Saab Automobile is advancing its business strategy by initiating the establishment of a sub-assembly plant in co-operation with ZF Chassis Systems.
Located in Halvorstorp, 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 Trollhättan 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 organisations 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.
“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.”