Wheel manufacturer BBS files for bankruptcy

BBS, one of the world’s largest wheel manufacturers, has filed for bankruptcy, according to a statement posted on the company’s website Monday.

First reported by Road & Track, bankruptcy was a “necessary step to prevent an imminent insolvency within the coming months due to the sudden omission of confirmed payments,” the company said.

BBS cited the “tough market environment” caused by the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, and the accompanying shutdown of its two factories, as the main factors behind the bankruptcy decision.

Prior to filing for bankruptcy, BBS said it had initiated “an extensive turnaround strategy for the whole company,” which it still plans to follow. Two administrators have been appointed to oversee bankruptcy proceedings, one of which played a part in restructuring the company when it declared bankruptcy in 2011.

NASCAR Next Gen wheel

NASCAR Next Gen wheel

BBS was founded in 1970 by two amateur racers looking for advantages on the track, according to a history on the company’s website. Looking to reduce unsprung weight, they developed a three-piece wheel that they later decided to sell commercially.

Today, BBS is a major player in the auto industry, supplying wheels to both OEMs and the aftermarket. The company is also a mainstay of motorsports, supplying wheels to a variety of race series over the years, including Formula One.

In March, it was confirmed that BBS would supply 18-inch, center-locking aluminum wheels for the NASCAR Next Gen race car, a major update compared to the 15-inch steel wheels currently used in NASCAR. Wheels are one of several features on the new car, the launch of which has been delayed due to the pandemic, meant to bring NASCAR more in step with other race series.

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