ZF Friedrichshafen AG has opened its 21st plant in China, the latest one beginning production of passenger car axles on Sept. 25 in Beijing. The German company invested €15 million in the facility, which employs about 350 and covers an area of about 32,000 m² (350,000 ft²). Axles sets produced at the plant are delivered to Beijing Benz Automotive, a joint venture between Daimler AG and Chinese partner BAIC. ZF says the production system was designed with flexibility in mind so potential fluctuations in demand from the customer can be accommodated easily. Front and rear axles for the Mercedes-Benz C- and E-Class models are delivered to the line "just-in-sequence." Preparations are under way to produce axles for additional Mercedes-Benz models in the coming months. ZF noted in a press release on the plant's start-up that China is growing in importance not only in terms of the company's production capabilities, but also in terms of engineering design; ZF has a large engineering center in Shanghai.