ZF's Shanghai engineering center is getting more  laboratories, test benches and offices (Photo: ZF)

ZF Friedrichshafen expects to double its workforce at a key engineering center in Songjiang, as the German automotive supplier prepares for continued strong demand from its Chinese customers.

The Songjiang facility near Shanghai was officially opened at the Shanghai auto show. It will have about 1,000 employees by 2022, ZF said.

"The investment in our new engineering center highlights our commitment to further localize engineering activities so that we can more effectively support our Chinese customer base," ZF board member Peter Lake said at the official opening.

He noted that China is "one of the largest and most significant markets" for ZF.

As the company upgrades Songjiang, ZF engineers will be able to concentrate more strongly on application development of driveline and chassis systems technologies. The main focus at the center will be on the development of electric drives, ZF said.