1, 2012. It travels from Schiltach to Haslach in the direction of the north (Kinzigtal).
It will be 50 years since BBS was established.
50 years of BBS – the historic firm from the Black Forest navigates through treacherous seas in its 50th anniversary year. Currently, the market climate for the original equipment manufacturer automobile industry is challenging. A short slowdown in output at the Schiltach and Herbolzheim plants is caused by the shutdown caused by the corona eruption.
2021 TAKEOVER OF KW AUTOMOTIVE GROUP
With the historic BBS automobile brand, the family-owned KW Automotive Group is steering it into a new era. Apart from Reiger Suspension, which manufactures suspensions under the names KW suspensions, ST suspensions, Belltech, and ap Sportfahrwerke, the group also comprises the damper producer AL-KO Damping, Belltech, as well as the eSports brands TrackTime and Ascher Racing. KW Automotive has been operating effectively in all markets for more than 25 years, and the company is now present in more than 34 countries across the globe thanks to its expansive product line.