Within ambitious plans for the future, ZF decided to come to Serbia and invest in a new production site. This was the biggest German investment in Serbia, it initiated the new industrial zone in Pančevo.
The story of ZF Serbia began in 2018 when the foundations of this important location of the youngest and innovation driving ZF’s division E mobility were laid in the greenfield in the City of Pančevo, in Vojvodina, in Serbia.
At that time ZF was already leading the transformation to new mobility and making big steps to advance new technologies and products with a strong conviction that electromobility is the future of the automotive industry, and all strategic decisions were made in order to develop, expand and accelerate this change.
Within ambitious plans for the future, ZF decided to come to Serbia and invest in a new production site, and by the time this modern production facility was officially opened in June 2019, the investment was already increased and plant extension and research and development center were in construction.
The significant investment of EUR 160 million was agreed for the construction of Phases I and II of the Pančevo plant, as an expansion of ZF’s global production network and in the second phase of investment additional funds in the amount of 35.6 million EUR were allocated for the construction and equipping of ZF Serbia engineering center Pančevo.
“Our goal is very clear: We become a world leading company in electrified mobility!”
This was the biggest German investment in Serbia, it initiated the new industrial zone in Pančevo and was a signal to other investors to come to Serbia. ZF understood and recognized the positive change in the investment climate, local efforts that will secure long-term political and economic stability, and also adequate infrastructure and workforce potential, and most important factor- that there is a credible and consistent local and countries government support and understanding that will enable the desired progress for this project.
Today, after just 3 years we can have a real view on the impressive results ZF Serbia has achieved here and state that this location is evident example of strategical thinking, right decisions, great visons and kept promises and joint effort of ZF team members and successful cooperation and also the great friendship between Serbia and Germany, the company ZF and the city of Pančevo, that will continue through new plans and challenges in the future.
Today ZF Serbia Pančevo location is the biggest E-mobility location outside of Germany covering full design and production process from the first customer product to serial production, bringing advantages of all those processes being set at the same time in the same location. Currently, a growing team of highly skilled, trained and educated employees at the 58.000 m2 of production facilities are mainly working on the production of starter generators for Volvo, electric motors for the third generation of hybrid transmissions for BMW, and electric axle drives for Mercedes-Benz. Furthermore, microswitches and gear shift systems are produced at the plant in Pančevo.
The state-of-the-art engineering center consisting of 3.000 m2 of office space and 3,600 m2 of high-tech test area and currently employees 100 engineers. A cross-functional engineering team deals with the development of new products of the Division Electrified Powertrain Technology, the design of electric motors, the development of electric axle drives, as well as software calibration, testing, and validation.
Within the test center, in which approximately EUR 20 million were invested for modern test equipment, there are 16 test rooms for testing and verifying electric motors as well as endurance and performance tests in active and passive operation as well as for validating the overall system. In January 2021, the first tests in this most modern research center in Serbia started, and have been in operation since also supporting the serial production in Pančevo Plant.
“The time to put sustainable mobility at the heart of everything we do is now”
ZF Serbia Pancevo plant together with the center for research and development currently employs close to 1000 people.
We as the new E Division are convinced, that the time to put sustainable mobility at the heart of everything we do is now. We contribute by electrifying mobility globally, with ZF technology inside.
Our goal is very clear: We become a world leading company in electrified mobility!
ZF is a global technology company and supplies systems for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and industrial technology, enabling the next generation of mobility.
With its comprehensive technology portfolio, the company offers integrated solutions for established vehicle manufacturers, mobility providers and start-up companies in the fields of transportation and mobility. ZF continually enhances its systems in the areas of digital connectivity and automation in order to allow vehicles to see, think and act.
The company has a global workforce of 153,500 with 271 locations in 42 countries. In 2020, ZF achieved sales of €32.6 billion. Founded in 1915, ZF has evolved from a supplier specializing in aviation technology to a global mobility technology company. With the acquisition of WABCO, the company significantly increased its competence, especially in the technology field for heavy commercial vehicles, buses and trailers. Last year, ZF spent more than seven percent of its sales on research and development.
With its innovative portfolio, ZF is focusing on the “Next Generation Mobility” for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and industrial applications. Group shareholders include the Zeppelin Foundation, administered by the City of Friedrichshafen, holding 93.8 percent of shares, and the Dr. Jürgen and Irmgard Ulderup Foundation, Lemförde, with 6.2 percent.