ZF Friedrichshafen AG

Company Profile




ZF Forum, Loewentaler Strasse 20, 88046 Friedrichshafen, Germany

Business Overview

-The Company is a leading worldwide automotive supplier of advanced mobility products and systems for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and industrial technology. The Company provides solutions for established automotive OEMs, mobility companies and startups in the fields of transportation and mobility.

-The Company develops and manufactures powertrain systems and components, chassis systems and components, active and passive safety technologies, electric mobility systems, electronics, and sensors.

-In May 2020, the Company completed the acquisition of WABCO Holdings Inc. for EUR 6.1 billion in cash, after signing a binding agreement in March 2019. The Company integrated WABCO into its organizational structure as the independent Commercial Vehicle Control Systems Division, which was later merged into the Commercial Vehicle Solutions Division.

-While the Company has traditionally invested approximately 5% of its sales in research and development, it has increased its research and development ratio to over 6% since the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, and has continued to increase the ratio each year until the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022. While the Company’s total investment in research and development increased from USD 3.1 billion to USD 3.4 billion during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, the investment ratio decreased from 8.0% to 7.8%. Despite external challenges such as the continuing impact of COVID-19, the semiconductor shortage, the war in Ukraine, and rising inflation, the Company remains committed to its focus on research and development. The Company’s emphasis on research and development focuses on vehicle system functionalities, digital products and data handling, efficient energy usage, and modern key technologies to enable new vehicle capabilities.

-As of January 1, 2022, the Company merged the Commercial Vehicle Control Systems Division with the Commercial Vehicle Technology Division to form the new Commercial Vehicle Solutions Division. The Company’s operates in the following divisions and business units:

Divisions Business Units
Active Safety Systems Foundation Brakes
Brake Controls
Steering Systems
Car Chassis Technology Chassis Components
Suspension Technology
Chassis Systems & Modules
Chassis Actuators
Electrified Powertrain Technology Electrified Powertrain Systems
Powertrain Modules & eMotors
Axle Drives
Electronic Interfaces
Electronics & ADAS ADAS and Electronics Operations
Passive Safety Product Line
Intercompany Product Line
Passive Safety Systems Inflatable Restraint Systems
Seat Belt Systems
Steering Wheel Systems
Commercial Vehicle Solutions Chassis Technology
Driveline Components
Driveline Systems
Vehicle Dynamics
CV Aftermarket
Industrial Technology Off-Highway & Test Systems
Wind Power Technology & Industrial Drives
Marine & Special Driveline Technology
Aftermarket Passenger Car
Commercial Vehicle Aftermarket
Industrial / New Mobility
Digital Solutions

Featured report

2023 Business Overview of Suppliers in Europe and the U.S.

 Click here for featured report

ZF: "Enerlity" General-purpose Platform Concept for Commercial EVs

 Click here for featured report


-The Company is privately owned by the following shareholders: (As of Dec. 31, 2022)
Shareholders Ownership Ratio (%)
Zeppelin Foundation 93.8
Dr. Jurgen and Irmgard Ulderup Foundation 6.2
Total 100.0


Electrified Powertrain Technology
-Manual and automatic transmissions
-Ecolite manual transmissions for pickups
-Dual clutch transmissions
-Automated manual transmissions
-DynaStart electric motors
-Electric drives
-Hybrid transmissions
-Converter hybrid transmissions
-Plug-in hybrid transmissions
-Transmission motor-pump units
-Hybrid modules

Driveline components
-Gearshift systems and electronic components
-Control systems
-Clutches and clutch systems
-Clutch discs with torsional dampers
-Torque converters
-Starting systems
-All-wheel drive systems
-Front and rear axle drives
-Bevel gearsets
-Dual mass flywheels
-Dual wet clutches
-Hybrid clutches
-Multi-disc clutches
-Hydrodynamically cooled clutches
-Clutch-by-wire systems
-XTend clutch covers with automatic wear compensation
-Vector Drive rear-axle drive system with active torque distribution
-PTO: Power Take Off and retarder systems
-Transfer cases
-E-Shifter Rotatronic
-E-Shifter Shifttronic
-E-Shifter Slidetronic

-Telematics systems
-Transmission housings
-Transmission inner components
-Light-alloy casting control components
-Plastic pedal modules
-Engine mounts

-Front and rear axle systems
-Engine-bound front axle drives
-Frame-bound front axle drives
-HAG rear axle drives
-Rear-axle drives with integrated all-wheel drive clutch
-Driven solid beam axles
-Electric Twist Beam systems
-Corner modules

Electronic systems
-Electronic control units
-Gearshift systems
-Keyless entry systems
-Safety domain ECUs
-Airbag control units
-Crash sensors
-Carrier for switches and components
-Tire pressure monitoring systems

Electric traction drives
-Hybrid transmissions
-Electric motors
-Hybrid modules
-Low voltage hybrid systems
-Electric axle drives
-Electric twist beam axles
-Modular electric rear axles
-DynaStart electric motors

