Over the last 37 years, ZF's transmission plant at Saarbrücken, in Germany, has manufactured a series of planetary automatic transmissions, for use in passenger cars. First came the 3-speed 3HP in 1973, followed by 4-speed 4HP in 1982, the 5-speed 5HP in 1990 and finally the 6-speed 6HP family in 2001. More recently, in 2006, ZF launched second generation versions of the 6HP family, which were more efficient than the first generation. Now Saarbrücken has embarked on the next phase of its life, in which the new 8-speed 8HP family will start to take over, with initial production having started in July of 2009.