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ZF opens new factories in India and the USA

ZF’s Commercial Vehicle Solutions (CVS) division is leveraging global growth opportunities brought by increasing trends towards decarbonizing commercial vehicles.

Yesterday, the division opened a plant in Oragadam, India (Tamil Nadu Province), where electric components will also be produced for the Indian and Asian markets.

A week earlier, ZF’s US plant in Gray Court started local production of the efficient and hybrid-capable PowerLine transmission for light commercial vehicles for the North American market. With both locations, the CVS division is continuing its global growth and sustainability strategy.

Professor Dr Peter Laier, member of the ZF board responsible for the Commercial Vehicle Solutions division and the production function, says: “With our plant in Oragadam, we are expanding our global production network that will enable us to meet the expected growing demand of Indian and Asian manufacturers with local productio.

“In this production network, our European and German plants, in addition to serving the local European market, play an important role as lead plants for production technology know-how globally.

“These latest plant development projects therefore strengthen our position as a leading global systems supplier of commercial vehicle technology.”

Decarbonization of commercial vehicle drives – worldwide

Oragadam is the 19th ZF plant to be located on the Indian subcontinent, the tenth in the Tamil Nadu region.

In addition to chassis components, electric components such as the air compressor for light and medium-duty commercial vehicles will soon be produced in the facility, which spans more than 7,000 square meters.

The plant size will be expanded to 15,300 square meters in a second phase of construction. The total investment until 2032 will amount to EUR 200 million.

Just last week, the ZF CVS division expanded its North American plant in Gray Court (USA).

After Friedrichshafen, it is the second production location of the hybrid-capable commercial vehicle transmission PowerLine – now for the North American market. The ramp-up plans already envisage up to 200,000 units next year.

Growth and sustainability strategy

With the expansion of its global production capacity, the ZF CVS division, which is one of the largest suppliers of commercial vehicle systems technology worldwide, is following a long-term growth and sustainability strategy, meeting demand in important market regions locally (“local-for-local”).

Expanding in this way also means ZF will be able to acquire orders at competitive costs – without customs duties and transport costs – such as in India.

The German facilities also benefit from this strategy because they will supply more components for the systems being produced in ZF’s global locations.

For example, mechatronics modules from Saarbrücken and electronic control units from Auerbach are supplying Gray Court for PowerLine.

And the ZF CVS plant in Friedrichshafen was also recently designated as the leading location for electromobility technologies for commercial vehicle drives in ZF’s latest strategic vision.

Increasing production capacity in this way also brings sustainability benefits. In general, production in the country saves emissions that would otherwise be caused by transporting complete systems from remote locations.

ZF also plans to operate the new location in India with 100 percent renewable energy. The facility has a solar plant that can generate up to 450 kWp, with further energy demand supplemented by solar and wind energy supplied under long-term contracts.

The Oragadam plant is also equipped with a system to collect and reuse rainwater and is expected to be water neutral by 2025.

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