Car Chassis Technology
Chassis components
-Damping systems
-Tie rods
-Chassis subframes
-Powertrain suspension systems
-sMOTION Active Suspension concept
-Stabilizer links
-Stabilizer supports
-Chassis mounts
-Cabin suspensions
-Leveling systems
-Shock-absorption elements
-Wheel carriers and hubs
-Cross-axis joints
-Suspension ball joints
-4-point links
-Control arms
-Torque rods
-Corner modules

Chassis systems
-Active Kinematics Control (AKC) systems
-Continuous Damping Control (CDC) systems
-Roll stabilization systems
-EasyTurn axle enabling steering angles of up to 75 degrees
-mSTARS modular axle concept
-Electromechanical roll control systems
-Predictive damping systems

Damping components
-Monotube dampers
-Pre-loaded valves
-Sensitive damping controls
-Suspension strut modules
-Twin-tube dampers
-eLEVEL height adjusting actuator
-Nivomat automatic leveling system
-Hydraulic Compression Stop damping systems
-Hydraulic Rebound Stop damping systems

Commercial Vehicle Solutions
Driveline systems
-EcoLife environmental 6-speed automatic transmissions for buses
-Ecolite manual transmissions
-Ecomid manual transmissions
-EcoShift 6-Speed manual transmissions for coaches
-Intarder transmission integrated braking systems
-AS Tronic transmissions
-Ecosplit off-road transmissions for commercial vehicles
-TraXon modular transmission concept
-Power take-off clutches
-Torque converters
-Torsional dampers
-Dual mass flywheels
-Clutch systems
-ConAct pneumatic clutch actuation systems
-Duodrive hydrostatic drive systems for low speed operation
-DynaDamp torsional dampers
-XTend clutch covers with automatic wear compensation
-Hybrid modules
-Twin disc clutches
-VG transfer cases
-Front and rear brake calipers
-Electronic stability control systems
-Drum in hat
-Motor pumps for transmissions
-Rear caliper integrated park brake
-Single and tandem boosters and master cylinders
-CeTrax electric central drives

Chassis systems and components
-Premium Comfort Valve (PCV) shock absorbing valves
-Axle dampers
-Continuous Damping Control (CDC) systems
-Front and rear axle systems
-Tag axle systems
-Independent front suspension systems
-4-point links
-Cabin dampers
-Cabin suspensions and active roll stabilization systems
-Cabin suspensions with anti-roll bar
-Planetary steering axles
-Suspension rear twin axles
-Tie rods

Steering systems
-ActivMode power steering pumps
-EV series power steering pumps
-PS series power steering pumps
-Fully adjustable steering column
-ReAX electrically assisted hydraulic steering system
-TAS series power steering gears
-THP/PCF series power steering gears

Vehicle Dynamics & Control & Autonomous Driving
-ESCsmart electronic stability control system
-OnGuard ACTIVE Advanced Emergency Braking System
-OnLaneALERT Lane Departure Warning System
-TailGUARD rear blind spot detection
-OnSide blind spot detection systems
-OptiPace predictive economic cruise control
-OptiTire advanced tire monitoring systems
-MAXX air disc brakes
-Brake chambers
-WABCO EasyFit automatic slack adjuster
-Air valves for brake controls
-Electronic braking systems
-Anti-lock braking systems
-Modular braking system platforms
-Vehicle electronic systems
-MTS2 modular door control system for buses

Driveline & Suspension Controls - Wheel End Solutions
-Electronically controlled air suspension systems
-Intelligent transmission automation systems
-Clutch control systems

Vehicle Energy Management Systems
-Air dryer cartridges
-FuelGuard electronic air processing units
-Mechanical air processing units
-e-comp air compressors for electric and hybrid commercial vehicles
-Engine driven air compressors
-HVAC solutions for buses

Fleet Solutions
-TX-Trailerpulse telematics solution which provides real-time location data and EBS data
-TX-Trailerguard communication hub platform providing trailer, truck and driver information
-TX-GEO 2 trailer and asset tracer solution
-TX-GO 2 on-board computer without a display
-TX-SKY fixed mounted on-board computer with touchscreen
-TX-FLEX mobile add-on for TX-GO 2 and TX_SKY
-TX-SMART driver app for freelance and distribution drivers
-TX-CONNECT web-based back office solution providing real-time information
-TX-CONNECT MP multiplatform version of TX-CONNECT
-TX-ECO program which evaluates and promote economical and ecological driving
-TX-DASHBOARDS assessment platform for various performance metrics
-TX-DOC document management solution
-TX-TANGO web service platform for integration with other office applications
-TRAXEE fleet management solution for small- and medium-sized fleets
-Tacho solutions
-TX-FUELBOT smart software solution which recommends refueling stops
-TX-FUELCOMPASS IoT Big Data solution for fleet fuel consumption and behavioral patterns

Trailer Systems
-Intelligent Trailer Program with applications for safety, driver comfort and effectiveness, operational efficiency, load optimization, and fuel efficiency
-Trailer air disc brakes
-Trailer anti-lock braking systems
-Trailer electronic braking systems
-OptiFlow Tail aerodynamic trailer tail
-OptiFlow SideWings aerodynamic sideskirts
-Air suspension for trailers controlled by pneumatic devices
-Lift axle controls
-OptiLevel air suspension controls
-OptiLock high security locking system for trailer doors

