ZF to build BMW’s new hybrid eight-speed automatic transmission in company’s largest ever single order

April 9, 2019

ZF to build BMW's new hybrid eight-speed automatic transmission in company's largest ever single order

The enhanced eight-speed automatic transmission will start production at ZF’s Saarbrücken plant in 2022 (Courtesy ZF Friedrichshafen AG)


ZF Friedrichshafen AG, headquartered in Friedrichshafen, Germany, has received a double digit billion euro order from BMW AG for its enhanced eight-speed automatic transmission, said to be the largest ever single order in the company’s history. The new transmission will enter series production in 2022 at ZF’s plant in Saarbrücken, the lead production facility for ZF’s automatic passenger car transmissions, with production for further customers to be undertaken at its locations in Gray Court, USA, and Shanghai, China.

“This business win is the largest single order in the history of ZF,” stated Wolf-Henning Scheider, ZF’s CEO. “When it comes to the electrification of passenger cars, in addition to pure electric drives, it confirms our strategy to focus on plug-in hybrids as an everyday solution and to develop attractive products in these areas.”

The latest upgraded version of ZF’s eight-speed transmission, a technology which has been in production since 2009, has been optimised by integrating an electric drive. The transmission can be installed in almost all vehicle classes with a front-longitudinal drive configuration.

“We have consistently optimised our eight-speed automatic transmission according to future e-mobility requirements,” stated Michael Hankel, member of the ZF Board of Management responsible for transmission technology and e-mobility. “With a modular construction using various starting elements, the new generation hybrid transmission offers a flexible solution which is suitable for all passenger cars – both conventional as well as electric.”

The order from BMW is expected to run for a period of several years. “The order was based on the fact that the customer sees our technology as a sustainable drive solution for its vehicles which supports them in achieving CO2 targets. In addition, the possibility to easily change from one transmission variant to another allows our customer the flexibility to react to market requirements.”

“Alongside the significant CO2 savings potential, this high degree of flexibility is resulting in strong interest in our transmission. We are in very promising discussions with other customers,” added Hankel.


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