â??With our continued focus on innovation and customer focused steering solutions, Nexteer continues to diversify its customer base and secure significant EPS bookings,â?? said Laurent Bresson, president and chief operating officer at Nexteer. â??Rapid adaption of electric power steering is a direct result of automakers striving to meet new fuel economy regulations and EPS enables up to a six percent improvement along with numerous driver assist benefits.â??
The nearly $70 million investment will be spentthroughout 2014 to upgrade and expand Nexteerâ??s development, manufacturing and test capabilities. This includes modernizing the plant infrastructure and investing in high-tech, new manufacturing machinery and equipment.
â??The new EPS contract was sourced to our Saginaw operations for two key reasons; first, we have a cost-competitive operation and footprint,â?? added Bresson. â??Second, EPS systems are very complex components that require advanced manufacturing processes, and the team in Saginaw has demonstrated its ability to achieve high quality levels.â??
Nexteer is the only steering supplier to provide 12-volt EPS across a full range of vehicle segments, sizes and classes, from compact cars to full-size trucks. The companyâ??s 12-volt system was an industry breakthrough and has led to record new business bookings over the past couple years. By the end of 2014, 90 percent of newly produced North American full-size trucks will be equipped with Nexteerâ??s 12-volt EPS systems. Through its in-house electronics design and validation, Nexteer has the ability to personalize its EPS systems to automakersâ?? unique brand DNA.
â??Nexteerâ??s strong relationships and close collaboration with the UAW, community leaders and local and state government have allowed the Saginaw site to remain competitive and be in a position tosecure this new customer contract,â?? said Mike Gannon, chief operating officer of the Saginaw Division, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for Nexteer. â??These contracts run through 2022 and provide long-term security and stability for the Saginaw site.â??
Last October Nexteer announced plans for a $150million investment and new long-term contract with General Motors for the companyâ??s next-generation full-size truck program, which resulted in the retention of more than 1,000 jobs at the Saginaw site.
Nexteer has experienced unprecedented customer demand for its EPS systems and EPS accounted for nearly 60 percent of bookings in 2011. The company booked a record $12 billion of new business bookings in the last 30 months with a majority of those being conquest bookings.
â??There is a culture of high-performance and dedication to excellence at Nexteer,â?? added Bresson. â??The hard work is paying off and these unique skill sets have led to Nexteer designing and manufacturing the industryâ??s most advanced steering and driveline systems.â??