WABCO Holdings Inc. Business Report FY ended Dec. 2017

Financial Overview

(in million USD)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2017 FY ended Dec. 31, 2016 Rate of change (%) Factors
Net Sales 3,304.2 2,810.0 17.6 1)
Operating Income 435.0 381.9 13.9 -


1) Net Sales
-The Company’s net sales in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 totaled USD 3,304.2 million, an increase of 17.6% over the previous year. Excluding foreign currency effects, the Company’s sales increased by 16.0%. The main causes for the increase in sales were increased Company content per vehicle combined with 6.6% market growth. Increased sales in Europe, North America and Asia all contributed to the Company’s growth.


-The Company acquired the remaining 51% interest of its South African partnership with Sturrock and Robson Industries. Following the close of the transaction, on December 1, 2017, the Company will create a wholly owned business called WABCO South Africa. The move will enable the Company to introduce its extended global portfolio, including its recently acquired product lines, to the Sub-Saharan region through the new business. WABCO South Africa has its head office as well as a distribution, assembly and vehicle testing facility in Germiston. (From a press release on December 4, 2017)

-The Company announced that it has completed the transaction to purchase Meritor, Inc.'s stake in the Meritor WABCO joint venture and will take full ownership of the enterprise. With the completion of the transaction, the Company will now fully integrate the former joint venture into its WABCO North America Business Unit. The Company acquired Meritor's stake in the joint venture business for a purchase price of USD 250 million. The former joint venture employs approximately 200 people and had sales of USD 300 million in the 2016 fiscal year. It currently sells and distributes a range of safety and efficiency technologies for commercial vehicles in North America. The terms of the transaction provides the Company access to a winter test track in Sault St. Marie, Michigan, and joint access to a year-round test track in East Liberty, Ohio to support local customers. In addition, the Company has agreed for Meritor to continue to be its exclusive distributor for a certain range of its Aftermarket products in the U.S. and Canada, and its non-exclusive distributor in Mexico. (From a press release on October 3, 2017)

-The Company announced that it has completed the acquisition of RH Sheppard Co., Inc., a supplier of steering technologies for commercial vehicles. The Company acquired Sheppard for USD 145 million, subject to customary adjustments. Sheppard currently offers a suite of power-steering gears for heavy-duty commercial and specialty vehicles. Employing more than 900 people at its U.S. facilities in Hanover, Pennsylvania, and Wytheville, Virginia, Sheppard also provides precision engineered engine pumps and state-of-the-art remanufacturing services. Sheppard will be fully integrated into the Company’s North America Business Unit, with its technology becoming part of the Company’s Vehicle Dynamics and Controls Business. (From a press release on September 19, 2017)

-The Company signed an agreement to acquire AssetTrackr, a startup fleet management systems (FMS) provider, to strengthen its FMS business in India. Based in Bangalore, AssetTrackr features advanced cloud-based FMS technologies, which complement telematics products recently launched by WABCO India. The acquisition of AssetTrackr will accelerate the development of innovative solutions that improve the performance and safety of commercial vehicle fleets. (From a press release on July 20, 2017)

Business Partnership

-The Company signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement with FAW Jiefang Automotive Company, a major manufacturer of light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks in China. The Company and FAW Jiefang will cooperate to enhance the safety and efficiency of commercial vehicles and fleet operators in China by developing braking systems, chassis components, and other technologies. The Company will provide FAW Jiefang with cost-effective technologies and product development expertise. The Company will also use its expertise to deliver differentiating training and technical support. (From a press release on June 27, 2017)


-The Company signed a new agreement to strengthen its strategic partnership with Dongfeng Liuzhou Motor and extend their strategic supply agreement. The new agreement will focus on advanced technology development. As part of the agreement, the Company will provide Dongfeng Liuzhou with technologies to enhance fuel efficiency and ADAS technologies such as ESCsmart electronic stability control, air disc brakes as well as other active safety systems. (From a press release on December 5, 2017)

-The Company’s subsidiary, WABCO India Limited, launched the ESCsmart electronic stability control system for trucks and buses at its test track in Chennai. Tata Motors was the first OEM to deploy ESCsmart for the Prima range, to help prevent accidents by increasing vehicle stability and safety. Features of ESCsmart system include yaw control and roll stability control. While yaw control provides directional vehicle stability on low-friction surfaces, roll stability control works effectively on high-friction surfaces. ESCsmart functionality builds on the Company’s ABS and Electronic Braking System platforms. ESCsmart was customized to incorporate more safety parameters for operation in India and is the industry's first intelligent ESC system for pneumatic ABS in India. (From a press release on October 4, 2017)

-The Company announced that Daimler Trucks has extended its long-term supply agreement for new heavy-duty automated manual transmission (AMT) control technology to support series production mainly in Europe, Japan, North and South America. The Company’s innovative AMT control technology transforms a manual transmission into an efficient, cost-effective solution that automatically shifts gears and controls clutch actuation for commercial vehicles, enabling drivers to focus on road and traffic conditions and increasing fuel savings through optimized gear shifting. (From a press release on June 26, 2017)

