ZF announced this week that the first PowerLine 8-speed automatic transmissions rolled off the production line in late 2023 at its Gray Court, South Carolina, manufacturing facility. As part of a $200 million investment announced in 2021, ZF is now ramping up production to 200,000 transmissions per year by 2025 to satisfy demand from US commercial vehicle manufacturers, including three US-based customers.
“ZF is a partner of choice for the North American Commercial Vehicle industry. With cutting-edge innovations, like PowerLine, we position ourselves as the leading supplier in North America, a market of extraordinary importance to us and where we hold a great market position for ZF Commercial Vehicle Solutions,” said Prof. Dr. Peter Laier, Member of the ZF Board of Management with global responsibility for the Commercial Vehicle Solutions Division. “With its modular design, PowerLine can offer mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants, making it a true technology bridge to future mobility and bringing advancements to the important commercial vehicle market, one of the workhorses of the global economy. Even more important is now we are closer to the customer than ever before. Manufacturing in North America for North America is of great importance to ZF and our customers.”
ZF PowerLine, designed for class 5 commercial vehicles to class 8 trucks, utilizes ZF’s patented 8-speed gear layout, with gear ratios ideally stepped to deliver increased torque at launch and higher top gear for improved fuel economy. These gear ranges utilize intelligent software to help further improve shift quality, safety, acceleration, and overall performance.
“PowerLine solidifies Gray Court’s position as ZF’s first North American flex manufacturing facility: we produce conventional and electrified propulsion technologies for both passenger cars and commercial vehicles,” said Prof. Dr. Laier. “Furthermore, with today’s launch, ZF can now provide our North American customers with a highly efficient, high performance transmission that will help commercial vehicle manufacturers and fleets meet tough CO2 targets while providing excellent total cost of ownership and reliability.”
PowerLine transmissions began rolling off the Gray Court production lines in Q4 of 2023, and will ramp up quickly with a capacity of more than 200,000 transmissions by 2025.Nearly 50,000-square-feet of ZF’s Gray Court facility is now dedicated to PowerLine production for the North American commercial vehicle customer base.
In specific applications, PowerLine offers fuel savings of up to 10 percent and may promote enhanced acceleration performance compared to transmissions in this vehicle class. Vehicle safety is as always of utmost importance and ZF PowerLine is loaded with features including, Autopark, to help ensure the park lock is engaged even if the driver forgets to select the park position or set the parking brake; Hill Hold, to help prevent rollback when launching from a stop on an incline; and Shift-by-Wire, with integrated stalk shift selector enhancing ergonomics and improving maneuverability.
The 1,687,000-square-foot Gray Court, South Carolina manufacturing facility is the first in the U.S. to produce the PowerLine transmission. To support the launch, the Gray Court site is currently seeking new team members dedicated to PowerLine.
To explore possibilities visit: zf.com/GrayCourt