On January 21, 2014 ZF Kama added another chapter to its story in the Russian city of Naberezhnye Chelny: The joint venture between ZF Friedrichshafen AG and Kamaz, Russia’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer, celebrated the official opening of a modern production facility comprising about 20,000 square meters for the Ecomid and Ecosplit commercial vehicle transmissions. It is part of an investment package totaling €90 million which the partners ZF and Kamaz will use to expand capacities at the location by 2016.
“With the expansion of production in Naberezhnye Chelny we laid an important foundation for the future. We are firmly convinced that this key market will develop positively and now we are able to serve this market even better,” said Dr. Stefan Sommer, ZF’s Chief Executive Officer, at the opening ceremony for the new hall. Rustam Minnikhanov, President of the Republic of Tatarstan, Sergey Chemezov, CEO of the Rostec state cooperation, and Vasil Shayhraziev, mayor of the city of Naberezhnye Chelny were among the prominent guests. “In order to improve the competitiveness of our Kamaz trucks, we rely on technology transfer and the collaboration with renowned international automotive suppliers, which certainly includes ZF,” emphasized Sergey Kogogin, General Director at Kamaz. “The investment in the joint venture ZF Kama continues to guarantee our customers modern and high quality products.” Until 2016, ZF and Kamaz will have invested a total of about €90 million in the location.
Founded in 2005, the joint venture, in which ZF has a 51 % share and Kamaz 49 %, currently produces manual ZF transmissions belonging to the Ecosplit (16-speed version) and Ecomid (nine-speed) product families – more than 95 % for Kamaz, but also for other Russian manufacturers and trucks produced locally by importers. The relocation to the new building expands ZF Kama’s plant grounds from previously 4,000 to around 20,000 square meters, approximately by five times. This also significantly increases the volumes produced by the joint venture. In 2016, up to 50,000 Ecosplit and Ecomid transmissions will come off the line in Naberezhnye Chelny per year, compared to previously 20,000 units. At the same time, headcount is to rise from currently 350 to at least 550 employees within the next two years. Therefore, the larger production facility provides ideal prerequisites to attain a considerably higher localization level of ZF transmissions and transmission components in Russia.