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ZF wins major order for new automatic transmission

ZF Friedrichshafen AG has received a double-digit billion-euro order from BMW AG for its enhanced 8-speed automatic transmission.

The latest version of ZF’s 8-speed transmission has been improved by integrating an electric drive. This also includes a hybrid variant.

The new transmission generation will start series production in 2022 at ZF’s plant in Saarbrücken, the lead production facility for ZF’s automatic passenger car transmissions.

The company also plans to start production of the technology at further locations including the USA and China in the future.

“This business win is the largest single order in the history of ZF,” said ZF’s CEO Wolf-Henning Scheider.

“When it comes to the electrification of passenger cars, in addition to pure electric drives, it confirms our strategy to focus on plug-in hybrids as an every-day solution and to develop attractive products in these areas.”

The new 8-speed automatic transmission can be installed in almost all vehicle classes with a front-longitudinal drive configuration.

A technical innovation of the upgraded transmission is the integration of the electric drive.

“We have consistently optimized our 8-speed automatic transmission according to future e-mobility requirements,” explained Michael Hankel, member of the ZF Board of Management responsible for transmission technology and e-mobility.

“With a modular construction using various starting elements, the new generation hybrid transmission offers a flexible solution which is suitable for all passenger cars – both conventional as well as electric.”

Hankel continued: “The order was based on the fact that the customer sees our technology as a sustainable drive solution for its vehicles which supports them in achieving CO2 targets.

“In addition, the possibility to easily change from one transmission variant to another allows our customer the flexibility to react to market requirements.

“Alongside the significant CO2 savings potential, this high degree of flexibility is resulting in strong interest in our transmission. We are in very promising discussions with other customers.”