ZF to set up airbag plant in Wuhan, its largest in APAC

The business scope covers R&D, production and sales of airbag products; main customers will be local, with direct and indirect export to Southeast Asia, Japan, Korea as well as Europe and America.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 25 Jul 2023 Views icon2463 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

The ZF Group has signed an agreement with the Wuhan Economic Development Zone (WEDZ), in central China’ Hubei province, where ZF will invest in an automotive airbag production and R&D centre, setting up the ZF Wuhan Automotive Safety Systems (Wuhan) Co., Ltd. When it goes into operation, peak annual output is expected to reach RMB 3 billion (about Rs 3,321 crore).

The project covers an area of about 67,000 square metres, with a planned investment of 150 million euros and a total planned workforce of 1,200 employees. The business scope covers R&D, production and sales of airbag products, and the main customers will be local, with direct and indirect export to Southeast Asia, Japan, Korea, as well as Europe and America.

The Wuhan facility will be the largest R&D centre for the ZF Passive Safety Division outside of Shanghai in the Asia-Pacific region, with an additional investment of 30 million euros. While improving local development capabilities, the Wuhan R&D Center will gradually share the R&D work and testing capabilities of R&D centers in other parts of the world to achieve full local-to-local R&D capabilities. It will become the largest prototyping centre for new airbag products in the Asia Pacific region, with projects and products serving major domestic and international OEMs.

“Asia Pacific, mainly China, is dynamic and full of opportunities. The project means a further expansion of ZF’s production and R&D in China, it also reflects ZF's determination and confidence in the Chinese market,” said Stephan von Schuckmann, Member of the Board of Management, ZF Group. “We remain committed to China with continuous investment to advance our localisation strategy and Next Generation Mobility.”

“ZF is playing an increasingly important role in China and in the global automotive industry chain and supply chain. We will continue to invest in China, stay at the forefront of technology and contribute to the sustainable development of China,” said Renee Wang, Executive Vice President, President of ZF China and Operation Asia Pacific, ZF Group. “ZF entered Wuhan in 2011. The establishment of the new base in Wuhan came from the demands of business growth and layout changes. We believe that ZF's new Wuhan plant will help the river city attract more talents, suppliers and industrial chains, and contribute to the clustering auto industry in Wuhan.”

“Backed by the huge Chinese automotive market and Wuhan's talent resources, our Wuhan plant will become the largest airbag production base for ZF Passive Safety Division in the Asia-Pacific region. The new Wuhan plant will be able to serve customers in the region with economy of scale and respond quickly to market demand,” said Dr. Nick Song, Vice President, Passive Safety Systems, Region Asia Pacific, ZF Group. “In the future, with the upgrading of consumption, technological progress and the improvement of national laws and regulations on driving safety standards, automotive occupant safety system products will continue to improve the configuration of a car, adding value and gaining stable growth.”

ZF Group's passive safety division in China mainly produces steering wheel products, airbag products and seat belt products. It also produces pioneering products such as hands-off-detection steering wheel, bag-in-roof module, far-side airbag, active control seat belt, load-limiting buckle and hood-lifter. Sales of ZF Passive Safety Division in 2022 were RMB 6 billion in China.

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