ZF expanding again in SC, creating 450 jobs

GRAY COURT, S.C. (AP) - Germany-based ZF Group says it will create 450 additional jobs at its transmission plant in Laurens County, boosting the plant's work force to 1,650 by 2016.

The automotive supplier announced the expansion Friday. Company officials attribute strong sales of its eight- and nine-speed transmissions to federal fuel-economy requirements.

The company says it will spend an additional $175 million. The third expansion in four years will bring the total investment to $600 million in a plant covering 1.4 million square feet.

Automakers are trying to meet federal requirements that cars and light trucks sold in the United States post an average fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Luger Reckmann, chief executive of ZF Transmissions, says automakers are under tremendous pressure to meet the standard.

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