Saietta Group to take over ZF plant in Sunderland

UK-based e-mobility propulsion specialist Saietta Group has accelerated its growth plans by taking on a manufacturing facility in Sunderland, the former base of ZF Automotive UK Limited.

According to Saietta, this agreement will enable the company to meet its stated objective of establishing a UK pilot production facility “significantly ahead of its 2024 target”. The number of motors produced will build in a series of phases over time with the first stage growing to a capacity of 100,000 units per year.

ZF’s Sunderland plant is a specialised automotive electric motor manufacturing facility of 86,000 square feet, which has seen over 20 million electric motors manufactured for a range of automotive applications since 1999. Adding on to the existing production machines, Saietta has purchased another four motor production lines and an electronic circuit board production line.

“This is a landmark achievement for Saietta providing us with a UK production facility more than two years ahead of schedule, further speeding up our capability to supply our innovation to clients in high volume globally. In addition to the lease on the large premises in Sunderland, we are also acquiring automotive production lines and are ready to employ a fantastic, proven team with decades of experience in manufacturing electric motors between them,” said Wicher (Vic) Kist, Chief Executive of Saietta.

In terms of staffing, Saietta announced that they will offer roles to former ZF personnel with a range of critical skills including fabrication, engineering, IT, quality control, finance and process management.

Most recently, Saietta announced ongoing developments to convert diesel utility vehicles to battery-electric use, however, Saitta has also been active in the electric drive system field for some time. Last year, Saietta also acquired e-Traction, a Dutch supplier of electric powertrains for trucks and buses and power electronics, and former Evergrande subsidiary. The choice of location in Sunderland also puts the automotive supplier close to the new AESC battery plant in the former Nissan automotive factory.


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