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ZF Sachs sources Mazda3's clutch from Chinese unit

ABR Staff Writer Published 02 February 2009

ZF Sachs to supply 100,000 clutches to Japan in 2009

German automobile driveline and chassis technology provider ZF Friedrichshafen's powertrain and suspension components subsidiary, ZF Sachs, is exporting clutches for the Mazda3 from its base in China. The components are produced at Shanghai Sachs Powertrain Components Systems, a joint venture between ZF Sachs and Shanghai Automotive Industry.

For the first time, ZF Sachs is exporting powertrain products from its joint venture facility in China. Previously, the clutches for Mazda vehicles came from Europe to Japan.

ZF has said that euro and yen exchange rate issues forced it to shift production to China. During the production shift, powertrain components had to be adapted to Mazda's more powerful engines.

ZF Sachs will supply approximately 100,000 clutches to Japan in 2009. They will be used in the Mazda3 and also in other models.

Additionally, the strategic partnership agreed between China and Japan in May 2008 facilitates the exchange of commodities between both the countries, making it possible for the sourcing of ZF Sachs clutches from China.

Stefan Wagner, head of powertrain systems at ZF Japan and key account manager responsible for customers in Japan and Korea, said: Despite long and good business relations and despite the technical know-how and renowned product quality, we would no longer have been competitive with our supplies from Europe. The search for alternatives was therefore the only thing we could do to realise this project at ZF Sachs.