ZF sets up third R&D centre in China

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 27 Nov 2019

ZF Friedrichshafen AG is setting up a third Chinese research and development centre in Guangzhou, southern China. Representatives of ZF and the local authorities have signed an agreement and ZF plans to invest approximately 90 million euros (Rs 710 crore) in the new development centre. The move is in line with ZF's strategy to localise R&D directly in the respective markets and quickly adapt to industry trends in electrification, automation, connectivity, and mobility services in China.

ZF already has two development centres in China, both located in Shanghai. With their respective focus on the development of active and passive safety technology as well as driveline and chassis technology, the two units support ZF customers throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Meanwhile, the massive expansion of future technologies such as automated driving and e-mobility has created additional demand for engineering capacities, which ZF says it is addressing with the establishment of the R&D centre in Guangzhou.

“The decision to build a third development centre in China is of great importance and confirms ZF’s strategic goal of further expansion in the largest global automotive market,” says Dr. Holger Klein, member of ZF’s Board of Management and responsible for the Asia-Pacific region. “The new centre will develop key technologies and system solutions for ZF that we can also use in other market regions.”

The new R&D centre in Guangzhou, which is to be operational by 2023, will also be home to a satellite of the Shanghai-based R&D facilities to optimally serve ZF customers in southern China.

The development centre in Guangzhou will have core competencies in engineering and research and development and will cover aspects such as software development and related technologies for the mobility of the future. Together, the three R&D centres in China will be able to offer ZF customers comprehensive system solutions ranging from software to hardware, thus contributing to clean, safe, and affordable next-generation mobility.

The settlement in Guangzhou also follows the ZF approach of localizing research and development directly in the respective markets and quickly adapting to the industry trends in electrification, automation, connectivity, and mobility services in China.

ZF has been represented in China since 1981 and operates around 40 production facilities in China representing all divisions; the headquarters for the Asia-Pacific market region and two research and development centers are located in Shanghai. In 2018, ZF generated sales of 6.2 billion euros (Rs 48,887 crore) in China with 14,800 employees.