WABCO Expands Into Global Active Steering Capabilities; Signs Long-Term Cooperation Agreement With Nexteer Automotive, a Global Leader in Intuitive Motion Control

(PresseBox) ( Brussels, Belgium, )
WABCO Holdings Inc. (NYSE: WBC), a leading global supplier of technologies and services that improve the safety, efficiency and connectivity of commercial vehicles, today announced that it has signed a long-term cooperation agreement with Nexteer Automotive, a global leader in intuitive motion control, headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.A. 

WABCO and Nexteer will collaborate to develop and supply active steering systems for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles using Nexteer MagnaSteer™ Actuation Technology, a breakthrough product in advanced steering assistance. WABCO and Nexteer will integrate MagnaSteer’s proven technology with Sheppard’s suite of power steering gears, which has set the industry standard for heavy-duty commercial and specialty vehicles. 

As previously disclosed, WABCO has signed an agreement to acquire Sheppard, subject to customary U.S. regulatory clearance. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter 2017. 

Through an existing exclusivity agreement between Nexteer and Sheppard, WABCO can offer a compact, cost-effective, breakthrough technological solution that enables active steering control for commercial vehicle manufacturers in North America. In addition, WABCO has access to this technology for all medium- and heavy-duty commercial truck markets outside North America. Furthermore, this access is on an exclusive basis, except in China. 

“This cooperation agreement marks another key milestone as WABCO advances toward enabling self-driving commercial vehicles,” said Jorge Solis, WABCO President, Truck, Bus and Car Original Equipment Manufacturers Division. “We have a clear line of sight on the fundamental technologies – such as active steering, active braking, electronic stability control and other advanced driver assistance systems – which will enable significant intermediary steps on our industry’s path to realize fully autonomous driving.” 

Full dynamic control of commercial vehicles – lateral and longitudinal – is necessary to progressively achieve the industry’s vision of autonomous driving. The acquisition of Sheppard and the cooperation agreement with Nexteer are key capabilities toward providing lateral control through active steering, which is a cornerstone that complements WABCO’s leading technologies in longitudinal control through active braking, stability and suspension controls. 

Nexteer’s MagnaSteer is precision engineered for flexibility as a modular design that fully integrates within Sheppard’s gear product line. It also scales efficiently for manufacturers of medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses. This breakthrough active steering solution will make vehicles safer and more comfortable to drive compared with conventional steering gears. At the same time, active steering enables further advanced driver assistance systems with steering correction, lane keeping and lane centering functionalities, among other advancements. 

“We are excited to partner with WABCO,” said Brian Darling, Product Line Executive, Nexteer Automotive. “Our industry-leading MagnaSteer will be fully integrated into the strategy of this industry leader on an exclusive basis in the medium- to heavy-duty commercial truck market to create opportunities for further growth.” 

About Nexteer

Nexteer Automotive – A Leader in Intuitive Motion Control – is a multi-billion-dollar global steering and driveline business delivering electric and hydraulic power steering systems, steering columns, driveline systems as well as advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) and autonomous technologies for original equipment manufacturers. The company’s global workforce of approximately 13,000 serves more than 50 customers in every major region of the world. The company has 25 manufacturing plants, 3 regional engineering centers and 11 customer service centers strategically located in North and South America, Europe and Asia. Nexteer Automotive’s customers include BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, GM, PSA Group, Toyota, VW, as well as automakers in India and China. www.nexteer.com

WABCO Forward-Looking Statements

This document contains certain “forward-looking statements” as defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are based on management's good faith expectations and beliefs concerning future developments. Statements preceded by, followed by or that otherwise include the words “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “strategies,” “prospects,” “intends,” “projects,” “estimates,” “plans,” “may increase,” “may fluctuate,” and similar expressions or future or conditional verbs such as “will,” “should,” “would,” “may” and “could” are generally forward looking in nature and not historical facts. Actual results may differ materially from these expectations as a result of many factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, the actual level of commercial vehicle production in our end markets, adverse developments in the business of our key customers, pricing changes to our supplies or products, our ability to successfully integrate any acquired businesses or our acquired businesses not performing as planned, our ability to mitigate any tax risks, including, but not limited to those risks associated with changes in legislation, tax audits and the loss of the benefits associated with our tax rulings and incentives in certain jurisdictions, and the other risks and uncertainties described in the “Risk Factors” section and the “Information Concerning Forward Looking Statements” section of WABCO’s Form 10-K, as well as in the “Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Information Concerning Forward Looking Statements” section of WABCO’s Form 10-Q Quarterly Reports. WABCO does not undertake any obligation to update such forward-looking statements. All market and industry data are based on company estimates.
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