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ZF UK inaugurates modern, state-of-the-art engineering technical centre in the West Midlands

ZF Friedrichshafen AG has opened its new technology and office facility at Blythe Valley Business Park Solihull. This new £70m, 220,000 sq ft, state-of-the art technical centre houses the current 700 staff with room for growth and is located in the heart of the UK's automotive industry and central to all of the UK Test Bed facilities. The site features the latest technology and infrastructure for developing advanced solutions for an autonomous, electric and connected mobility future. In addition, the facility design and architecture underpins the group's sustainability strategy for across-the-board carbon neutrality by 2040.

The facility is a multi-disciplinary, multi-divisional location, collaborating on the development of key technologies and system solutions for Active and Passive Safety Systems: Autonomous Driving, Cyber-Security, Electronics, Braking and Steering Systems as well as Electrified Powertrain solutions and Race Engineering. The location is also designated as ZF's global Centre of Competency for Servo-Motors design. In these future-oriented areas, ZF is increasing the number of R&D specialists at the Shirley location. These technologies are all contributing to solutions that utilize high levels of autonomous driving and electromobility.

Alastair McQueen, Site Lead at Shirley, said at the opening: "In the design of this new facility, we made a specific effort to ensure that we created a future proof working environment which was going to encourage collaboration and Agile working practices – one that would enable and accelerate the development of new technologies in support of ZF's Next generation Mobility Goals".

ZF says its new site will enable greater customer collaboration – from project support to launch support. As an example, ZF supplied Mahindra Racing with the e-powertrain and dampers for their Formula E Racecar and was delighted to host the launch of the team's Series 8 Formula E Racecar later the same day.

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