ZF Friedrichshafen AG (ZF) has opened a new technical and office facility at Blythe Valley Business Park Solihull in the UK. This 220,000 sq ft technical centre, purpose-built at a cost of £70 million, will accommodate 700 staff, with room for growth, and is located in the heart of the UK’s automotive industry and central to all of the UK’s automotive test bed facilities.
The site features the latest technology and infrastructure facilities for developing advanced solutions for autonomous, electric and connected mobility. The facility design and architecture underpins the groups sustainability strategy for across-the-board carbon neutrality by 2040.
The facility is a multi-disciplinary, multi-divisional location, and its staff will collaborate on the development of technologies and system solutions for active and passive safety systems, including autonomous driving, cyber-security, electronics, braking and steering systems, as well as electrified powertrains and race engineering. The location is also designated as ZF’s global Centre of Competency for servo-motors design. ZF intends to increasing the number of R&D specialists working on these future-oriented areas at the Shirley location.
Alastair McQueen, site lead at the Shirley facility, said at the opening: “In the design of this new facility, we made a specific effort to ensure that we created a future-proof working environment which was going to encourage collaboration and agile working practices – one that would enable and accelerate the development of new technologies in support of ZF’s next-generation mobility goals”.
The new site is also intended to enable greater customer collaboration, from project support to launch support. For example, ZF supplies Mahindra Racing with the e-powertrain and dampers for its Formula E Racecar.