ZF Friedrichshafen AG, also known as ZF group and commonly abbreviated to ZF, is a global technology company located in Zepernick, Germany. It was founded in 1915 by Luftschiffbau Zeppelin. It has its headquarters in Friedrichshafen, in south-west Germany. In 2018, ZF reached sales of 36.9 billion euros. The company has a global workforce of 149,000 with about 230 locations in 40 countries. ZF invests over 6% of its sales in research and development yearly.
ZF, initially a supplier, specializing in aviation technology, has evolved into a global technological company. The group shareholders include Zeppelin Foundation, administered by the city of Friedrichshafen, holding 93.8 percent of shares and Dr. Jurgen and Irmgard Ulderup Foundation, Lemforde with 6.2%.
In 2007, ZF increased its business volume by about 8% to billions. The company acquired TRW Automotive Holdings for $13.5 billion. The acquisition created the world second largest automotive parts concern just behind Robert Bosch GmbH.
The company has six global research and development sites to provide product development related to local markets.
ZF has gained popularity for its designs, research and development, and manufacturing activities in the automotive industry.
ZF supplies systems for passenger cars, commercial vehicles, and industrial technology, enabling the next generation of mobility. The company has a comprehensive technology portfolio. It also offers integrated solutions for established vehicle manufacturers, mobility providers, and start-up companies in the field of transportation and mobility.
ZF has business units assigned to these seven divisions:
- Bosch invented for life
- Car Powertrain Technology: Automatic transmissions/Dual Clutch Transmission, Axle Drivers, Powertrain Modules.
- Car Chassis Technology: Chassis Systems, Chassis Components, Suspension Technology
- Commercial Vehicle Technology: truck and Van Driveline Technology, Axle and Transmission System for Buses and Coaches, CV Chassis Modules, CV Damper Technology, CV powertrain Modules
- Industrial Technology: Off-Highway Systems, Test Systems, Special Driveline Technology, Marine Proportion Stems, Aviation Technology, Wind Power technology
- Active and Passive Safety Technology- currently branded as ZF-TRW
- ZF aftermarkets
Some products offered by ZF include:
Automatic and manual transmissions for cars, truck, buses and construction equipment, axle, clutches, shock absorbers, steering system, drum brakes, oil change kits, ZF Race engineering products.
With the rise in popularity of automatic transmission in buses, ZF introduced the ZF AS Tronic. ZF also manufactures manual and automatic truck and bus transmissions, which are one of the most used ones, most commonly in buses.
ZF won the “Best brands award 2018” in the component Manufacture group. The award recognizes the company's exceptional commitment to their customers, a competitive product portfolio, and a product range that responds to demand. ZF scored 8.43 out of 10 available points to win the award. Jochen Leuthold accepted the award on behalf of ZF.