Robert Bosch GmbH is losing money on its foundation brake business, but the supplier has no plans to exit the sector, a top-ranking executive says.

One could argue that foundation disc brakes — consisting of rotors, calipers, pads and other mechanical components — are commodities ripe for outsourcing.

But Bosch Automotive Chairman Bernd Bohr says the foundation brake — while appearing to be a mature and simple product — actually requires significant development, particularly in the area of noise, vibration and harshness prevention.

“It takes a lot of engineering to make a brake quiet,” Bohr tells Ward's.

Bosch entered the brake business in the mid-1990s by acquiring part of AlliedSignal Inc. Previously, Bosch had been active in developing electronic controllers for antilock brakes, and the supplier recognized OEMs wanted to source full brake systems, including ABS, to one supplier.

As a remedy, Bosch is attempting to produce more brakes in low-wage regions. Already, the company has said it plans to close two U.S. brake plants in Sumter and Gallatin, TN. Likewise, Bohr says Bosch is “improving synergies” between brake plants in Western Europe.