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Wabco to buy Sheppard as it looks to expand advanced driver assistance offering

Wabco is looking to expand its advanced driver assistance systems by acquiring Sheppard, a supplier of commercial vehicle technologies, including vehicle steering capabilities.

The purchase price is $145 million. Sheppard had sales of $130 million in 2016.

A tier-one supplier in North America, Sheppard offers a suite of power-steering gears for heavy-duty commercial and specialty vehicles. 

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Employing more than 900 people, Sheppard also provides precision engineered engine pumps and remanufacturing services.

In addition, the company is vertically integrated with its own manufacturing and advanced foundry capabilities, which Wabco expects to use for some of its products.

Furthermore, through an existing exclusivity agreement with a leading supplier of steering actuation controls, Sheppard will be able to offer a compact, cost-effective, breakthrough technological solution that enables active steering control for commercial vehicle manufacturers in North America.

Jacques Esculier, Wabco chairman and CEO, says: “This acquisition represents another key milestone as WABCO advances toward enabling self-driving commercial vehicles.

“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 is a key capability 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.

Sheppard has been leveraging its technologies to develop products specially adapted for regions outside North America.

Sheppard already manufactures and sells these products through a joint venture in China and will use Wabco’s global network to reach into other regions.

Oliver Hoar, president and CEO, Sheppard, says: “We are excited at the prospect of joining Wabco.

“Our leading technologies will be fully integrated into the strategy of this industry leader on a journey to create opportunities for further growth in North America and globally.”