“Rapid adaptation of electric power steering is a direct result of automakers striving to meet new fuel economy regulations, and EPS enables up to a 6% improvement along with numerous driver-assist benefits,” says Laurent Bresson, president and COO of Nexteer Automotive, a company that is specifically focused on electric and hydraulic steering systems, steering columns and driveline products. And as another North American OEM has let a contract to Nexteer that will run through 2022, the company has announced it is investing approximately $70-million and adding some 325 new jobs at its facility in Saginaw, Michigan.
The contract is for the company’s 12-volt rack electric power steering systems.
The investment will be spent throughout 2014 to expand Nexteer Saginaw’s development, manufacturing and testing capabilities.
As Nexteer has manufacturing facilities around the world, one might well wonder: Why Saginaw?
Bresson: “The new ESP contract was sourced to our Saginaw operations for two key reasons: first, we have a cost-competitive operation and footprint. 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.”
The Nexteer 12-volt EPS system is used for applications ranging from compact cars to full-size light-duty trucks.