-On March 23, Eicher Trucks & Buses introduced state-of-the-art automated manual transmission (AMT) technology in commercial vehicles based on the OptiDrive technology designed and developed by the Company. OptiDrive is a modular AMT technology for trucks and buses that increases fuel economy while reducing emissions. The new Pro series of AMT enabled vehicles will be manufactured in the Eicher Trucks and Buses facility located in Pithampur, Madhya Pradesh. The technology will initially be available in the complete range of light-, medium- and heavy-duty buses (from 9 to 16 tons) and medium-duty haulage truck applications and will be extended to other applications in the future. (Based on Eicher Trucks & Buses press release on March 23, 2017)

-The Company’s WABCO India subsidiary demonstrated its advanced safety and efficiency technologies at the Tata Prima truck racing event. Each Tata Prima carries the Company’s ABS, a high-performance air management system, high-output modular compressor technology, advanced air actuation systems, an Integrated Pedal Unit and other braking components. In addition, the Company furnishes each Tata Prima race truck with its powerful single-piston air disc brakes, which provides reduced stopping distance and balanced braking. The air disc brake diminishes downtime due to reduced wear and tear compared to conventional drum brakes while ensuring optimum brake adjustment. (From a press release on March 18, 2017)

-The Company extended its long-term agreement with KAMAZ, Russia’s largest maker of heavy-duty trucks, to supply a comprehensive range of advanced technologies, including its modular braking system platform for ABS and electronic braking systems (EBS). This extended agreement expands the Company’s partnership with KAMAZ for the supply of ABS and EBS, automatic traction control, electronic stability control, and electronically controlled air suspensions. The Company’s factory in Russia will produce braking-related components. (From a press release on February 1, 2017)

-The Company announced that for the first time it will supply a major German passenger car maker with its electric Twin Compressor air suspension technology. The Company is expected to equip all of the customer’s premium electric SUVs in global series production starting in late 2018 on the basis of this new long-term supply agreement. The electric Twin Compressor air suspension enables intelligent lowering of the vehicle when driving at high speeds resulting in improved efficiency and when the vehicle is parked to optimize inductive electric charging without a cable connection. (From a press release on January 17, 2017)


-The Company announced that it received the Daimler Supplier Award 2016 in the Partnership category. Daimler Trucks selected the Company for its outstanding commitment in a global system partnership with Daimler Trucks in terms of electronic brake systems, safety features, and powertrain components. (From a press release on March 2, 2017)


-The Company expects its net sales to grow between 10% and 15% for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2018.

R&D Expenditure

(in million USD)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2017 FY ended Dec. 31, 2016 FY ended Dec. 31, 2015
Overall 147.0 135.2 139.5

R&D Structure

-As of December 31, 2017, the Company has approximately 2,663 employees working in research and development.

R&D Facilities

-The Company laid the foundation stone for its new EUR 25 million Engineering Innovation Center in Hanover, Germany. In 2018, approximately 450 employees will work in laboratories, test rooms, and innovative office spaces on the latest technologies and systems for commercial vehicles at the center. The 11,500-square-meter center will work to support the commercial vehicle industry by developing new solutions for connectivity, e-mobility, automated driving, safety, and more efficient trucks, buses and trailers. (From a press release on March 27, 2017)

R&D Activities

-The Company’s subsidiary in India, WABCO India, invested INR 136.6 million on R&D activities during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017. WABCO India started localization of modulator valve solenoids, parts for auxiliary power units, wiring harnesses for ABS applications and sensor extension cables. It has also developed vacuum exhaust brake assembly diaphragms for wider temperature applications and low-pressure switch diaphragm material to meet low-temperature product performance. The R&D team is developing secondary rubber bearings for air supply unit applications, hydraulic ABS test rigs and modular air tanks.

Technological Alliance

-The Company announced that it has made a USD 10 million strategic investment in Nikola Motor Company, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S. Nikola plans to begin testing its zero-emission trucks with commercial vehicle fleets in late 2018 and launch full production in 2021. In addition to the strategic investment, the Company and Nikola signed an agreement to accelerate the development of industry-leading safety technologies specifically designed for electric commercial vehicles, including electronic braking systems, traction and stability control technologies. (From a press release on December 20, 2017)

-The Company announced that it has signed a long-term cooperation agreement with Nexteer Automotive. The Company and Nexteer will collaborate to develop and supply active steering systems for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles using Nexteer’s MagnaSteer actuation technology, a breakthrough product in advanced steering assistance. Through the Company’s agreement to acquire Sheppard, the Company and Nexteer will integrate MagnaSteer's proven technology with Sheppard's suite of power steering gears. Nexteer's MagnaSteer is precision engineered for flexibility as a modular design that fully integrates within Sheppard's gear product line. MangaSteer also scales efficiently for manufacturers of medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses. (From a press release on August 29, 2017)

