Wabco, a Tier One manufacturer of various commercial vehicle parts and systems, plans to expand its North American manufacturing presence with a new, $17-million plant in Charleston, S.C., producing air disc brakes, air compressors, and related systems. The project with address rising demand for such products from the region’s truck and trailer OEMs and aftermarket suppliers.
In addition, the decision to build a new production center will localize Wabco’s air disc brake production in the U.S., and bring it together with the ongoing production of air compressors, actuators, and other braking system components in the Charleston area.
Wabco started to manufacture air compressors in South Carolina in 1996.
"In 2014, we have experienced significant growth in North America and are excited to expand our manufacturing capabilities in the United States to better serve our local customers," stated the company’s regional president, Nik Varty. "For the first time, we will localize the production of our advanced air disc brakes which will allow us to continue to capitalize on the dynamic growth opportunities of the North American market place."
The new, 145,000-sq.ft. plant will be in operation by the end of this year, according to Wabco, and its existing plant in the area will be relocated there by early 2016.
The manufacturer predicted the new investment would result in 50 new jobs and retain approximately 175 current employees.
In addition, Wabco announced a new long-term supply agreement with Hendrickson Trailer Commercial Vehicle Systems for an advanced air disc brake (ADB) system for trailers in North America.
Wabco will launch production of its MAXX22T™ system for trailers, calling it “the most optimized ADB system for trailer applications in the region.
The MAXX22T system will combine Wabco's braking technologies with Hendrickson's medium- and heavy-duty suspension and axle systems.