ZF, Wolfspeed chip factory in Germany will help boost EV transition

wolf speed CEO Greg Lowe Saarland The site is wolf speed Existing flagship factory in upstate New York.

Wolfspeed chose Germany after considering several European sites, he said. The company was drawn to Germany’s large manufacturing workforce. that It is expected to contribute to improving the profitability of the factory.

“With the transition of ZF towards In e-mobility, many of the technicians currently working on internal combustion engines will be available to us. “We just need to train them how to work with semiconductor equipment.”

in the meantime wolf speed Mr. Lowe is concerned about the current high energy prices in Germany, but Mr. Lowe said: renewable energy sources Wafer fabs will drop prices before they start production.

global transition to EVs And the race to produce them cheaper forced Legacy car manufacturer Like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen, they rethink and sometimes reinvent decades-old manufacturing methods. VW warned last month that 2023 would remain volatile and tough due to chip crunch, but expected supply to improve.

About 786,000 people are employed in Germany. car manufacturer Shift to component suppliers EVs It carries a wide range of economic, social and political risks.

ZF and wolf speed The announcement is particularly timely Saarlandemploys about 44,000 people in more than 10 automotive suppliers to manufacture components such as automatic transmissions, diesel injection technology and engine blocks.

In November, parts supplier Schaeffler announced that it would cut 1,000 jobs in Germany as the shift to electric drivetrains accelerates. Including 100 people at the Homburg plant in Saarland.

ford plant blow

Ford announced that it will stop producing vehicles by 2025 at its Saarlouis plant, which employs 4,500 people and builds the Focus compact model. Ford is in early-stage talks with potential investors, including his BYD in China, about selling the plant, according to people familiar with the matter. problem.

ZF-Wolfspeed’s new semiconductor facility (known as a wafer fab) offers hope that the region could have an electrified automotive future. ZF and Wolfspeed will set up a wafer fab in Ensdorf near ZF’s Saarbrücken site.

Lowe said the project will cost $3 billion and will depend on government subsidies that Wolfspeed expects to cover the “majority” of the cost. Wolfspeed has applied for a subsidy, but still needs approval from the European Commission.

According to ZF board member Stephan von Schuckmann, ZF will take a minority stake in the plant. “This is a kind of generational change for Saarland,” said von Schuckmann, adding that the factory will create more than 600 new jobs for him.

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