ZF Friedrichshafen AG was honored as a 2014 Automotive News PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers’ Contribution to Excellence) Award winner in the product category for its 9-speed automatic transmission (9HP) at an awards ceremony in Detroit, Michigan. 

Image converted using ifftoanyWith its compact design and increased fuel savings, the 9HP is an industry first. The PACE Awards honor superior innovation, technological advancement and business performance among automotive suppliers. Since the unveiling of the 9HP at the 2011 North American International Auto Show, ZF’s award-winning transmission has garnered the attention of the industry and the media. With Chrysler and Jaguar Land Rover as the 9HP’s first customers in 2013, the 9HP was subsequently nominated for Automotive News’ PACE Award.

“It is truly an honor to have our 9-speed automatic transmission recognized as one of the industry’s top innovations,” said ZF CEO Stefan Sommer. “We congratulate the entire development team for their commitment to creating a technology that increases driving performance, efficiency and reliability. We believe this is a groundbreaking product that is already changing the automotive industry.”

As part of the judging process, the company hosted a site visit at ZF Transmissions Gray Court (ZFTG), the exclusive production location of the 9HP, in Gray Court, S.C. ZF has invested $430 million in the new state-of-the-art facility, which was officially opened last year as ZF’s first plant for automatic passenger car transmissions in the US. About 1.2 million transmissions are expected to be produced at ZFTG annually; this includes 800,000 9HPs and 400,000 8-speed automatic transmissions.

The 9HP is specially designed for passenger cars with front-transverse engines. Compared to today’s standard 6-speed automatic transmission, it reduces fuel consumption by up to 16 percent. It is also designed according to the ZF modular principle: the basic transmission can be modified depending on customer requirements and installation space available. The first applications of the 9HP were in the Jeep Cherokee and the Range Rover Evoque; the 2015 Chrysler 200 and additional vehicles are set to feature the transmission in the near feature. 


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