Press Release


A Century Full of Innovation: ZF Publishes a Technology History

  • “Technology in Motion” narrates the history and stories of the ZF world of technology and products dating back to 1915
  • Book launch on October 26, 2015 at the University of Stuttgart

Stuttgart/Friedrichshafen. To mark the 100th anniversary since the company’s founding, ZF Friedrichshafen AG is presenting its technology history in book form. The richly illustrated, 264-page volume published by the Hoffmann and Campe publishing company covers the history of ZF products, starting with the first gear wheels for airships commissioned by Count Zeppelin up until electric drives for future city cars. On Monday, October 26, ZF officially launched the book as part of the series of lectures "TechnologieführerderAutomobilindustriestellensichvor – Automotive Technology Leaders Present" at the University of Stuttgart. The book is on sale now at local bookstores and costs €18.

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A Century Full of Innovation: ZF Publishes a Technology History

Technology is an essential aspect of general history. Many forms of human cohabitation are based on technological inventions and developments. The age of mobility, which set in with the spread of the automobile at the beginning of the 20th century, would hardly have been conceivable without pioneering inventions in drive technology, which ZF has always played a role in since its founding in 1915. The book, which was written by technology journalist and author Johannes Winterhagen, describes the workings of both the historical and current technology in an understandable way. In addition to ZF products for passenger cars, commercial vehicles, and construction and agricultural machinery, the book “Technology in Motion” also covers ZF's foray into marine and aircraft transmissions.

Narrate not enumerate – that was the goal of the most recent ZF book publication. It also discusses, from a technological-historical perspective, many of the social and political upheavals that the publication on ZF’s company history, which was published in spring 2015, also covers. For example, ZF’s development of automatic bus transmissions in the mid 1950's was closely related to the lack of workers during the period of Germany’s "Economic Miracle." As a result, bus drivers had to take on the duties of bus conductors as well due to rationalization measures at the time. That’s why a technology was needed that made driving for them easier.

“For ZF, technological innovations and social trends are still closely tied today,” said Dr. Harald Naunheimer, Head of Corporate Research and Development at ZF Friedrichshafen AG, during the book launch at the University of Stuttgart.