Product Development

OnSide advanced blind spot detection system for commercial vehicles
-The Company introduced OnSide, an advanced blind spot detection system for commercial trucks and trailers. The radar-based system alerts drivers of the presence of a moving vehicle in a truck’s blind spot and provides a side collision warning to reduce the risk of accidents. The Company made the introduction leading up to the American Trucking Associations’ 2017 Management Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Florida. When used in conjunction with OnLaneASSIST, OnSide has the capability to enable active collision avoidance. OnSide will be available as a retrofit kit in November 2017 and be available through major North American truck manufacturers in the first quarter of 2018. (From a press release on October 20, 2017)

OnLaneASSIST active steering system
-The Company introduced OnLaneASSIST, a pioneering safety technology for heavy- and medium-duty trucks and buses at NACV 2017. OnLaneASSIST is the first application of active steering technology in the Company’s ADAS portfolio. OnLaneASSIST helps improve commercial vehicle safety and driver comfort by avoiding collisions related to unintentional lane departures. It leverages unique active steering technology and a forward-looking camera to provide active lane correction functionality. It also distinguishes between planned lane changes and lane drifting. OnLaneASSIST is the Company’s first ADAS based on Sheppard’s steering technology integrated with Nexteer’s steering automation technology. (From a press release on September 26, 2017)

Smart Trailer FMS fleet management system
-The Company and G7, an award-winning technology leader in China’s fleet logistic industry, announced the launch of Smart Trailer FMS. Smart Trailer FMS is a jointly developed trailer fleet management solution connected with the Company’s Intelligent Trailer Program and is the first such solution for the Chinese commercial vehicle market. The Company is extending into China to further leverage its rich global portfolio of fleet management systems. G7 is dedicated to the implementation of telematics, artificial intelligence, and big data algorithms in the logistics industry. Its real-time solutions enable visibility of vehicle location, speed, routes, fuel consumption, drivers' behavior, and cargo temperature. (From a press release on September 5, 2017)

Technologies shown at 2017 Mid-America Trucking Show
-The Company exhibited its Technology Showcase Trailer for the first time at the 2017 Mid-America Trucking Show in the U.S. The Trailer highlights the Company’s innovations and comprehensive wheel-end solutions including:

  • Air disc brakes (ADB): MAXXUS heavy-duty ADB for trucks and MAXX22T ADB for trailers deliver high-performance braking power fueled by its industry-leading single-piston design. With 25% fewer parts, the Company’s ADB feature superior reliability, faster serviceability and expanded service intervals of up to twice that of traditional drum brakes.
  • OptiFlow AutoTail: Provides fuel savings of up to 4.3% at highway speeds.
  • TRISTOP D Brake Chambers: Features an Internal Breathing Valve which only allows clean, dry air from the braking system to enter the braking chamber.
  • EasyFit Automatic Slack Adjuster: Maintains a constant clearance between brake lining and drum under extreme temperature conditions and provides best-in-class corrosion protection.

(From a press release on March 23, 2017)

OptiFlow AutoTail aerodynamic trailer system
-The Company showcased its OptiFlow AutoTail at 2017 TMC Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition. The OptiFlow AutoTail deploys and retracts tail panels based on driving speed as determined by sensors linked to the Company’s Trailer Anti-Lock Braking Systems. The device automatically deploys at a speed of 45 mph, ensuring its consistent use at speeds that maximize aerodynamic fuel savings. The tail panels automatically retract at a speed of 10 mph. OptiFlow AutoTail delivers fuel savings of up to 4.3% at highway speeds, and reduces CO2 emissions by up to 4.8 tons per trailer per year. The Company also exhibited its OptiFlow Tail at the exhibition which provides identical fuel savings as OptiFlow AutoTail through manual deployment. OptiFlow Tail features a lightweight design that is straightforward to install and retrofit and can be easily upgraded to OptiFlow AutoTail. (From a press release on February 27, 2017)

Capital Expenditure

(in million USD)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2017 FY ended Dec. 31, 2016 FY ended Dec. 31, 2015
Overall 110.5 114.0 101.2

-The Company expects an increase of approximately 6% in capital expenditures for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2018.

Investment outside Belgium

-The Company’s subsidiary in India, WABCO India, has expanded its facility in Pantnagar, Uttarakhand and also begun expansion of its Jamshedpur facility. The Company set up the state-of-the-art facility for its new business in vacuum pumps and automated manual transmissions and also did various capacity augmentations to meet the increased volumes. The Company also commenced supplies of slack adjusters and double diaphragm spring brake actuators, smart suspension controls, fleet management solutions to global markets through other Company sites.

-The Company announced the opening of its new state-of-the-art manufacturing site in North Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. The Company invested USD 20 million in the new facility to meet increasing demand for air disc brakes (ADB), air compressors, and related safety systems. The Company moved from an existing Charleston location to the new, 145,000-square-foot facility, expanding its manufacturing footprint by 60% and increasing employment to 230 workers. For the first time in its history, the Company localized the production of its most advanced ADB for commercial vehicles in the U.S. Its ADB portfolio is sold under the brand names MAXXUS for heavy-duty trucks and MAXX22T for trailers. (From a press release on March 22, 2017)