When the pandemic convinced practically every industry to press pause in 2020, supply chains became so crippled that just getting sectors of commerce rebooted became a challenge in itself. It was the business equivalent of a twenty-car pileup, with the automotive industry being hit particularly hard due to the complexity of its own supply lines. While the following year represented an improvement, production failed to stabilize to pre-pandemic levels.
The solution for automakers and dealerships was to begin demanding more money for cars. With vehicles in short supply, the value of new and used models blew through the roof. This move kept automakers largely in the black for 2021, despite a general inability (or unwillingness) to manufacture products at the normal pace. However, it didn’t help suppliers, who are haven’t been able to tack on the same premiums to individual components while still having to cope with rising economic hurdles.
German wheel manufacturer BBS is, once again, confronting bankruptcy. However, it’s likely to come out on the other side intact if its own history is anything to go by. During its quest for global dominance, BBS found itself out of money in 2007. Decades of expansion crippled the company’s finances, but not before it became one of the most recognizable wheel brands on the tarmac. In fact, few vehicles from the the tail end of the 20th century suffer from having a set wrapped in rubber.
What would Subaru even be without its World Rally Blue paint and gold BBS wheels? How many racing video games bother to launch without the brand having its best styles represented in the customization menu? Who dares claim the BBS RS isn’t the most iconic mesh wheel in the history of tuning culture?