Engineering & manufacturing:|
Automotive industry (car and CV),
|Founded||20 August 1915|
|Headquarters||Friedrichshafen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany|
Number of locations
|113 production locations in 26 countries|
|Wolf-Henning Scheider (CEO).|
steering, axles components
|Services||Design, Research and development|
|Revenue||€35.166 billion (2016)|
|€1.614 billion (2016)|
|€ 924 million (2016)|
|Total assets||€ 10.403 billion (2016)|
|Total equity||€ 6.115 billion (2016)|
Number of employees
Car Powertrain Technology,|
Car Chassis Technology,
Commercial Vehicle Technology ,
Active & Passive Safety Technology,
ZF Friedrichshafen AG, also known as ZF Group, and commonly abbreviated to ZF (ZF = "Zahnradfabrik" = "Gear Factory"), is a German car parts maker headquartered in Friedrichshafen, in the south-west German region of Baden-Württemberg.
Specialising in engineering, it is primarily known for its design, research and development, and manufacturing activities in the automotive industry. It is a worldwide supplier of driveline and chassis technology for cars and commercial vehicles, along with specialist plant equipment such as construction equipment. It is also involved in rail, marine, defence and aviation industries, as well as general industrial applications. ZF has 230 production locations in 40 countries with approximately 138,000 employees.
The company was founded in 1915 in Zepernick, Germany by Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH, to produce gears for Zeppelins and other airships. Zeppelin was unable to otherwise obtain gears for his airships. The German Zahnradfabrik (ZF) translates to 'gear factory' in English. Literally 'tooth-wheel factory'.
By 1919, ZF had moved into the automobile market, a move consolidated by the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. Some of the most important milestones that followed:
Land Rover will demonstrate the world's first nine-speed automatic transmission for a passenger car at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The ZF 9HP transmission is designed for transverse applications, and is one of the most efficient and technically advanced transmissions ever used in a production vehicle. Land Rover is the lead partner with ZF on this project.
ZF Friedrichshafen products include automatic and manual transmissions for cars, trucks, buses and construction equipment; chassis components (ball joints, tie rods, cross-axis joints, stabiliser bars, control arms); shock absorbers and suspension struts; electronic damping systems including Continuous Damping Control (CDC), Active Roll Stabilization (ARS); clutches; torque converters; differentials; axle drives; and industrial drives.
ZF products include
Cars, trucks, buses & coaches, light commercial vehicles, off-road equipment, rail vehicles, helicopters, motorcycles, lift trucks, machine and system construction, test systems, civil mobile, cranes, and special marine, military and agricultural vehicles and machines.
In the ZF Lenksysteme division (a 50:50 joint venture between ZF and Bosch), steering systems and components are produced, including steering columns, gears and pumps; Electric Power Steering (EPS); and Active Steering.
With the rise in popularity of the automatic transmission in buses, ZF introduced the ZF AS Tronic. The company also manufactures manual and automatic truck and bus transmissions. ZF transmissions are the ones used most commonly in buses. The Ecomat automatic transmission range which was introduced in 1980, is frequently used in buses.
ZF Lemförder and ZF Sachs AG are all divisions/business units of ZF, specialising in original equipment and aftermarket solutions for the automotive industry.
ZF-TRW Automotive, headquartered in Livonia, Michigan USA operations primarily surrounding the design, manufacture and sale of safety systems. It operated approximately 200 facilities with 66,100 employees in 26 vehicle-producing countries.
ZF-TRW was acquired in 2015 and now is the 'Active & Passive Safety Technology' division.
In 1999 the steering systems division was made separate and became the new ZF Lenksysteme GmbH, an independent, 50:50 joint venture between ZF Friedrichshafen and Robert Bosch GmbH.
In 2007 ZF Friedrichshafen managed to increase its business volume about 8% to billion. The operating profit was about million. In 2008 ZF had a profit of million from a total business volume of billion. During the financial crisis ZF was one of the companies hit most. Its business volume decreased in turnover to billion. Total loss was about million. According to the current development ZF is forecasting sales growth of about 10%, which would be above the industry average.
Due to the financial crisis ZF received a credit of about million by KfW. At the end of the term, it has to be paid back with interest. Being a state bank, the KfW aid is not considered governmental support. ZF is about to save million without reducing its permanent staff. Contracts of short-term employees were not extended. Total number of employees was reduced from 63,000 to 59,000 worldwide. According to CEO Härter, there is no need for further employee reduction.
On 16 September 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that ZF agreed to acquire TRW Automotive Holdings for $13.5 billion. The acquisition would create the world's second largest automotive parts concern, ranked just behind Robert Bosch GmbH. For clearing way to acquire TRW Automotive Holdings, ZF Friedrichshafen AG sold its stake in ZF Lenksysteme GmbH to Robert Bosch GmbH. ZF Lenksysteme GmbH has now been rechristened as Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH.
The business units are assigned to the seven divisions:
The ZF Group is represented across the world. The primary market is Europe, followed by the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, North and South America and Middle East & Africa.
The company has six worldwide research and development (R&D) sites to provide product development related to the local markets. ZF invests approximately 5 percent of its sales revenue on R&D annually.
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