New technologies always cost the early adopters big bucks. But higher demand leads to increased supply, and costs eventually go down to the level accessibly by the common man. So while carbon-ceramic brakes might be a big ticket item right now – often dipping into five figures as optional equipment on European exotica – Brembo has formed a new joint venture with carbon-fiber supplier SGL Group with the specific goal of mass-producing the brake technology for widespread application.
With fewer cars being produced and sold, automotive suppliers face the same challenges as automakers. Italy's Brembo, producer of some of the most delectable braking hardware, will be laying off more than 1,800 workers to cope with a fourth quarter loss. The cuts will more closely align Brembo's production with newly decreased demand, and will affect workers at Brembo's locations in Italy, Mexico, and Poland. There is a government/industry fund that Brembo wishes to tap to help pay for the layof