ZF has revealed that over the next four years, the company plans to invest a total of 800 million euros in its plant in Saarbrucken, to help the plant to transition from the production of conventional transmissions to electrified transmissions. The company has said that the plan is to increase the share of hybrid drives in production by ten times, from 5 percent to 50 percent over the next few years. ZF will invest over 3 billion euros globally in the development of new products and its production network for transmission technology.
Commenting on the plan, Wolf-Henning Scheider, CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen said that the comp[any considers the increasing market penetration of advanced hybrid drives to be an opportunity, as hybrid drives are not just a bridge technology, but will serve to facilitate the completion of electric journeys as they can extend ranges between 80 and 100 kilometers. This will help e-mobility to become popular faster.
Several studies have projected that pure electromobility will progress fast. In that case, sales and thus the workforce at the ZF plant in Saarbrucken plant will drop in the long term. Hence, ZF is taking a number of steps to make the Saarbrucken plant more competitive on a global scale. This strategy includes a whole series of IoT projects and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to provide quick and valuable decision-making aids for employees and thus increase efficiency.
“The fact that these effects will only occur in a few years’ time gives us the opportunity to prepare for them today,” said Stephan von Schuckmann, head of ZF’s Car Powertrain Technology Division. “We want to prepare our employees for the mobility of the future with a wide range of training and qualification opportunities and more agile work structures.”
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