Following rumours of BBS Wheels’ insolvency, the company released a statement confirming that it was forced to file for bankruptcy in Germany, at the district court in Rottweil. “This was a necessary step to prevent an imminent insolvency within the coming months due to the sudden omission of confirmed payments. This financial hardship hits us hard during the year of our 50th anniversary,” it said in a statement.

However, BBS Wheels said it will continue supplying wheels for its Original Equipment and After Market customers. An extensive turnaround strategy has already been set in motion, a move which was implemented prior to the insolvency, BBS said.

BBS is short for Baumgartner Brand Schiltach, the name of its two founders – Heinrich Baumgartner and Klaus Brand – combined with the company’s birthplace in Schiltach. The company revolutionised motorsports when it introduced the three-piece racing wheel in 1972, and it quickly rose to be one of the most recognisable OE brands today.

The company went public in 1980 and quickly set up shop in Japan, the US, and Italy. It even supplied wheels for Michael Schumacher’s Benetton-Renault B195 Formula One car (and helped Benetton win its first and only Constructors’ Championship) before he made the switch to Ferrari!

Bankruptcy, however, was inevitable. In 2007 it applied for its first bankruptcy, and Punch International acquired and reorganised it. In 2011, the second bankruptcy put an even larger dent in the company. BBS has appointed Thomas Oberle and Mac-Philippe Hornung as insolvency administrators, and it’s the second time Oberle has been hired since handling the company’s bankruptcy in 2011.

“Times of change lie ahead but together we will release the energy and strength which will be needed to preserve the legendary BBS brand and secure its future,” it added in the statement.