ZF announces three-digit million investment in Saarbrücken plant with the goal of converting the facility to a production center for pure electric drives. As early as 2023, new production lines will be installed, which will start series production in 2024. The announcement from ZF doesn’t specify if products for commercial vehicles (and eventually which ones) are to be involved.
The ZF location in Saarbrücken (Germany) is one of the group’s largest plants worldwide with around 9,000 employees.
Pure electric drive systems to be produced in Saarbrücken
“Together with its employees and the state government, ZF has put together a comprehensive package of measures to secure the future with the aim of establishing purely electric drive systems in Saarland“, ZF states. The package consists of three main pillars: “high investments by the group (in the three-digit million range), contributions by employees to a future fund, and active support from the Saarland state government through funding measures”
With the start of production of the new 8-speed automatic transmission, the last hybridisation stage before the pure E-drive, the plant is already well utilised in the medium term due to the high demand, ZF stresses. In parallel, the production of drive technology for pure e-vehicles is now being prepared. As mentioned already above, as early as 2023, new production lines will be installed for this purpose, which will start series production in 2024.
The agreement sustainably strengthens Saarbrücken in its new role as a lead location for electric drive systems. In future, responsibility for the worldwide industrialisation of electric drive systems will be assumed from here, ZF underlines.
Electrive notes that “The ZF E-Mobility division has its headquarters in Schweinfurt. A new building for administration, sales and research and development was opened there in summer 2019. A development at the Saarbrücken location is not mentioned in the announcement – so that will probably continue to take place in Schweinfurt”.
ZF to convert Saarbrücken plant to fully electric drives production
Minister President Anke Rehlinger states: “Companies, employees and the state government are setting out together on the road to the automotive future. The path we are taking together in Saarbrücken is a shining example of how structural change can be actively shaped when companies think ahead and have partners who are capable of action. One of the largest industrial employers in Saarland is securing its location here today and with it thousands of jobs. It is a very important signal of confidence in these times.”
“The example of Saarbrücken shows how successfully transformation can be orchestrated in close cooperation between the company, employees and state politics,” says Stephan von Schuckmann, member of the ZF Board of Management responsible for e-mobility. “Only in this way will we be able to actively shape the changes in value creation and employment and position our locations for the future.
Mario Kläs, chairman of the works council at the Saarbrücken site, adds: “We have been fighting for a long time for realizing future products for the site. With these new product settlements, the foundation has been laid for the next generation of mobility at the Saarbrücken site. Of course, more products of the future will have to be established in order to compensate for the future decline in 8-speed automatic transmissions and thus secure employment. Now, however, the transformation is becoming visible and soon tangible for our colleagues. Things are moving at ZF’s largest transmission location. And that is a good thing.