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German Auto Supplier ZF Announces Expansion, 800 New Jobs

German automotive supplier ZF is giving Michigan a strong vote of confidence with plans to grow its product offerings and create 800 new jobs. The news was announced during a press conference with company CEO Stefan Sommer at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) on Tuesday.

Sommer said the new jobs come at a time when ZF is increasingly moving from a traditional brake and chassis supplier into an autonomous tech innovator.

Noting that the automotive industry is in the midst of a revolution in product, processes and production, Sommer highlighted ZF’s work in artificial intelligence through a joint venture with NVDIA, as well as the company’s innovative concept vehicle, Oasis.

The two-seat electric vehicle was created as part of a partnership with Rinspeed, a Swiss design and engineering firm. Oasis includes a twin-motor battery and ZF’s patented intelligent rolling chassis. Oasis is also equipped with an electro-mechanical steering system and dual control arm independent suspension on the front axle, which provides the vehicle with a 75-degree turning radius, ideal for maneuvering in tight spaces.

Guided by the principal of “See. Think. Act.,” Sommer said ZF is “well prepared to master digitization of the future” while adding that several disruptive factors will shape the future of ZF in the next decade, including autonomous driving, and increased efficiency and safety regulations.