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ZF opens passenger car transmission plant in the US

ZF Friedrichshafen AG has opened a new plant for automatic passenger car transmissions in the United States. Located in South Carolina, ZF Transmissions Gray Court, LLC is the manufacturing site of the 8-speed automatic transmission, which is already successful in the market, as well as the world’s first 9-speed automatic transmission. “We are honoured to present the U.S. home of the automatic transmission,” said Dr Stefan Sommer, Chief Executive Officer, ZF, at the official plant opening. “This is an important step toward bridging the distance to our customers and having an even better opportunity of accessing North America, an important foreign market for us. “About 1.2 million transmissions are expected to be produced at this plant annually; this includes 400,000 8-speed and 800,000 9-speed automatic transmissions.
The new plant expands the existing capacities at the Saarbrücken location to produce 8-speed automatic transmissions. So far, ZF has invested around €300 million in building the new location, which is around 130 km north west of Columbia, the capital of South Carolina. A total of about €450 million is planned for investment into the new location.The 90,000-square-metre facility, corresponding to an area of almost 13 soccer pitches, will once again become a construction site at the start of production because of the strong demand for ZF’s automatic transmissions.
At the grand opening, Dr Sommer announced, “We will be increasing the existing footprint by almost half.”
By 2016, a total of around 130 000 square metres will be available so customers can be adequately served; consequently, the number of employees is expected to increase from 1,200 to 1,650.

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