2023 was a year of significant shifts and innovations in the brake industry, and The BRAKE Report was there to keep you informed every step of the way. From major closures and acquisitions to cutting-edge technologies and legal controversies, our readers were captivated by a diverse range of topics. Here, we revisit the 15 most-read articles of the year.
1. Akebono Brake Plant Closure in Kentucky Announced: Akebono’s Elizabethtown facility, a major employer in the region, will cease operations at the end of 2025. The article delved into the reasons behind the closure and its potential impact on the local economy and workforce.
2. UTIL North America Files for Bankruptcy: Another major shakeup involved UTIL North America, a prominent supplier of backing plates. This article explored the factors contributing to their financial woes and the implications for the supply chain.
3. Interview with Ryan Biehl, ZF Group: The Coffee Brake podcast launched with a bang! This insightful interview with ZF’s Ryan Biehl offered a glimpse into the company’s vision for the future of brake technology, including their focus on electrification and software-driven solutions.
4. Euro 7: What is it and Where are We Headed?: This interview with Stefan Guether (Horiba Europe) and Sebastian Granstat (Audi AG) explains the upcoming Euro 7 emissions standards and their potential impact on brake systems. The BRAKE Report explores the challenges and opportunities presented by these stricter regulations.
5. Volvo Recall to Update Brake Software on 2023 Models: This piece informed readers about Volvo’s recall of several 2023 models due to a software issue that could affect braking performance. It provided details on the affected vehicles and the steps to take to get the software updated.
6. ZF Unveils New Chassis Division: Highlighting ZF’s continued evolution, this article announced the formation of a dedicated Chassis Division, further solidifying its position as a leading player in the automotive industry.
7. ZF Unveils Brake-by-Wire Tech in Shanghai: This article showcased ZF’s groundbreaking brake-by-wire technology, which was unveiled in Shanghai. It explored the potential benefits and challenges of this revolutionary braking system.
8. OPC Parts Launches TorqStop: This piece introduced OPC Parts’ new TorqStop line of brake components, designed for heavy-duty truck and trailer applications. It highlighted the features and advantages of these new products.
9. Continental to Partner on EV Drive-Brake Unit: This article reported on Continental’s collaboration with another major player in the industry to develop a combined drive and brake unit specifically for electric vehicles. It discussed the potential benefits of this technology for EV efficiency and performance.
10. Tesla Again Sued for Phantom Braking: Legal woes continued for Tesla as they faced another lawsuit alleging sudden and unintended braking in their vehicles. This article provided an update on the ongoing legal battle and its implications for Tesla’s driver-assistance technology.
11. The Mt. Rushmore of Brakes: Who or What Should Be On It?: This lighthearted article by The BRAKE Report sparked a fun debate among readers, asking who or what should be considered the most influential figures and innovations in the history of braking.
12. Aequita Buys TMD Friction from Nisshinbo: This article reported on the acquisition of TMD Friction, a leading brake pad manufacturer, by Aequita, a private equity firm. It analyzed the potential impact of this deal on the brake pad market.
13. Tesla Plaid S with Carbon Brakes Impresses Tester: Positive reviews emerged for the Tesla Plaid S equipped with optional carbon ceramic brakes. This article explored the performance and cost considerations of this high-performance braking upgrade.
14. Trumpf Laser Breakthrough Curbs Brake Dust and Wear: This article highlighted a breakthrough in laser technology developed by Trumpf, which could significantly reduce brake dust and wear. It discussed the potential environmental and economic benefits of this innovation.
15. SAF-Holland Finalizes Haldex Acquisition: This article reported on the completion of SAF-Holland’s acquisition of Haldex, further solidifying its position as a leading supplier of brake systems for commercial vehicles. It analyzed the implications of this merger for the industry.
See also: SAF-Holland to Buy Control of Haldex
These are just a few of the many captivating articles that kept The BRAKE Report readers engaged throughout 2023. As we head into 2024, we look forward to bringing you even more insightful news, analysis, and interviews on the ever-evolving world of brakes.