TRW’s multi-million pound extension to its site at Rainton Bridge, Houghton le Spring, near Sunderland, officially opened today, after being completed a month ahead of schedule.
This TRW business became part of the ZF Group, headquartered in Germany, earlier this year.
The new space will be used for the assembly of electric motors used in the company’s new electric steering column system, designed to cut emissions, save fuel and produce a more economical, environmentally-friendly vehicle.
The first motors to be built in the extension are for a new contract with a major North American vehicle manufacturer, which begins production early in 2017.
The existing Sunderland plant is also producing two new belt-drive steering products for other car manufacturers.
The company said first 30 new employees will join the company in the next few months as part of its ongoing recruitment drive.
The extension at Rainton Bridge has doubled the floor space at the plant to meet demand from international customers. The investment in the extension was assisted by £1.75m from the Regional Growth Fund and support from Sunderland City Council.
ZF TRW exports 100 per cent of its products made in Sunderland, with key markets including Europe and China.
ZF TRW Sunderland plant manager, Tim Jayes, said: “The new building will handle production for this new piece of business initially as well as future business awards.
“The nature of our products means that when we build new motors, they go to the design and test centre for extensive testing, and then they are fitted to prototype vehicles for exhaustive road testing. The new production line can be in place some 12 months before we start production for saleable cars.
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