25 Jul 2024


UK motor developer brings production back from China

Saietta CEO Wicher Kist: a landmark achievement

The British electric motor developer Saietta is bringing production of its axial-flux motors back from China to the UK. The company has originally planned to establish a UK pilot production line by 2024, but is now taking over a motor manufacturing facility in Sunderland previously operated by ZF Automotive UK, which closed the factory last year. Saietta plans to take on many of ZF’s 110 former employees.

Since 1999, the 8,000m2 (86,000ft2) facility has produced more than 20 million motors for automotive applications such as power steering. Saietta’s acquisition includes four motor production lines and a circuit board production line. Much of this equipment can be re-purposed to manufacture Saietta’s products.

Saietta intends to use the new facility to scale up production of its proprietary axial-flux motors for a variety of applications. Saietta will also relocate production of its e-Axle commercial vehicle drivetrain technology from China to Sunderland.

The number of motors produced at the site will be increased in phases with the initial target capacity being 100,000 motors per year.

“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,” says the company’s chief executive, Wicher Kist. “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.

“The UK is a hot-spot for electric powertrain innovation and we are committed to building up the engineering and manufacturing of our technology in the UK and exporting to mainland Europe and beyond,” Kist adds. “This is a very clear signal of our intent. Indeed, it’s our stated ambition to make this plant an eMotor assembly role model, fully ESG-compliant and carbon-neutral.”

Saietta will offer roles to former ZF personnel with skills such as fabrication, engineering, IT, quality control, finance and process management.

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