Auto parts supplier ZF Group of Germany announced today that it plans to bring 900 new jobs to Laurens County over the next five years. The company plans to invest approximately $350 million in a new manufacturing facility in Owens Industrial Park to produce fuel-efficient automatic transmissions for the passenger car and light truck market. The company already has 150 employees in Duncan building axle systems for BMW.
Spokesman for the company’s North American operations Bryan Johnson says his company has 123 production locations in 27 countries. In 2009, the ZF Group achieved sales of approximately 9.4 billion € with 60,000 employees.
Hiring is anticipated to begin in early 2012 for skilled positions. The state’s worker training program, readySC™, will assist in the hiring process. Information will be posted at www.sctechjobs.com as jobs become available.
The announcement was made by Governor Mark Sanford in Germany following a meeting at ZF’s corporate headquarters in Friedrichshafen, Germany that included members of ZF’s Board of Management and officials from the South Carolina Department of Commerce. Sanford was excited by the news:
ZF’s decision to make a jobs and capital investment of this magnitude, indeed the largest single infusion of jobs in the history of Laurens County, is an incredible compliment to our state. This announcement represents not only enormously good news for our state’s economy, but also is a telling dividend from our continued efforts to better the business climate in South Carolina. Our meeting with ZF today was productive and offered a real glimpse of what is headed to our state with ZF’s new operations, and I’d join with South Carolinians in thanking ZF for their investment. We are proud to count ZF among a growing and distinguished list of companies that have chosen to call South Carolina home.
Dr. Gerhard Wagner, Group Executive of ZF’s Car Driveline Division:
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.