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ZF’s bold move comes despite economy struggles

ZF Transmissions will invest $200 million and add 500 jobs to its Gray Court plant.

Despite economic uncertainty worldwide brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, ZF Transmission announced two weeks ago that it was going forward with a $200 million plant expansion to its Gray Court facility.

The expansion is expected to deliver 500 more jobs to Laurens County by 2023 as ZF begins production of its PowerLine eight-speed automatic transmission here.

“ZF has not been immune to the adversity of the pandemic, however our future-ready technology is in high-demand – like PowerLine, which provides passenger car comfort, unparalleled performance, advanced safety and double-digit fuel savings potential to commercial vehicle customers,” ZF Transmissions spokesperson Ashley Van Horn said via email. “We are expanding production at ZF Transmissions Gray Court to meet the needs of North American customers.”

ZF’s Gray Court plants supplies automatic transmissions to automakers Honda, Jaguar, Stellantis (the parent company of Fiat and Chrysler) and Land Rover. ZF is a German-owned company with long-time connections to BMW, which produces its Z-line of sport utility vehicles in nearby Greer.

That I-85 corridor, which houses BMW, Michelin and Clemson University’s I-Car engineering center, has created an automotive hotbed for the Upstate, which ZF is counting on as it expands it workforce.

“The Upstate is ripe with talent and manufacturing expertise, and together with our collaborative regional partners and technical schools, it’s only natural to expand our manufacturing here at our North American home of transmission manufacturing,” Van Horn said.


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