Tokyo/Friedrichshafen. ZF Friedrichshafen AG is expanding its activities in Japan: The technology company is founding an R&D center in Yokohama. The engineers at this location will focus on e-mobility among other.
The Japan Tech Center will be located in Yokohama. The negotiations with selected real estate owners are well underway. In addition, since the acquisition of TRW, ZF owns an engineering center established in 2001. “This is a special benefit of our acquisition of TRW Automotive which we are using to further expand our presence in Japan,” said ZF’s CEO Dr. Stefan Sommer at the Tokyo Motor Show. At the Japan Tech Center, approximately 70 new positions for engineers will be created over the next two years in order to expand capacities for customer consulting and support and for the development of new technologies in the e-mobility sector. An additional increase in personnel is planned for the future. The engineers will cooperate closely with Japanese automotive manufacturers in order to locally adapt ZF products to Japanese market requirements. Another focus will be on power electronics as well as development and design of entirely electric drivelines.
“In the ranking of countries manufacturing e-mobility products, Japan is ranked first,” said Sommer, referring to the most recent Electric Vehicle Index by McKinsey. “It is therefore logical for us to open an e-mobility R&D center there.” The Japan Tech Center will cooperate closely with the ZF departments which will be bundled to create the new E-Mobility Division in January 2016. The company’s Supervisory Board had only decided to create this division, that controls all activities regarding the electrification of cars and commercial vehicles, a few weeks ago. Dr. Hans-Jörg Domian, who took over his new function in Japan on October 1, 2015, was entrusted with establishing and managing the Japan Tech Center. In the past, Mr. Domian was responsible for Advanced Engineering of the ZF Group and was Head of the Advanced Engineering and Design department in Corporate Research and Development in Friedrichshafen.
ZF at the Tokyo Motor Show
At the Tokyo Motor Show, ZF presents its portfolio for the automotive megatrends of efficiency, safety, and autonomous driving which ZF was able to expand thanks to its acquisition of TRW Automotive. “For more than half a century, ZF has been an established partner of Japanese automotive manufacturers,” emphasized ZF’s CEO Sommer. “In our presentation this year, we are mainly focusing on the fact that the ZF TRW product portfolio is an excellent complement to the ZF product portfolio and that our customers can now obtain even more products from a single source.”
ZF in Japan
ZF has been represented in Japan with a subsidiary since 1980; ZF TRW founded a subsidiary there in 1970. ZF has already had business relations with Japanese automotive manufacturers since the 1960s. The company has six locations in Tokyo, Yokohama, Hiroshima City, Miyoshi City, Toyota City, and Utsunomiya, and all in all employs approximately 250 employees at these locations. ZF also has a network of about 20 service partners in Japan. In 2014, ZF (without TRW) generated sales of €400 million (¥58 billion) worldwide with Japanese customers.