ZF Inaugurates Truck Transmission Plant in Pune

ZF, that develops, produces and services driveline and chassis technologies around the world; expands its business in the growth market of India. The supplier group has now opened up an assembly plant in the industrial center of Pune, planning to produce an annual 25,000 heavy truck transmissions in the medium term.
India has nine times the surface area of Germany and approximately fourteen times as many inhabitants – but only about twice the amount of road kilometers. “The comparative figures illustrate the potential that we see in setting up and expanding an efficient traffic infrastructure in India” says Rolf Lutz, Group Executive of the Commercial Vehicle and Special Driveline Technology division. “We want to make use of this opportunity with our new truck transmission plant.”
ZF has been doing business in India for roughly three decades. Usually, joint ventures were founded with local partners, where ZF had a minority share or licenses were granted to Indian partner companies. ZF CEO Hans–Georg Härter says, “We have adapted our strategy in the past few years to account for the rising significance of India. ZF now increasingly has majority shares or companies operated purely by ZF.”
Currently, the Group has a roughly 29% share in Sona Somic Lemförder Ltd. which produces car suspension components in Delhi, Uttaranchal, and Chennai, a 26% share in ZF Steering Gear (India) Ltd. which produces commercial vehicle steering systems in Pune, and a 50% share in ZF Electronics TVS (India) Pvt. Ltd. which produces electronic components in Madurai.
Three years ago, ZF founded the ZF Lenksysteme India Private Ltd., headquartered in Pune. In March 2010, ZF and Hero Motors Ltd. founded the joint venture ZF Hero Chassis Systems. In doing so, ZF acquired half of Hero Chassis Systems, including the locations in Halol and Talegaon in Maharashtra. A few years ago, ZF also established the ZF India Pvt. Ltd. holding in Pune. ZF Services was set up with service locations in Raipur, Bengaluru, and Pune as well as the assembly plant of ZF’s Off–Road Driveline Technology and Axle Systems division in Pune.
With a 54,000 square feet production area, the recently inaugurated truck transmission plant of the Commercial Vehicle and Special Driveline Technology division is more than twice the size. “Unlike our competitors we can offer the entire product range for commercial vehicle transmissions: Manual transmissions, automated transmissions, and automatic transmissions”, explains Rolf Lutz. “We can supply anything that is demanded by the market – right up to hybrid modules for all ZF transmissions. In doing so, we adapt the existing ZF technology to suit the requirements of the local markets”, says Mr. Lutz.
“In the medium term, our new transmission plant will produce approx. 25,000 ZF–Ecomid 9–speed transmissions annually for heavy trucks up to more than 40 tons weight”, explains Mandeep Bhalla, head of ZF’s commercial vehicle business in India. “Depending on the demand, we can produce other truck transmission types for our current customers Asia Motor Works, Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland, Mahindra Navistar, Volvo–Eicher, and Kamaz Vectra Motors as well as new customers.”
“Transmission housings, gears, and shafts are already being produced in India; in the medium term, a localization level of 80 to 85% is planned”, says Mandeep Bhalla. “And this is where an excellent supplier base, established during our long–standing commitment in India, will be very helpful”.          

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