Knorr-Bremse snaps up US steering systems firm Sheppard03 June 2020

Bendix, the US Knorr-Bremse subsidiary, lead the acquisition of Sheppard

Commercial vehicle braking system supplier Knorr-Bremse has acquired steering systems manufacturer R.H. Sheppard Co. Inc of the USA, for $149.5 million.

Knorr-Bremse acquired Sheppard from WABCO, which sold Sheppard in connection with the acquisition of WABCO by ZF Friedrichshafen AG. The acquisition was transacted by North American subsidiary Bendix.

Peter Laier, Member of the Executive Board of Knorr-Bremse AG responsible for the Commercial Vehicle Systems division, observed: “The acquisition of Sheppard is another important step for Knorr-Bremse in our strategic drive to become a leading global supplier of commercial vehicle steering systems. New advanced driver assistance functions and automated driving solutions require complete control of commercial vehicle dynamics and the related actuators for braking and steering.

"The combination of Sheppard’s expertise in the field of recirculating ball (RCB) steering systems and Knorr-Bremse’s global brake control expertise and systems know-how forms the ideal basis for the introduction of torque overlay steering (TOS) systems and a broad range of DAS/HAD functions, particularly in the North American market.”

Laier added: “Our recent acquisitions in the commercial vehicle steering business, including Hitachi CVS Steering in Japan in 2019, the steering-related expansion of our joint venture with Dongfeng in China in 2020, and now the acquisition of Sheppard, put us among the three leading companies in the global commercial vehicle steering market.”

R.H. Sheppard Co., Inc. of Hanover, Pennsylvania was founded in 1937 and manufactures components for the global commercial vehicle and transportation industries. The company develops and manufactures steering systems for commercial vehicles and related products and services. In 2019, Sheppard generated sales of around USD 142 million and employed around 800 people.

William Dalrymple

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