• MAHLE Powertrain Ltd., a subsidiary of the Stuttgart-based MAHLE Group, expands its expertise in gear optimisation with ZG-Zahnräder und Getriebe GmbH
  • Enhances integrated development of entire powertrain, optimising balance of performance, efficiency, packaging and NVH
  • Perfect complement to MAHLE Powertrain’s dual powertrain strategy and builds unique competencies with the recently expanded £8.3m Real Driving Emissions Centre

MAHLE’s acquisition of the German transmission specialist ZG-Zahnräder und Getriebe GmbH adds significant extra transmission expertise to MAHLE Powertrain, one of the leading independent specialists in high-efficiency propulsion systems in Europe. ZG will be part of the MAHLE Powertrain family and the acquisition complements perfectly the company’s dual strategy for optimizing the internal combustion engine (ICE) and focusing on new developments in alternative drive technologies.

“As drivetrains are increasingly integrated in pursuit of reduced emissions, efficiency gains come from increasingly focussed refinements” says Simon Reader, MAHLE Powertrain engineering director. “Gears can be overlooked, whether in the ICE, transmission or an electric driveline. Today’s high torque hybrid powertrains demand exceptional gear refinement and durability, but there is a constant need to reduce component size and weight.”

“This is where the ZG acquisition fits in”, continues Reader. “The ZG team has proven expertise in optimised gear design and transmission layouts. These can facilitate marked improvements in NVH, friction performance, packaging and weight reduction, leading to improved efficiency, especially for electric drives. Every aspect of our work from full powertrains to electric drivelines can be improved by good gear and transmission design, which is why ZG’s acquisition is an important development for us.”

The deal is the latest investment in future powertrain development facilities and the expertise of MAHLE Powertrain, the propulsion systems development specialist, which has also expanded its award-winning £8.3m Real Driving Emissions Centre to help the automotive industry meet stringent future efficiency targets.

ZG-Zahnräder und Getriebe GmbH was founded as a spin-off from the Technical University of Munich in 2008 and today works closely with several major vehicle manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers. From programme inception to prototype testing, the company has established a core competence in the development, optimisation and production of advanced gears with particular expertise in electric and hybrid drive concepts. For example, it has developed and patented PlanGear, an application that can computer-generate and evaluate all relevant transmission structure options, including complex hybrid drives. This has the effect of accelerating gear development, reducing costs and enhancing performance, which could bring additional advantages as part of an integrated-drive system development programme.

“This acquisition is another important step in the expansion of MAHLE Powertrain’s capabilities and further reinforces our position as an engineering services provider across all powertrain technologies,” says Dr. Martin Berger, MAHLE Powertrain Engineering Services Director.

In addition, MAHLE Powertrain Ltd. is further enhancing the capability of its new Real Driving Emissions (RDE) Centre. The facility houses the UK’s only hypobaric testing equipment, which enables precise vehicle powertrain altitude testing, as part of a complete development solution for the automotive industry. It represents a crucial opportunity to ensure that all new vehicles comply with RDE test procedures and the new WLTP regulations ahead of final implementation in September 2019. The expansion of the Centre’s electric motor and battery cell performance test facilities will further enhance MAHLE Powertrain’s unique, integrative vehicle development competence.


MAHLE is a leading international development partner and supplier to the automotive industry as well as a pioneer for the mobility of the future. The MAHLE Group is committed to making transportation more efficient, more environmentally friendly, and more comfortable by continuously optimizing the combustion engine, driving forward the use of alternative fuels, and laying the foundation for the worldwide introduction of e-mobility. The group’s product portfolio addresses all the crucial issues relating to the powertrain and air conditioning technology—both for drives with combustion engines and for e-mobility. MAHLE products are fitted in at least every second vehicle worldwide. Components and systems from MAHLE are also used off the road—in stationary applications, for mobile machinery, rail transport, as well as marine applications.

In 2017, the group generated sales of approximately EUR 12.8 billion with about 78,000 employees and is represented in more than 30 countries with 170 production locations. At 16 major research and development centers in Germany, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Spain, Slovenia, the USA, Brazil, Japan, China, and India, around 6,100 development engineers and technicians are working on innovative solutions for the mobility of the future.

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Simon Reader, MAHLE Powertrain’s director of engineering
ZG’s expertise in gear design and layout will enable MAHLE to develop further drive train efficiency opportunities
MAHLE Powertrain’s RDE Centre in Northampton, opened in 2018