ZF secures deal with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

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Chrysler World Headquarters

Series production will start in Germany in 2022 and eventually move to Gray Court facility

Less than 90 days after announcing the largest order in their company’s history in a deal with BMW worth billions, ZF has now confirmed their second largest order to build transmissions for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).

ZF will deliver 8-speed-transmissions for rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles with front-longitudinal drive configuration for FCA.  Although series production will kick-off at ZF’s plant in Saarbruecken, Germany in 2022, company spokesperson, Ashley Van Horn told the Upstate Business Journal the automotive supplier will eventually build the transmissions at their facility in Gray Court.

The FCA announcement is more good news for ZF and the Upstate, she said. This is a positive development for ZF and the community, and “we are thankful for the workforce and partnerships in the area that support us.”

To ensure customers achieve their CO2 reduction goals, ZF’s new 8-speed-tranmission will be optimized for electrification and feature a drive for hybrid variants.

FCA Spokesperson, Dale Jewett, said the new agreement will specifically focus on the next generation 8-speed for plug-in hybrid vehicles.

ZF, CEO, Wolf-Henning Scheider, said the manufacturer’s second major order this year confirms the auto-supplier’s strategy to focus on plug-in hybrids as an every-day solution.

The company also plans to start production of the technology at further locations including the U.S. and China, he said.

Currently, ZF Transmissions in Gray Court is the company’s only transmission facility in the U.S.

South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership CEO, Chuck Spangler, linked ZF’s recent announcements with BMW and FCA to the Palmetto State’s robust $27 billion automotive sector.

“This is proof the market is still growing in South Carolina,” he said.  “We are number one in export sales of tires and completed passenger vehicles, and between 2011 and 2018 alone, $8.9 billion in capital investments were announced statewide.”

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