ZF Group (China) Business Report FY ended Dec. 2016

Recent Development

-ZF announced that it is preparing for further growth in the Chinese market with the expansion of its engineering center in Shanghai. ZF is investing EUR 50 million to update and expand its existing facilities in the Songjiang district to 54,000 square meters. The company plans to expand further over the next five years and more than double its workforce to approximately 1,000 employees by 2022 through hiring 600 additional engineers. Engineers will now be able to utilize state-of-the-art equipment in several laboratories for the development of driveline and chassis systems technologies for many types of vehicles. The Songjiang facility works closely with ZF’s other technology center located in Anting, which focuses on active and passive safety technology for the Asian market. (From a press release on April 18, 2017)

-The first Bus Rapid Transit system in Wuhan City, China began operations on December 28, 2016. The system uses 18-meter-long electric buses that are equipped with ZF's axle systems designed for low-floor buses. These axles include the RL85A front axles, AVN132 tag axles, AV132 portal drive rear axles, which are all robust and maintenance-free. The low-floor buses offer step-free access to users, which will save time and lead to high operational efficiency. ZF is working on modularization and weight reduction to help automakers produce lighter vehicles with less maintenance requirements. (From news releases issued by multiple sources on January 12, 2017)

Contract

-ZF Friedrichshafen AG (ZF) announced that its TraXon automatic transmission system is supplied to Chinese manufacturer Foton's new Auman EST-A, a truck which is designed especially for long-distance traffic. (From a press release on March 27, 2017)

New Plant

-ZF TRW announced that its two new plants, one for brake systems and the other for occupant safety systems, in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu began operating. The brake system plant, constructed on 23,000 square meters of land, produces electric parking brakes, front brake calipers, and vacuum boosters, and assembles brake housings, carriers and actuators. The plant expects to hire over 750 people in 2016. The safety system plant with a land area of 16,000 square meters produces driver airbags, front passenger airbags, side airbags, and curtain airbags. It also assembles FS1 and SPR4 retractors, lock systems, and hood lifters. The plant intends to employ more than 500 people by the end of 2016. (From news releases issued by multiple sources on November 2, 2015)

R&D Facility

-ZF TRW announced that it has opened a crash sled section at its Anting Technical Centre in China. This facility, ZF's fourth collision testing facility in the world, is equipped with the latest-generation servo sled and dummy calibration devices. The equipment provides advanced frontal crash testing with a yaw reproducing realistic 3D crash simulations, which exceeds US NCAP requirements for Oblique Moving Deformable Barrier at 90km/h. The equipment can test front seat collision only, rear seat collision only or a combination, and has the capability for multiple seat plan alterations. (From press release on April 14, 2016)

Investment in China

-In August 2016, ZF TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding with the Wuhan Economic & Technological Development Zone (Hannan) on its additional investment project in Wuhan. ZF TRW is planning to invest USD 30 million over the next five years to increase capacity and expand the product line at its existing plant. The plant will construct new lines to produce automotive components like disc brakes, electric parking brakes, airbags, and seatbelts. Its output is expected to reach CNY 3.3 billion by 2021, and this expansion project is expected to create 1,500 new jobs. The Wuhan Plant was constructed in May 2011. It currently produces brake calipers, vacuum boosters, brake master cylinders, and other products. (From news releases issued by multiple sources on September 2, 2016)