ZF is a global leader in driveline and chassis technology with 122 production companies in 26 countries. In 2015, the Group achieved a sales figure of EUR 29.2 billion with 138,200 employees. Industrial Technology with its headquarter ZF Friedrichshafen AG in Passau is the division where ZF bundles its activities for “Off-Road” applications. Among others it comprises the development and production of transmissions and axles for agricultural and construction machinery as well as driveline technology for material handling systems. In 2013, the Division Industrial Technology generated sales of € 2.19 billion euros with 9,000 employees.
ZF activities in the Chinese market date back to the year 1980, when the first cooperation agreement was signed. Since then, development has followed several steps. First, Sales and Service Centers were installed and gradually extended. In 1994, ZF Shanghai Steering was the first production facility founded as a joint venture.
Another milestone was the founding of an Engineering Center in Shanghai in 2004. In order to build up a market penetration, it serves product adaptation and, most importantly, the development of innovative components and systems in the region. ZF supplies the Chinese market with driveline and chassis components, passenger car and commercial vehicle transmissions, axle systems, steering system technology, as well as products for construction and agricultural machinery, forklift trucks, special vehicles, rail vehicles, marine and wind power applications.
Today ZF is represented in China with 25 production companies, two regional headquarter, one Engineering center and three Service Companies in 7 locations and 97 authorized service stations & dealers.
Specifically for the Off-Road market, ZF has created in China a dedicated team of Sales, Application, Service and Engineering professionals to support both domestic and international customers with existing products and new developments tailored to the market.
In 2015 ZF China Ltd. generated sales of 4 ,742 million euros with about 19,253 employees.
The Industrial Division, which includes the Off-Highway Systems Business Unit, generated approximately 4% of the total Chinese Turnover in 2015.
The Production sites for the Off-Highway Business Unit are located in Liuzhou, Hangzhou and (from January 2015) in Luoyang, where a production of front axles for agricultural tractors will start.
So ZF took the permanent change on the markets as a chance and became with their innovative products the technological leader of driveline technology. (Fig. 1)
The internally created product divisions involve a high degree of specialization. This competence linked with the experience in project management is the basis for ZF-system projects. As a competent supplier of components, units, systems and system modules ZF meets the requirements of the car- and mechanical engineering industry. Today ZF takes the responsibility from the project phase over the planning, product development, testing, production development, quality assurance and the logistics up to serial production. The ready-to-install modules or system modules are delivered just-in-time or just-in-sequence. In this way the vehicle manufacturers cooperating with ZF reduce their interfaces to a minimum. Today ZF delivers complete driveline systems (axles, transmissions, electronics) for off-road equipment as well as complete front- and rear axle systems for on-road vehicles. For system solutions the synergy of the innovation capacities as well as the testing- and development potential of all ZF company divisions are used and applied specifically.
Together with ZF as system partner customers benefit from numerous costs saving potentials such as reduced development, logistics, installation and handling expenditure. The stronger and more comprehensive the cooperation, the better and larger are the resulting synergies. In its position as global player, ZF has a worldwide service network of 650 after-sales centers, thus providing optimum customer support on site.
Wherever a manufacturer wants to export his vehicle to, the ZF Service is already on the spot.