If you've not been living under a rock, you've likely heard about BBS declaring bankruptcy followed by people ripping their BBS wheels off their car in an effort to score a big payday in the used market, and did they ever! Used wheels started selling quickly at 3 X their value.
The ironic part about that, is the reality of what happened and its influence on the aftermarket wheel industry.
BBS wheels is not, by any stretch one single company. Owned by South Korean company, NICE Holdings, BBS GmbH is the OEM manufacturing side of the business, producing wheels for new cars like the FK8 Honda Civic Type R and the Subaru WRX STI.
BBS AG on the other hand produces wheels for the Aftermarket part of the business, and let's get real, that's the fun part of the business anyways! BBS AG is not part of the bankruptcy filing, and are doing as good as eve as far as we can tell.
Now are you starting to see why it's ironic or maybe just goofy that people were hurrying to buy a set of aftermarket BBS wheels?
So what really happened?
New car sales started to decline over the past few years, specifically in Europe, this took its toll on BBS GmbH as it did with many companies in the automotive world, things had slowed and then... the shit storm that is 2020 hit.
Automotive manufacturers pulled the emergency brake on production until full stop, this meant dealers went without new cars arriving for months on end and the whole industry declining fairly severely.
This put BBS GmbH in a pickle, they had already felt the effects of declining new car sales and had to act fast, this is where they made the (Brilliant) decision to declare bankruptcy.
So what does this mean for BBS GmbH? it buys them time. Declaring bankruptcy doesn't mean lock the doors, turn off the machines and head home, we're out of business. It's more like a giant announcement to the world that the business is for sale. Other companies flock in to see where they can take over, pivot the business direction and start turning big profits off the back of a 50yr old business with an unshakeable reputation.
BBS AG will likely get more focus and be an even bigger force in the aftermarket automotive world. BBS GmbH will make adjustments and more than likely be back stronger than ever.