The SBS Group is based on different companies with long traditions in the parts industry.
In 1964 an ambitious young Danish engineer, Henning Hansen, established the company OBTEC in modest facilities at the harbour of Odense, Denmark, followed by a store in the neighbour town Svendborg. The company was specialized in remanufacturing of brake components especially brake drums and brake shoes.
MASS PRODUCTION AND NEW PRODUCTS
During the 1970s OBTEC grew rapidly and the production was extended with bonding of brake shoes as main activity. In 1976 a new factory was built at Kuopiovej in Svendborg, which today houses the headquarters of the SBS Group and the activities of the division, SBS Friction.
In 1977 a new business area was established – development and production of asbestos-free motorcycle brake pads, and consequently the company became one of the pioneers within eco-friendly brake materials. At the same time the trademark SBS, which became a hallmark for OBTEC’s products, was introduced.
GROWTH AND ACQUSITION
In the following years, OBTEC grew on the export markets, especially within brakes for motorcycles. In 1989 the company became listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange and shortly after it acquired a Danish manufacturer of automotive brake discs and drums.
MERGER AND NEW MAJORITY SHAREHOLDER
By means of a share issue in 2000 the company Nordjysk Kobling was merged into OBTEC, and its owner, Leif Stiholt became new majority shareholder.
Nordjysk Kobling was a distributor of automotive spare parts in Denmark and Germany. Further, in 1998 the company had established a production for re-manufacturing of brake calipers.
As part of the merger also NK Autoteile Deutschland GmbH became part of OBTEC. The Eisenach company was founded on the remainder of car manufacturer Wartburg’s aftermarket activities in GDR. Later this company developed into SBS Deutschland GmbH.
I 2003 the company name was changed from OBTEC to Scandinavian Brake Systems A/S – SBS.
NEW BUSINESS AREAS AND BACK TO BASICS
In the first decade of the new century, SBS focused on growth. A distribution company in France was acquired, and the management started to look after new business areas. This resulted in the acquisition of the Danish company Notox A/S, which developed and produced diesel particulate filters. In 2007 a new plant for this product area was built in Svendborg as a neighbor to the headquarters. The aim was to develop a completely new business area within a promising green-tech market. However due to the financial crisis it became very difficult to establish a profitable business. The production was closed and after some attempts to revitalize the business, it was finally sold in 2016.
DIVISIONS AND FOCUS
During the 2010s the SBS Group has focused on development of the basic, profitable business areas within parts for cars and motorcycles. To further strengthen these, the company was split into separate business areas in 2012 with SBS Automotive and SBS Friction as divisions.
SBS Automotive is with around 80% of the Group turnover the biggest area. It is a supply chain company, where the value proposition comprises sourcing, packing, branding and distribution of a wide range of parts for the automotive aftermarket including brakes and steering parts as the most important groups.
The company is an important supplier to the independent European aftermarket with distribution and logistic platforms in 5 countries and with customers all over the continent and in neighbor regions.
SBS Friction develops, produces and sells brake pads and friction solutions as well as related product groups for motorcycles, scooters and special areas including wind turbines on a global market platform. The customer portfolio is to be found on both the OE and aftermarket.
SBS Friction has a leading position within its business area.