Headquartered in McHenry, Ill., with a worldwide marketing reach, Brake Parts Inc (BPI) encompasses the Raybestos, AIMCO, Lusac, Vortex and American Brakeblok lines. The product mix includes pads, shoes, rotors, drums, calipers, hydraulic parts and wheel hubs.
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Responding to a series of questions posed by Aftermarket Business World, BPI president and CEO David Overbeeke recently discussed the latest developments within the category.
Q: For several years now manufacturers have been changing composites and coatings to avoid corrosion on brake parts because of the highly corrosive liquid sprays that many Northern communities use before it starts to snow. What is your overview of these changes and benefits?
A: Yes, that’s correct. With the expansion of open wheel designs, brake system coatings are more commonly found on rotors and calipers, as well as zinc-coated backing plates on friction pads, all aimed at reducing the effects of corrosion.
Road pre-treatment sprays coupled with salt applications have increased in popularity across the Northeast, thus surface coatings, like those found on the Raybestos RPT (Rust Prevention Technology) line, dramatically enhance rust resistance as well as maintain the visual cosmetic look of the parts. While it takes investment on the part of the manufacturer to provide these enhanced coatings, the increase in product cost is well worth the value received by the consumer.
Q: Are these coated parts now sold throughout the United States, even in the South where snow/road coatings are not an issue? Are there any facts that distributors, retailers and installers should know about marketing these products to their customers?
A: While coated parts have become more popular in the Northern regions, the acceptance across the country is growing due to the advantages they offer. The coating not only reduces rusting, but it increases durability, extends product life and adds value through keeping the parts looking “new.” This is particularly important on vehicles where the rotors and calipers are very visible through the wheel design.