ZF Group to Build R&D Center in MexicoBy Sofía Garduño | Fri, 05/13/2022 - 16:54
ZF Group started building a new R&D center in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, for the development and manufacture of electronic products, advanced driving assistance systems and other technologies that will lead the company toward autonomous driving and electrification, as reported by Nuevo Leon’s government. The project will be essential to develop the new generation of mobility projects for the company’s five global divisions.
“Launching a greenfield site is a rare professional opportunity and I am grateful to be a part of the team. Achieving this milestone is a direct result of our highly dedicated local leadership team, who came together from very different experiences and backgrounds,” said Martin Fischer, Americas President, ZF Group.
ZF Group said that the new center will start production in 2023. ZF is investing over US$300 million in the 8,000 m2 facility, which aims to generate more than 150 direct jobs on R&D, IT, production and administration projects. “It is fantastic to welcome our new employees, and meet with the local government leadership to celebrate this key moment,” said Fischer.
Nuevo Leon is breaking records in job creation, according to Ivan Rivas, Nuevo Leon’s Minister of Economy. “The companies that come to Nuevo Leon increasingly require more trained human capital. We continue to work in industry and manufacturing but we are looking for projects in information technology and artificial intelligence,” said Rivas during the event.
ZF currently has 16 plants across the country, employing over 250,000 people. In Mexico, the group manufactures airbags, seatbelts and electric suspension, among other products. ZF aims to achieve zero emissions. Thus, it is sourcing green power and has joined the World Economic Forum’s Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders. The company is also a founding member of the First Movers Coalition, which aims to strengthen low-emission technologies.
ZF is also working to reduce vehicle collisions in part through its Collision Mitigation System (CMS) for city buses. This system will be firstly implemented in the EU. The implementation of this technology in Mexico would help to decrease traffic accident deaths, something essential for the country as it is the seventh in deaths caused by automotive accidents in the world and the third in Latin America. The country sees about 22 deaths per day among those aged between 15 and 29 years old. Between Jan. 1, 2021 and Nov. 30, 2021 around 13,512 people lost their lives in a traffic accident in Mexico, the highest number of deaths reported since 2015, as reported by MBN.
ZF’s investment is part of the US$2 billion that Nuevo Leon has received since the start of Governor Samuel García’s term, said Ríos. “In Nuevo Leon, 24 corporate projects have taken place, which will generate around 18,000 new jobs,” he added. Ternium, for example, announced in Feb. 2022, a US$1 billion investment in its plant in Pesqueria, Nuevo Leon. This investment will benefit its automotive, renewable energy, construction, agriculture and home appliance industries.