NEAA instrumental in securing new investment in the region

The North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA), which is championing the region’s drive to world class status for electrification, has played a pivotal role in the relocation of Saietta Group to Houghton le Spring.

The move to the former ZF site, will see Saietta relocate its major e-motor production from China. The company’s expansion, to include the 86,000 sq ft site, is part of its target to increase capacity to manufacture around 100,000 electric propulsion motors per year.

When the NEAA became aware Saietta was planning to set up a manufacturing facility in the UK, it introduced the company to the ZF factory in Houghton le Spring, knowing it would be an ideal location and that it was becoming available following ZF’s withdrawal. The NEAA acted with speed to ensure Saietta could benefit from ZF’s existing set-up and infrastructure.

Ryan Maughan, chair of EV North, which is part of the NEAA, helped the company better understand the region’s existing supply chain and skill base, information the Saietta team used to support and inform their decision.

Ryan Maughan, said: “It is fantastic to see a dynamic EV technology business like Saietta moving to the North East. This is a great result that ensures the facility and highly skilled team at the Houghton le Spring facility remain focused on the development and manufacture of advanced electric motors and motor drive systems. Saietta has great potential based on its advanced axial flux motor technology which is demonstrated in its ambitious scale-up plans. This reinforces the region’s position as a leader in electrification, building on the strong skill base and existing supply chains in power electronics, machines, drives and battery technology.

“It’s fair to say Saietta wouldn’t be coming to the region without our intervention. It’s been a win-win, as it’s saved NEAA member, ZF, time and cost and has put the building to immediate use.”

Wicher (Vic) Kist, chief executive of Saietta, said: “We are very excited to be joining the world leading electric vehicle community in the North East. We would like to thank EV North’s chairman, Ryan Maughan, who alerted us to the opportunity at the ZF Factory in Sunderland, as there is virtually zero chance that we would have heard about it otherwise from our Oxfordshire Headquarters. The combination of this outstanding facility, quality of the local skill pool and existing supply chains in the region will undoubtedly help accelerate Saietta’s growth plans.”