Fascination Technology. High-Tech
in the BMW 7series.
|ZF Getriebe GmbH
Presse und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Tel.: (0681) 9 20-25 63
Fax: (0681) 9 20-26 44
|ZF Friedrichshafen AG
Tel: (07541) 77-23 32
Fax: (07541) 77-27 64
ZF Friedrichshafen AG is an internationally active automotive industry supplier specializing in driveline and chassis systems. The company operates 119 plants located in 25 countries and has nearly 53,300 employees including around 20,000 working at foreign locations. Founded in 1915, the company originally concentrated on developing and manufacturing transmissions for airships and motor vehicles. Today, the range of ZF products includes transmissions, steering systems, and chassis components along with complete axle systems and modules. The core products manufactured by ZF place the company among the industry's top three suppliers. Key ZF shareholders include the Zeppelin Foundation, which is administered by the city of Friedrichshafen. ZF revenues in 2002 totaled EUR 9.2 billion. This places ZF in the number three position among German automotive industry suppliers. Worldwide, ZF ranks as the fifteenth largest supplier.
The ZF Group is divided into five product-oriented divisions: Car Driveline Technology in Saarbrücken, Car Chassis Technology in Lemförde, Commercial Vehicle and Special Driveline Technology in Friedrichshafen, Off-Road Driveline Technology and Axle Systems in Passau, and Powertrain and Chassis Components in Schweinfurt. The company also operates two independent business units: Aircraft Propulsion Technology and Marine Propulsion Systems. In 1999, ZF Friedrichshafen AG and Robert Bosch GmbH formed the company ZF Lenksysteme GmbH, which specializes in steering technology.
One-third of ZF revenues are based on products that have been in series production for less than five years. These products include ZF-AS Tronic, an automatic transmission system designed for heavy trucks, and the world's first six-speed automatic transmission designed for passenger cars. This product is currently installed in the new BMW 7-Series, Audi A8, and new Jaguar models. The transmission will also be used in the new Rolls Royce Phantom.
In order to continue offering a full range of innovative products and remain competitive on world automotive markets, ZF invests around 5 percent of its annual revenues in research and development. Worldwide, the company has nearly 4,500 employees working in this area. ZF Friedrichshafen AG investments in property, plant, and equipment in 2002 totaled EUR 751 million. This is equivalent to around 8 percent of ZF Group revenues.
Western Europe remains the company's largest, and most important, market accounting for over 65 percent of ZF Group revenues. The production of automatic transmissions in the Car Driveline Technology division and the components and systems produced by the Car Chassis Technology division were major contributors to the company's strong growth on the western European market. In addition to building up its business in Europe, ZF has placed special emphasis on strengthening its position in North America and Asia. Accounting for 25 percent of ZF Group revenues, the NAFTA region has gradually become the second-most important market for ZF. According to current plans, 30 percent of ZF revenues in 2005 will be generated in North America. The long-term ZF objective is to increase average annual sales figures by 10 percent. In Asia, ZF is aiming at a 20-percent increase in sales.
The primary goal for ZF Friedrichshafen AG is to secure a competitive edge
for its core business on a global scale. Along with technological leadership and
new approaches to working with car manufacturers, efficient market development
plays an important role. At the same time, ZF plans to further develop
operations in foreign countries to serve as a hub for "common" technologies.
Products and systems supplied on a just-in-time basis will primarily be produced
on-site by ZF. In the face of increasing price pressures in the automotive and
supply industries, this move will help ZF remain competitive by taking advantage
of the special strengths of the respective plant locations including, for
example, lower production costs. The ZF module and system business is expected
to increase proportionately in the next five to ten years from the current 30
percent to 50 percent. This will enable ZF Friedrichshafen AG to further
strengthen its position as a leading supplier of driveline and chassis systems.
Report April 9th 2003, Press-Contact:
ZF Friedrichshafen AG
Corporate Public Relations
Martin Georg Demel (Business Press): Tel: 07541/77-2528
Klaus Hader (Technikpresse):
Fax: (0) 75 41 77-27 64
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