Wabco Holdings held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 24 to officially open its new Americas headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The Brussels, Belgium-based company is a global supplier of braking control systems and other advanced safety and connectivity solutions for commercial vehicles.
Not just home base for Wabco’s North American and South American operations, the facility represents a $20 million investment aimed at supporting the development of autonomous, connected, and electric commercial vehicles.
The 102,000-square-foot facility includes office space, a vehicle test lab, a training center and a “customer experience center,” similar to those recently opened by several truck OEMs at their U.S. headquarters.
The building, sited some 30 miles north of Detroit, brings Wabco Americas’ engineering, quality, sales, marketing, and corporate functions together in one location. Approximately 200 employees, including those who relocated from the company’s previous locations in nearby Rochester Hills and Troy, Michigan, work in the building, and Wabco plans to add another 90 jobs over the next three years.
On hand to host the ceremony were Wabco Chairman and CEO Jacques Esculier and Jon Morrison, president of Wabco Americas. Guests included elected officials and business leaders from the area.
“We’re excited to be in this beautiful new facility, which reflects Wabco’s leadership in technologies that advance the safety, efficiency and connectivity of commercial vehicles in this region,” Morrison said at the event. “The new headquarters creates an environment that is intentionally open and transparent to foster collaboration, inspire innovation, and strengthen global connectivity. Not only is this a great place for our employees to come and work every day, but it also acts as a catalyst for developing and advancing innovation to better serve our customers.”
He noted that the “technology-enabled facility” represents a significant investment and demonstrates Wabco’s “increased commitment to mobilizing vehicle intelligence in the Americas region by advancing innovations that support the development of autonomous, connected and electric [ACE] commercial vehicles.”
The new facility boasts augmented reality, enabling users to experience situations and learn practically by offering 3-D views of Wabco technologies, the company said. According to Wabco, this “dynamic tool helps deliver simplified and accurate training and interaction, allowing users to examine internal components and understand systems in more detail.”
Wabco has significantly expanded since forming its Americas Regional organization. Over the past two years alone, the company said it has tripled its workforce as it acquired three high-tech manufacturing businesses: Mico Inc., Laydon Composites Ltd., R.H. Sheppard Co. Inc., and completed its buyout of Meritor Wabco Vehicle Control Systems, the former 50-50 joint venture it conducted with Meritor Inc.
In addition to acquisitions, Wabco’s recent growth in North America includes the March 2017 opening of a new manufacturing facility in Charleston, South Carolina.
Wabco noted its Americas workforce comprises more than 2,000 team members at 11 locations, including nine in North America, as well as manufacturing sites in Mexico and Brazil.