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The Truth About BBS

Fitment Industries Author | | November 30th, 2017 |

  • - Krankenhagen!
    - What?
    - Schmetterling!
    - What?
    - Ich Liebe Dich!
    - What?
    (stuttering in foreign language)
    - What?
    (rap music)
    - So, BBS was founded in 1970 by Heinrich Baumgartner and Klaus Brand. They actually originated the company in the Black Forest, which is 45 minutes from I don't (bleep) know, and just south of Google Maps that. However, I was a betting man, I would say it's somewhere in Germany, which I'm right.
    (laughing) So what does BBS stand for?

    - Uhhhh.
    - It stands for Baumgartner Brand Schiltach, which is the last names of the founders of BBS, and the town in which they were founded in. So, if you didn't know, BBS actually originated by creating plastic auto body parts, and until they inevitably created a multi-piece design in their factory around 1972. When 1972 hit, they realized holy (bleep), we have something that we can work with here, and began developing wheel processes and manufacturing processes to begin delving into the world of after-market wheels. In fact, when BBS introduced this wheel, it was a three-piece, multi-piece wheel in 1972. The reaction by the public was massive.

    (crowd chanting) BBS knew that they actually caught on to something, and by 1979 they realized that they had way too much to work with, and they began exploding in terms of overall industrial growth. BBS knew that they had something going on for themselves. They grew massively in the course of seven to eight years. So, what did they decide to do?
    - What?
    - They went public.

    Between 1980 and 1983, BBS created subsidiaries in the United States of America... Italy, and even Japan.
    (crowd cheering) Not only that, but 1983 was a massive year for BBS because they introduced their infamous wheel, the wheel that everybody talks about when it comes to BBS, the RS. So, the wheel was a monumental game-chanter. This meant that this wheel was taking over the world by storm. It actually introduced to 18 auto manufacturers and more as their actual standard wheel for sport-modified vehicles.

    The thing was an absolute monster. So what did this mean for BBS? Well, imagine having a recipe for success. BBS began entering the motor sport era and actually celebrated their 25th anniversary with Michael Schumacher using the F1 championship as their win using BBS wheels. So, everything was looking great for BBS. Now I would love to explain the history between 1995 and 2007, except there's not a whole lot.
    - Why?
    - Because they went bankrupt.

    This was a massive shock to the employees and even their partner, IG Metals, which, in 2007, introduced a plan to invest another multi-million dollar deal into the company, before they actually initially declared bankruptcy. BBS claims that this what not due to any sort of financial mistake, however they went bankrupt again in 2010. The company was eventually taken over by Belgian foundation, Punch International. In 2012, Tyrol Equity AG out of Austria joined in the shareholding to become Mister Monopoly Man with the greens and blues with the hotels on it. In 2015, BBS moved a section of their headquarters and production site to Haslach im Kinzigtal, which is still in addition to the subsidiary they had in BBS Japan. BBS is literally scattered everywhere depending on what part of the company you're looking at, and who's fact-checking the information. The production, in terms of the website, states that all of their wheels are product tested, designed and forged in Germany, however it does also state that their cast wheels are produced and developed in Japan.

    So, they do have their own processes and techniques that make BBS special. They introduced things like the outer rim edge design to prevent any sort of curbing. They have hollow spokes that help with weight reduction and integrity of the wheel for easier to spin, minimizing loss of power, and a bunch of other great things that make BBS great. They make wheels for almost every single automotive manufacturer you can imagine. Ferrari, Porsche, Rolls Royce, Audi, BMW, Mazda, everything has a BBS logo or had it at some point in line. So, BBS offers three lines of wheels for their road wheels. They offer their Performance line, they offer their Cast line, and then they offer a Flow Forge line. Their process is done entirely in-house, according to their website, but they don't actually explain much of their exact processes. They do go into the rigorous testing that they talk about, which includes impact tests and rotation tests after damage. They're obviously compliant with OEM, so that should say enough in terms of their overall quality.

    Their Performance line was introduced in 1996 and uses the Flow Form technology which we talked about in the past. They do use different techniques depending on the wheel that you get, but this is a great mid-level price point if you're looking to get a set of BBS's. But, price is not the reason that you buy BBS. You get it for the technology that you receive with every single wheel that you buy. So, this is the BBS LM, and for running one of these, you're probably looking at anywhere between $800 and $900 per wheel. So, you're definitely paying for what you get. The thing is, when you take a look at a wheel like this, you wanna make sure you know what you're doing. BBS is one of those brands where it's not going to be this super flashy, in your face colorful design. BBS develops the wheels the way that they do strictly off mathematics and scientific testing, and that's what makes them sometimes so goddamn boring. BBS is not known for breaking the mold when it comes to designs. They stick to what they know, they stick to what works. And they never change. So, something that we just wanted to discuss is the bankruptcies between 2007 and 2010, which is super important because when you hear bankruptcy, it's usually a red flag. And there's conflicting reports between why they did it, and what BBS is saying did it. However, what we've come to realize is that BBS did it in 2010, and maybe even in 2007, as a resizing figure to help them get back to the roots of why BBS made their wheels.

    I gotta give them credit for that, because there's a lot of companies that get so big, they get so huge, that they just cater to as much as they can, and sometimes people forget about who they were. These guys aren't breaking the mold. They're not changing the game. Their designs aren't out of this world. In fact, a lot of them are gonna look identical, or extremely similar. But BBS will never be the brand that's gonna just come out and explode with new designs, or explode with new colors or creativity. And, I think that's why they've fallen off in the past few years in terms of the after-market community. People still run BBS, yes absolutely. And, on the track, it is still one of the most popular wheels to date. BBS is a fading image, and I feel like that's the reason that BBS chose to go back to its roots. So, you gotta give them pride, a pat on the back, for doing something like that, but at the same time, I don't think that you're gonna see BBS as much as you used to 10 years ago.

    (weeping) So, if you guys stay tuned to the end of the video, we're giving away a... Sweatshirt, and a hat. Right, you know? So, if you guys tag a friend and you share the video, we'll be giving away this stuff next Thursday to whoever we tag. We'll actually have it in the video. So, we hope you guys enjoyed this one. It's definitely a little bit different. More knowledge for you. We didn't know if you'd enjoy this more, but let us know in the comments what you guys would to see next, the next brand we'll cover next Thursday, 5pm Central Time. Because we're not those cool guys on the West Coast. So, we'll see you guys later. I'm Alex from Fitment Inc, peace. And, of course, if you guys have any after-market wheels, add them to our automotive gallery at fitmentinc.com. We have the fastest growing online gallery. It's a ton of fun to go out there. It's a ton of fun to check out what other people are running. All the specs are all out there. We'll see you later, peace.