BBS is born.
In 1970, Heinrich Baumgartner and Klaus Brand set up a modest production workshop in Schiltach, Germany, to produce high-quality fiberglass components for racing touring cars produced by BMW and Ford. The initials of the founders and of the city where they established their business formed the simple but memorable company name, “BBS”—three letters which have become synonymous with sophisticated, pioneering automotive engineering and no-compromise quality.
A short time after founding their company, a new type of three-part racing rim was developed that involved the use of a totally new technology which, within only a few years, had become an established foundation for the company’s success. The idea factory developed into a thriving manufacturing enterprise.
A new partner, a new casting technique, and a new frontier.
In 1979, Martin Braungart joined the firm and became the third managing partner with responsibility for engineering. The factory continued to expand at an astounding rate, with a new counterpressure casting technique, co-developed by BBS, marking an important milestone in the company’s development. In the late 1970s, BBS products were also being sold in the United States through an independent importer.
BBS products continued to fly off the shelves, and in 1980, as many as 220,000 wheels were produced. By 1983, the finishing touches were completed on the three-part racing rim for series production, which eventually exceeded all expectations and triggered a regular boom. That same year, BBS distribution centers were established in the U.S. and Japan.
The company goes public.
On January 1, 1987, the company changed its legal form from a limited partnership to a public company—BBS Kraftfahrzeug AG. Klaus Brand took a seat on the Supervisory Board, Heinrich Baumgartner became Chairman of the Board, and Martin Braungart became Board Member for Engineering. During this year, a new state-of-the-art production facility, plant four, was also introduced, and was later hailed as a model of modern process engineering.