ZF Transmissions Gray Court

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ZF Transmissions Gray Court, located in South Carolina, is the production site for the 8-and 9-speed automatic transmissions for passenger cars.

For those who have any interest in the automotive industry and its latest news, then it’s safe to say you’ve probably heard of ZF’s latest technology, the 9-speed automatic transmission (9 HP) for passenger cars, the revolutionary transmission, which was first revealed at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. And while most of the attention has been on the transmission, the focus has also shifted to the “home” of the 9HP: Gray Court, S.C., where ZF is set to start the production of the 9- and the 8-speed automatic transmissions this summer.

How to build a plant

The new plant will staff more than 1,200 employees.

ZF Transmission Gray Court (ZFTG), as the facility is officially named, is the latest and largest — spanning approximately 975,000 square feet — ZF production plant in the U.S., and after expenditures of over $400 million, it is the biggest investment to date. In its initial stages, the plant will staff some 1,200 employees, who will support the production of about 800,000 transmissions a year; both numbers are expected to grow in the future.

The new plant serves as a testimony of ZF’s commitment to the North American region, and more specifically, to the U.S. automotive industry and its workforce. ZF choose the site of the plant near the city of Greenville, S.C. because, in the recent years, it has become a growing hub for automotive business; BMW, Bosch and Michelin are among those companies that have production facilities in the area.

After the announcement of ZF’s 9-speed automatic transmission (9HP) at the 2011 North American International Auto Show, attention has since shifted from the innovative technology to its production and “home”: Gray Court, S.C., where ZF began manufacturing the 8- and the 9-speed automatic transmissions in early summer of 2013. ZF Transmissions Gray Court, LLC (ZFTG), as the facility is officially named, is the newest and largest—spanning 950,000 square feet—ZF production plant in the U.S. After initial expenditures of over $385 million, it is also the biggest investment in the region. The facility was originally set to staff some 1,200 employees to support the production of around 800,000 transmissions a year. However, at the grand opening of the plant this past summer, those figures changed.

On July 26, 2013, ZF celebrated the official Grand Opening of ZFTG, and the special event was marked by the presence of ZF board member and employees, government officials—from the U.S. and Germany—and media. At the ceremony, Dr. Stefan Sommer, ZF’s CEO, announced an expansion of the facility, bringing the total investment to approximately $600 million—and making it the company’s largest investment in its almost century-long history.

Once the expansion is completed by 2016, a total of around 1.4 million square feet will be available so that customers can be adequately served; consequently, the number of employees is expected to increase from 1,200 to 1,650.

A Testament to the Region

ZFTG serves as a testimony of ZF’s commitment to the North American region, and more specifically, to the U.S. automotive industry and its workforce. ZF choose the site of the plant near the city of Greenville, S.C. because, in the recent years, it has become a growing hub for automotive business; BMW, Bosch and Michelin are among those companies that have production facilities in the area.

While ZFTG represents only one of ZF’s 125 facilities worldwide, it is more than that: it is a place that is re-envisioning automotive possibilities and renewing faith in a once-dwindling economy. It is a symbol of the company’s innovation and growth, its successful past and its limitless future. ZFTG is a continuation of the ZF’s almost century-old legacy.

Facts and Figures

Address: 2846 North Old Laurens Road

Gray Court, SC 29645

Beginning of construction: February 2011

Total investment: $600 million (€ 470 million)

Current square feet: 950,000 sq. ft.

+ Expansion: 1,400,000 sq. ft.

Employees by 2016: 1,650

Volumes

8HP: 400,000 transmissions

9HP: 800,000 transmissions

Announced customers: Land Rover, Chrysler

Product Brand Websites

ZF Worldwide