Bendix acquires full ownership of BSFB JV with Dana

Rendering of BSFB’s Bowling Green, Ky., facility created in September 2019 when the company broke ground on a $65 million, 130,000-square-foot expansion, now nearing completion.Rendering of BSFB’s Bowling Green, Ky., facility created in September 2019 when the company broke ground on a $65 million, 130,000-square-foot expansion, now nearing completion.

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems (Bendix), a subsidiary of Knorr-Bremse, announced it has acquired full ownership of Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake (BSFB), the joint venture it formed in 2004 with Dana Incorporated.

Dana had previously held a 20 percent stake in the joint venture. Bendix says it will immediately incorporate the wheel-end business as one of its five Centers of Competency (CoC) and change the name to Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, effective Jan. 1, 2021.

On June 30, 2004, Bendix and Dana launched BSFB with one goal: to be the industry’s first choice for foundation braking systems. The joint venture combined the air disc brake, slack adjuster and actuator business units from Bendix with the foundation drum brake business from Dana. Both companies contributed product and technology, as well as manufacturing and distribution leadership, Bendix says.

The Bendix wheel-end CoC will remain based in Elyria, Ohio, and will continue operating its R&D Center in Kalamazoo, Mich., as well as the newly expanded wheel-end manufacturing plant in Bowling Green, Ky.

“This change is a natural next step in our business growth in North America and around the globe. It comes as Knorr-Bremse and our North American-associated company, Bendix, continue to pursue our strategic agenda to further strengthen our position as global market leader in the commercial vehicle wheel-end brake business,” says Dr. Peter Laier, member of the executive board of Knorr-Bremse AG responsible for the Commercial Vehicle Systems division.

“Knorr-Bremse and Bendix are uniquely qualified to carry the wheel-end business forward as a part of our focus on enhanced traffic safety on the roads in North America and around the world,” Laier says.

Mike Hawthorne, president and CEO of Bendix, says, “Bendix and Dana have enjoyed a strong and vibrant partnership as we have successfully guided the strategic path of the joint venture for the past 16 years. Now we look forward to continuing that relationship as we undertake other joint projects and initiatives. As it was with the formation of BSFB, there are considerable mutual benefits when industry leaders collaborate; we anticipate the future will hold exciting opportunities for both of our companies.”

Ryan Laskey, senior vice president, Dana commercial vehicle drive and motion systems, says, “Bendix has been a longstanding and outstanding partner in our brake joint venture, and we look forward to continued technical collaboration with them as we support the needs of our mutual customers.”

Aaron Schwass, vice president – CoC wheel-end NA and general manager, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake, says, “The value of our wheel-end solutions remains exceptionally high in the marketplace, evidenced by milestones such as surpassing 3.5 million production units for the Bendix ADB22X air disc brake earlier this year. Today we begin a new chapter in our wheel-end success story, one that continues our legacy of proven product, technology and distribution leadership to support all our customers with innovative systems solutions designed to meet their needs.”

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