ZF will produce its PowerLine 8-speed automatic transmission at its facility in South Carolina. - Photo: ZF

ZF will produce its PowerLine 8-speed automatic transmission at its facility in South Carolina.

Photo: ZF

ZF’s PowerLine 8-speed automatic transmission production line at the ZF Transmissions Gray Court manufacturing facility in South Carolina has been installed and testing is underway. The new line is part of a $200 million investment in the plant, and production is slated to begin this fall.

“The ZF PowerLine transmission helps commercial vehicle manufacturers and fleets meet tough CO2 targets in a cost-efficient way,” said Christian Feldhaus, director commercial vehicle driveline systems, Americas, ZF Group. This will be the largest production capacity for PowerLine worldwide, he said, serving North American customers.

The new PowerLine project will be able to produce more than 200,000 transmissions per year.

Transmission Technology

The ZF PowerLine transmission is designed to be used in trucks, buses, and other commercial vehicles, up to some vocational Class 8 applications.

It is based on ZF’s 8-speed automatic transmission family. According to ZF, the layout provides a wider-spread gear range with fewer moving parts, reduces friction, and improves fuel efficiency. The fully integrated transmission architecture helps to improve the total cost of ownership of PowerLine-equipped vehicles and boosts vehicle uptime, according to the company.

The PowerLine transmission, available to North American customers since 2021, was introduced in Europe in 2020 and was initially produced at ZF’s global headquarters in Friedrichshafen, Germany. The Gray Court manufacturing facility, which opened in 2012 and has to date produced more than 7.3 million automotive transmissions, is the first in the U.S. to produce the PowerLine transmission. Today, the 1.7-million-square-foot facility employs about 2,700 people.

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