Auto Supplier Bankrupt for Third Time in 15 Years

This time, the wheel manufacturer fell victim to a global pandemic.


A German company that in its heyday made wheels for Formula 1 race cars is getting back to doing what it does best: filing for bankruptcy.

BBS is known for the basketweave design on its premium-quality wheels, but it’s also established a reputation for financial insolvency, and Autoevolution is reporting the company has filed for bankruptcy for the third time in less than 15 years.

A 2007 filing was followed by another in 2011, when the company sought restructuring similar to what you'd see in the American Chapter 11 type of bankruptcy. This time, BBS has fallen victim to — what else? — COVID-19, with lockdowns dinging the car market hard enough to send ripples through the supply chain.

And Jalopnik says this case illustrates just how precariously some auto suppliers are balanced as they wait out the pandemic — especially those that produce specialty parts like BBS wheels, which are generally used on race cars. Jalopnik refers to them as a “leader” in high-performance wheel technology, and points out that even massive auto brands have sought out their designs. Most recently, Honda sourced BBS to design a lightweight wheel for its Civic Type R.

Luckily, BBS believes that this most recent bankruptcy is, again, survivable. The business says it will undertake “an extensive restructuring course,” and according to Autoevolution, the company’s 1,200 employees “will keep churning out wheels during the restructuring process.”

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