WABCO Holdings Inc. announces it has completed the acquisition of RH Sheppard Co., Inc., a key supplier of steering technologies for commercial vehicles.
Sheppard currently offers a suite of power-steering gears that has set the industry standard for heavy-duty commercial and specialty vehicles. Employing more than 900 persons at its U.S. facilities in Hanover, PA, and Wytheville, VA, Sheppard also provides precision engineered engine pumps and state-of-the-art remanufacturing services. In addition, the company is vertically integrated with its own manufacturing and advanced foundry capabilities. Moving forward, Sheppard will be fully integrated into WABCO’s North America Business Unit, with its technology becoming part of WABCO’s extensive Vehicle Dynamics and Controls Business.
“We are very excited to welcome Sheppard employees to the WABCO family,” says Jon Morrison, WABCO President, Americas. “It’s the dedication and ingenuity of all its team members that have enabled Sheppard to emerge as a leader of world-class steering technologies over the past 80 years. As we grow together and combine WABCO’s and Sheppard’s industry-leading technologies, we will provide differentiating solutions for braking, stability and steering control to commercial vehicle manufacturers and fleet operators across the globe.”
“We are greatly looking forward to teaming up with Sheppard and capitalizing on its international presence,” says Jorge Solis, WABCO President, Truck, Bus and Car OEMsDivision, which includes WABCO’s Vehicle Dynamics and Controls Business Unit. “The powerful combination of our breakthrough technologies, including active steering, active braking, electronic stability control and other advanced driver assistance systems, is a key milestone in our strategy to enable the commercial vehicle industry’s vision of autonomous driving worldwide.”
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 is a key step toward providing lateral control through active steering, which is a cornerstone that complements WABCO’s ability to control longitudinal movement through active braking, stability and suspension control systems.
In another recent development, WABCO also announced that it had signed a long-term cooperation agreement with Nexteer Automotive, a global leader in intuitive motion control, headquartered in Auburn Hills, MI.
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. Both companies will integrate MagnaSteer’s proven technology with Sheppard’s suite of power steering gears.
“I’m very proud of what the Sheppard team has accomplished over the years,” says Oliver Hoar, President and CEO, Sheppard. “Today, we are recognized in our industry for unrivaled engineering and manufacturing prowess. We are thrilled to now continue our success story as part of WABCO, a global technology leader and Tier 1 supplier to the commercial vehicle industry.”