Home Truck News ZF invests in S.C. plant, boosts PowerLine transmission production - Truck News

ZF invests in S.C. plant, boosts PowerLine transmission production – Truck News

ZF has announced plans to invest US$500 million into its Gray Court, S.C., facility, where it will develop traditional internal combustion engine and e-mobility technologies for commercial vehicles and passenger cars.

The Gray Court investment is in what is ZF’s official North American flex manufacturing facility.

Gray Court plant from above
ZF Gray Court (Photo: ZF)

“As the industries we serve evolve, so too does ZF Gray Court, which is once again at the center of mobility transformation,” ZF Board Member, Stephan von Schuckmann, said. “ZF Gray Court is our North American premier flex manufacturing facility – producing technologies for today and tomorrow, but also for both passenger vehicles as well as commercial vehicles. This site is our first ever to mirror the transition that the industry and the world is now navigating.”

The company also invested US$200 million to a new production line where it will build the PowerLine 8-speed commercial vehicle transmission for three major U.S. manufacturers. The PowerLine’s modular design makes it ideal for mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid applications, bridging the future to electrified commercial vehicles, ZF said in a release.

The first of those transmissions rolled off the line there in late 2023 and work is underway to ramp up production to 200,000 units per year by 2025.

“ZF is a partner of choice for the North American Commercial Vehicle industry. With cutting-edge innovations, like PowerLine, we position ourselves as the leading supplier in North America, a market of extraordinary importance to us and where we hold a great market position for ZF Commercial Vehicle Solutions,” said Prof. Dr. Peter Laier, member of the ZF board of management with global responsibility for the Commercial Vehicle Solutions Division.

ZF PowerLine transmission
ZF PowerLine transmission (Photo: ZF)

“With its modular design, PowerLine can offer mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants, making it a true technology bridge to future mobility and bringing advancements to the important commercial vehicle market, one of the workhorses of the global economy. Even more important is now we are closer to the customer than ever before. Manufacturing in North America for North America is of great importance to ZF and our customers.”

The PowerLine is deigned for Classes 5-8 trucks with gear ratios stepped to increase torque at launch and provide higher top gear for improved fuel economy. Drivers will appreciate improved shift quality, safety, acceleration and overall performance, the company claims.

“PowerLine solidifies Gray Court’s position as ZF’s first North American flex manufacturing facility: we produce conventional and electrified propulsion technologies for both passenger cars and commercial vehicles,” said Prof. Dr. Laier. “Furthermore, with today’s launch, ZF can now provide our North American customers with a highly efficient, high-performance transmission that will help commercial vehicle manufacturers and fleets meet tough CO2 targets while providing excellent total cost of ownership and reliability.”

Nearly 50,000 sq.-ft. of ZF Gray Court is dedicated to PowerLine production. The total facility comes in at nearly 1.7 million sq.-ft.

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