Saab Automobile Signs Innovative Supply Agreement with ZF

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Saab Automobile Signs Innovative Supply Agreement with ZF

Postby Adrian Mitrea » 18 Mar 2011, 11:17

ZF to set up sub-assembly plant close to Saab Automobile factory for supply of advanced front sub-frames and complete rear axles
Greater quality control, reduced transportation and inventory costs
Operations start with launch of all-new successor to Saab 9-3 next year
Trollhättan, Sweden: Saab Automobile is advancing its entrepreneurial business strategy by initiating the establishment of a sub-assembly plant in co-operation with ZF Chassis Systems, a leading international supplier of driveline and chassis systems.

Located in Halvorstorp, just three kilometers from Saab Automobile’s state-of-the-art production facilities at Trollhättan, the plant will be operated on just-in-time, lean production principles and supply front sub-frames and complete rear axle assemblies for installation in the next generation of Saab cars.

Under the agreement, the plant will be run by ZF as a subsidiary company, ZF Sverige AB, and is expected to employ about 50 people. Large sub-frame pressings will be stamped out at the Saab press shop and taken to the ZF Sverige plant where they will be welded together and fitted with chassis mountings. Suspension and brake components will also be fitted to the rear sub-frames to form complete rear axle assemblies. All units will then be shuttled back to the factory for vehicle installation on the production line.

The operation of a satellite plant on the doorstep of the factory will bring ZF and Saab Automobile organizations closer together, facilitating the joint development of components and enabling close quality control processes. Transportation costs will also be reduced and there will be no need to carry large component inventories at the Trollhättan factory.

The Halvorstorp facility utilizes part of premises already leased by Saab Automobile and signifies the company’s new, entrepreneurial way of working with key suppliers. It will commence operations with the introduction of the all-new successor to the Saab 9-3 next year and carry out similar procedures for future Saab models, which will share Saab Automobile’s newly-developed modular vehicle architecture. It is the first time a chassis supplier has set up shop on the doorstep of Saab Automobile’s factory and the first time ZF has operated a facility in Scandinavia.

“This is a significant step in the development of our engineering capabilities,” said Mats Fägerhag, Saab Automobile’s Vice President Vehicle Product Development. “It gives us close access to ZF’s world-class engineering expertise, which will become an integral part of our product development program. It is a win/win situation for us from both a business and an engineering perspective.”

Going forward, the ZF Sverige facility also has the potential to supply components for other Swedish manufacturers. “We are delighted to have reached this agreement with Saab Automobile which will align two world-class businesses,” said Dr. Peter Holdmann, Head of ZF Business Unit Chassis Systems. “We look forward to working closely with Saab Automobile and supporting its growth as an independent premium carmaker.”

Note to Editors:

Saab - or Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget (Swedish Aircraft Company) - was founded in 1937 as an aircraft manufacturer and revealed its first prototype passenger car 10 years later after the formation of the Saab Car Division. In 1990, Saab Automobile AB was created as a separate company, jointly owned by the Saab Scania Group and General Motors, and became a wholly-owned GM subsidiary in 2000. In February 2010, Spyker Cars N.V. of the Netherlands, acquired the company from GM as an independently-run business.

Saab cars reflect the brand’s unique Scandinavian design ethic, which is fused with its aircraft engineering heritage. The company is a global premium car maker with a distinguished history of innovation. It is recognized for its pioneering role in turbocharging, as well as occupant safety and the introduction of flex-fuel technology through Saab BioPower. Saab Automobile AB currently employs approximately 3,800 staff in Sweden, where it operates world-class production and technical development facilities at its headquarters in Trollhättan, 70 km north of Gothenburg.

ZF is a worldwide leading automotive supplier for Driveline and Chassis Technology with 123 production companies in 27 countries. In 2010, the Group achieved a sales figure of EUR 12.9 billion with approximately 64,000 employees. In order to continue to be successful with innovative products, ZF annually invests more than five percent of its sales (2010: approx. EUR 750 million) in research and development.
Adrian Mitrea
Posts: 649
Joined: 26 May 2010, 11:37

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