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  • Writer's pictureNATALIA SOUSA

ZF commits to a $200 Million Investment in the US. Commercial Vehicle Transmission Manufacturing.

As Multiple North American customers having signed multiyear contracts with ZF, the company announced that it would invest $200 million in commercial vehicle transmission manufacturing in North America. US production will begin in 2023 by manufacturing the PowerLine 8-speed automatic transmission at the company's state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Gray Court, SC. The additional production line at ZF Gray Court will result in more than 500 American jobs.

The U.S. home of PowerLine is ZF Transmissions Gray Court, located in Gray Court, South Carolina.

"ZF is a 106-year-old technology leader that has been in the US for many decades, and this Investment in US manufacturing of sustainable driveline technology further proves our commitment to the North American commercial vehicle market. Together with WABCO, ZF offers customers around the world an unrivalled product portfolio that includes driveline, steering, braking, ADAS technologies and telematics, coupled with a full-service network."

Explained Dr Martin Fischer, President of ZF North America and Member of the Board of Management.

ZF PowerLine transmissions are designed for medium-duty commercial vehicle trucks, buses and heavy-duty pickup trucks. The transmission is based on ZF's 8-speed automatic transmission design, which ZF says provides maximum spread with fewer moving parts, reduced friction and less fluid and fuel efficiency potential in the double digits. The design includes highly integrated shift algorithms that promote up to 15% enhanced acceleration performance.

"ZF PowerLine proves equal, but in most cases, higher performance and efficiency than other transmissions with 9 and 10 speeds. It will set the new benchmark for automatic transmission technology in the strategic North American commercial vehicle market. With its modular design, PowerLine is prepared for mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants, making it a true technology bridge to future mobility."

Explained Christian Feldhaus, Director Commercial Vehicle Driveline Technology North America, ZF.

ZF began producing the PowerLine 8-speed automatic transmission at its global headquarters in Friedrichshafen, Germany, at the end of 2020 and made its first supply to North American customers in 2021. In 2023, volume production will begin in the US and will exclusively serve North American market demand.

ZF describes its Gray Court facility as a centre of excellence and the home of PowerLine in North America. Gray Court, South Carolina, just outside of Greenville, is home to BMW, Michelin and other well known global suppliers.

"We started production in 2012 with our 8- and 9-speed automatic transmissions and quickly became a centre of manufacturing excellence. As a result, we've been expanding our manufacturing footprint since our grand opening, with the support of a dedicated workforce and collaborative regional partners, we are looking forward to adding the PowerLine to our facility."

Says Thomas Joos, Vice President of ZFTransmissions Gray Court.

5.5 million automatic transmissions have been produced at the plant since it opened in 2012. The large facility employs 2,200 people with the capacity to produce 1.2 million transmissions per year.

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