ZF Locations in North America

Regional Headquarters in Northville, Michigan

The new Jeep Cherokee Features ZF’s 9-Speed Automatic Transmission.

For almost 100 years, ZF has been a reliable and competent partner for global vehicle manufacturers worldwide. ZF develops and manufactures products that support the mobility of people and goods. We develop the vehicle technology of tomorrow today.

ZF believes that in order to serve customers better, you must be where the customers are. Our decentralized corporate structure permits a high degree of market and customer proximity. Today, all of ZF’s strategic global divisions are represented in North America, with the technical needs of the market handled by the ZF Technical Center in Northville, Michigan.

Local Development Facilities

ZF Technical Center in Northville, Mich.

To better meet the various requirements of the individual markets, ZF is systematically expanding local development activities —ranging from adapting existing products to the local market to developing new products. At ZF’s Technical Center in Northville, more than 100 engineers work on products for the North American market.

ZF in the North American Region

ZF’s North American (NA) region has been—and continues to be—one of the most successful for the company. The NA market generates 18 percent of ZF’s sales, and the region’s sales increased by 48 percent in 2012. This success is a result ZF’s investment in the region. Recently, the company has invested $350 million and provided approximately 1,200 new jobs at its newest NA location in Gray Court, South Carolina, where ZF built its first North American passenger car transmission plant.

ZF now has 43 locations in the region, 29 of which are in the U.S., 11 in Mexico and three in Canada. From these locations close to international customers, ZF supplies them with an ever-broadening range of products. In the automotive sector, this product portfolio comprises of axle drives and complete front and rear axle systems, automatic passenger car transmissions and active and passive safety systems.

ZF’s activities in NA are characterized by early commitment and a continuous expansion of business relations with all manufacturers producing in the NA market, including German- and Asian-based automotive manufacturers. As of 2014, ZF was represented in this highly important vehicle market with a network of 43 locations and regional headquarters in Northville, Michigan. With more than 8,300 employees, NA plans for significant growth and will remain an important region for ZF.

1970s

1979 The foundation of ZF North America in Northbrook, Illinois marked the company’s first subsidiary in the U.S.

1980s

1980 The Lemförder Corporation was founded; production started at a chassis components facility in Brewer, Maine.
1986 Production for Ford pickup truck transmissions starts in Gainesville, Georgia, ZF’s first production location in North America.
1987 A ZF sales office is established in Detroit, Michigan.

1990s

1994 The start of production at the Lemförder Corporation, in Hebron, Kentucky (rubber metal and steering components) and in Duncan, South Carolina (axle systems for BMW Z3) begins.
1996 ZF’s axle assembly plant opens in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
1997 North American activities are integrated into the newly founded ZF Group North American Operations.

2000s

2000 The Technical Center opens in Northville, Michigan.
2005 ZF opens the Regional Headquarters and new Technical Center in Northville, Michigan., consolidating all automotive research and development activities in North America. ZF Lemförder opens facility in Newton, North Carolina.

Further Information