ZF Group (China) Business Report FY ended Dec. 2017

Parent company performance

-In 2017, a total global sales of ZF Group stood at 36,444 million Euros, with 2.23 billion Euros invested in R&D, accounting for approximately 6% of total sales. There are approximately 146,148 employees.


-ZF announced that the company and volume manufacturer Chery has agreed on collaboration for level 3 autonomous driving in China. ZF is proactive in establishing collaboration with automotive OEMs in China such as Chery by providing the supercomputer ZF ProAI. ZF's artificial intelligence (AI) controller enables automated driving functions up to level 3 for this collaboration. ZF and its cooperation partners, the AI computing Company Nvidia, as well as the Chinese technology company Baidu, are working together on autonomous driving. For the first time, deep learning algorithms enabled by the supercomputing power of the ZF ProAI will be available in affordable cars. (From a press release on January 16, 2018)

-ZF Friedrichshafen AG signed a strategic partnership agreement with SAIC MAXUS Automotive Co., Ltd. ZF will provide the latest transmission generation for passenger cars (8HP50) for the state-of-the-art vehicles of SAIC MAXUS Automotive. Besides transmissions, collaborations between the two companies involve a broad range of products such as chassis components, shock absorber systems, powertrain components, belt-drive steering systems, and Electric Park Brakes (EPB). (From some releases on July 31, 2017)

-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. The TraXon automatic transmissions are produced in Friedrichshafen and shipped directly to the Foton production facility in Beijing. ZF also produces its new AIRTRAC air-sprung rear axle system for the Foton heavy truck. ZF AIRTRAC system is designed especially for heavy trucks. This system not only prevents damage to loads and road surfaces, it also improves driving comfort. AIRTRAC system will be used for the first time by Foton, and produced directly in China. (From a press release on March 27, 2017)

New Company

-Anhui Heli Co., Ltd. announced on February 9, 2018, a plan to establish a new joint venture tentatively named ZF Heli Transmission Technology (Hefei) Co., Ltd. with ZF China. The registered capital of the joint company will be Chinese yuan (CNY) 200 million. ZF China is going to have a stake of 51% in the new company, investing CNY 102 million. Anhui Heli is to invest CNY 98 million to own a 49% stake in the company. The joint venture will work on research, development, and production of axles and transmissions for load-carrying facilities in the Chinese market. In the fourth quarter of 2018, the company plans to lease a plant and start trial production. In 2021, it will build a new plant and launch full-scale mass production. By 2022, the new company is expected to generate sales of CNY 780 million (excluding tax) and profit of CNY 50 million, while producing 113,000 axles. (From a corporate announcement on February 9, 2018)

-On September 13, 2017, ZF Friedrichshafen AG and Beijing Hainachuan Automotive Parts Co., Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding the establishment of a joint venture company that manufactures parts and components for electric vehicles (EVs) for the Chinese market. (From some releases on September 15, 2017)

New Plant

-On September 2, 2017, Foton-ZF held a groundbreaking ceremony for its high-end automatic transmission project in Jiaxing, Zhejiang. The total investment in the project is Chinese yuan (CNY) 5 billion. The new facilities to be built on a site of 253,000 square meters will produce high-end intelligent transmissions for light-duty and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. Foton Motor Co., Ltd. and ZF Friedrichshafen AG have established Foton-ZF Light Automation Transmission (Jiaxing) Co., Ltd. and ZF-Foton Automation Transmission (Jiaxing) Co., Ltd. each as a production base of transmissions for light-duty commercial vehicles and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, respectively. Production of light-duty vehicle transmissions is planned for the launch on January 1, 2019, with an annual production capacity of 160,000 transmissions. This will be followed by the second phase construction for establishing an additional production capacity per annum of 320,000 transmissions ready for the launch on January 1, 2020. Production of heavy-duty vehicle transmissions is planned for the launch on January 1, 2019, with an annual production capacity of 115,000 transmissions and 20,000 retarders. This will be followed by the second phase construction to establish an additional production capacity per annum of 190,000 transmissions and 40,000 retarders ready for the launch on January 1, 2022. (From some releases on September 4, 2017)

Strategic Partnership

-On January 16, 2018, Zhejiang Shuanghuan Driveline Co., Ltd. announced that Shuanghuan Driveline (Jiaxing) Precision Manufacturing Co., Ltd., its wholly-owned subsidiary, has signed an agreement with ZF Transmissions Shanghai Co., Ltd., regarding a mass-supply of gears for 8HP50 8-speed automatic transmissions. The 8-speed automatic transmission is one of the main products of ZF Transmissions. The 8HP-series transmissions are used for high-end models such as the BMW X series, the Audi Q series, the Jaguar Land Rover Range Rover, the Maserati models, the Porsche Cayenne series. The 8HP transmission uses 13 types gears, or 23 in number per unit, and Shuanghuan Driveline (Jiaxing) Precision Manufacturing is going to supply 10 sorts, or 20 in number. Under the new contract, ZF Transmissions Shanghai is expected to make 210,000 transmissions per year. (From a corporate announcement on January 17, 2018)

-ZF Friedrichshafen AG and Chinese Internet company Baidu have today announced a new strategic cooperation on September 13, 2017. The two companies will cooperate in the fields such as autonomous driving, connected cars, and mobility services in China. ZF plans to develop the technologies needed for autonomous driving using Baidu's artificial intelligence, big data, cloud-based service solutions, as well as high definition map technology and to offer autonomous driving solutions as a one-stop supplier. (From some releases on September 14, 2017)


-At the 9th Guangzhou Automobile Supplier Meeting held recently in Hangzhou City, China, ZF Group won an excellent quality supplier award. (From some releases on January 15, 2018)

Enlargement of Shanghai Engineering Center

-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)