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ZF Group to expand plans for Laurens County

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Staff Report
Published Sept. 7, 2011

The ZF Group, a supplier to the global automotive industry, will expand its operations in Laurens County, the Friedrichshafen, Germany-based company announced today.

The additional $80 million investment is expected to generate 300 more jobs.

“As ZF plays a stronger role in delivering efficiency-enhancing products for North America, the encouraging climate and strong resources in South Carolina help make us more competitive,” said Ludger Reckmann, CEO of ZF Transmissions LLC.

ZF continues construction in Laurens County
ZF continues construction work at its Laurens County plant, which is expected to open in 2012. (Photo/Liz Segrist)
ZF Group will expand operations in Laurens County due to an increase in demand from the automotive market. This expansion is an addition to the manufacturing operations announced in July 2010 in Laurens County. At the time, the company announced a $350 million investment and 900 new jobs.

One of the launch customers for the Laurens County plant is Chrysler, which will use ZF’s new nine-speed transmission in new models.

“We are eager to build our fuel-efficient automatic transmissions in North America. We believe the increasing emphasis on fuel economy and our reputation for producing high-quality, fuel-efficient transmissions provide an unprecedented opportunity to grow our business. We believe this production facility could serve as a key driver of this growth,” Gerhard Wagner, group executive of ZF's Car Driveline Division, said last year when ZF’s investment in Laurens County was announced.

Automotive continues to be a leading sector in South Carolina. The S.C. Department of Commerce has been involved in recruiting more than $400 million in investment and more than 800 jobs in the automotive-related sector since the beginning of the year.

“ZF’s decision to expand on its previous investment is a big win for South Carolina and bolsters our automotive sector. In fact, this is the sixth automotive announcement we’ve had in the past two months,” said Bobby Hitt, who heads the state Department of Commerce.

The state offered a $500,000 grant for site improvements as well as state training funds.

ZF is hiring for positions as they are needed. People interested in job opportunities with the company should contact Human Technologies Inc.

ZF Group is a worldwide automotive supplier for driveline and chassis technology, with 123 production locations in 27 countries. On the ranking list of automotive suppliers, ZF is ranked among the 10 largest automotive suppliers worldwide.

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