ZF is looking to further strengthen its position in the world’s largest automobile market with local production for national and international vehicle manufacturers. It is now expanding its local development capacity in the Technology Center in Shanghai.
Making up 22 percent of Group sales, Asia-Pacific is one of ZF's key markets and contributed 7.6 billion euros to overall revenues during 2016. In China, the largest submarket in Asia-Pacific, ZF generated sales of almost 6 billion euros with approximately 13,700 employees. ZF employs more than 17,000 people in the entire region.
"We also expect a moderate yet clear growth in Asia-Pacific for 2017. Major factors are hybrid and electric drives as well as technologies for active and passive safety. We are extremely well-positioned in both sectors," says ZF chief executive officer Dr. Stefan Sommer.
Bit-ticket investment in China
In order to continuously strengthen and expand its position on the Chinese market, ZF has invested more than €1 billion in its Chinese development and production locations over the past five years. The company is preparing for further growth on the Chinese market with its expanded Engineering Center in Shanghai. The focus of the extension lies on driveline and chassis technology, particularly electromobility, for all applications.
The new Engineering Center works closely with the existing ZF Technology Center in Anting that focuses on active and passive safety technology for the Asian market. ZF also invested considerably in the recently opened Wuhang production location and the Zhangjiaging plant. At these two locations, the company produces brake systems and occupant safety systems for OEMS with production plants in China.
Current examples of the successful ZF localisation strategy include the application of the TraXon automatic commercial vehicle transmission system that recently entered volume production together with the new AIRTRAC rear axle system in the Auman EST long-distance haulage truck produced by Chinese manufacturer Foton. ZF recently received the Technical Cooperation Award 2017 from the Chinese OEM Great Wall for application of the electric power steering in the new H7, H2 and H6 models.