Car Systems
-Single vane vacuum pumps
-Air suspension solutions for premium passenger cars

Active Safety Systems
-Anti-lock braking systems
-Electric park brakes
-Electronic stability control
-Front calipers
-Integrated brake control
-Rear caliper and integrated parking brake
-Single and tandem boosters and master cylinders
-Dual pinion drives
-Belt drive electrically powered steering systems
-Column drive electrically powered steering systems
-Mechanical steering gears

Passive Safety Systems
Airbag systems
-Driver airbags
-Passenger airbags
-Airbag in roof modules
-Fabric housings
-Self-adaptive venting airbags
-Dual contour airbags
-Rear seat airbags
-Knee airbags
-Side curtain and rollover airbags

Seat belt systems
-Active control retractors
-Active buckle lifters
-Anchor and buckle pretensioners
-Seat belt retractor pretensioners
-Height adjusters
-Dynamic locking tongue for seat belts
-Illuminated seat belt buckles

Steering wheel systems
-Steering wheels comprised of lightweight materials such as magnesium and foam
-High-gloss and chromed bezels as decorative trim
-Integrated multifunctional switches
-Integrated heating systems
-Integrated sensors to detect hand position
-Integration vibration motors
-Steering wheel concepts for level 3 and 4 autonomous driving
-Steering wheel integrated displays

Electronics & ADAS
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
-AC1000 radars
-Forward-looking radars
-Front cameras
-Tri-Cam front cameras
-S-Cam4 family of cameras
-Sensor solutions
-Steering wheel hands-on detection system
-Imaging radars
-Adaptive cruise control
-Automatic emergency braking
-Emergency steering control
-Highway driving assist
-Lane keeping assist
-Traffic jam assist
-coASSIST Level 2+ ADAS solution system
-coDRIVE hands-free autonomous highway driving system

Safety Electronics
-Electronic control units
-Power electronics
-Safety domain ECU
-HaptiX rotary controllers
-ProAI automotive supercomputer
-ProConnect connectivity platform
-cubiX vehicle control software


1915 Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH was established.
1921 Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen GmbH (privately held corporation) changed to Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen Aktiengesellschaft (stock corporation).
1950 Change of the Company's ownership. Majority of its shares (89.8%) transferred to Zeppelin Foundation.
1961 Developed a fully automatic car transmission
1992 Change of company name to ZF Friedrichshafen AG
1994 Established a joint venture, Shanghai Steering Co. Ltd. with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (holds 51%).
1998 Established a joint venture, ZF batavia LCC with Ford in USA (holds 51%).
Jan. 1998 Formed a global production of steering systems joint venture, ZF Lenksysteme GmbH with Bosch.
Aug. 1998 ZF Linksysteme formed a joint venture with Jidosha Kiki Co (Japan) in Japan to produce steering systems.
Summer 1999 Lemforder acquired a majority in French rubber components supplier Turnover SA.
Jun. 1999 Established a 50:50 joint venture, ZF Meritor LLC with Meritor Automotive Inc (USA).
Jul. 1999 ZF batavia LCC agreed cooperate with Fiat Auto SpA for supply.
Nov. 1999 Acquired majority in FKA from Hermann Voss GmbH & Co. KG.
Mar. 2000 The Company, Iveco and Meritor agreed to cooperate with Ashok Leyland (India).
Established a joint venture, AIBC with AI Group (South Africa) and Brembo (Italia) SpA.
2001 Together with Chinese manufacturer Jincheng, the Company opened up the new joint venture ZF Steering Jincheng Co. in Nanjing China in order to manufacture passenger car and commercial vehicle steering pumps.
2001 Acquired Mannesmann Sachs AG
Aug. 2001 The Sachs Korea Suspension Co. Ltd., Changwon, Kyungyuam (SKS) was founded an important building block for ZF Sachs in Asia. ZF Sachs AG has 70% share of this company and the Korean shock absorber manufacturer Korea Automotive Systems Co. Ltd. holds the rest.
Nov. 2002 ZF Lemforder established a joint venture, ZF Chassis System Korea Co. Ltd. with Korean suppliers Hyundai Mobis and Seju. ZF Lemforder owns a majority share of 51% of the company with Hyundai Mobis assuming a 19% share and Seju holding the remaining 30%.
2002 A joint venture with the Algerian commercial vehicle manufacturer SNVI (Societe Nationale des Vehicules Industriels) was established under the name ZF Algerie S.a.r.l.
Mar. 2003 Took over 17% of the shares in the Iranian transmission manufacturer S.S. Charkheshgar Co., Tabriz
Oct. 2003 ZF Algerie S.a.r.l., Rouiba, a joint venture between the Company and the Algerian commercial vehicle manufacturer SNVI (Societe Nationale des Vehicules Industriels) was founded to produce commercial vehicle transmissions.
Mar. 2004 A joint venture, ZF Transmissions Shanghai Co. Ltd., was founded with the Shanghai Automotive Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC).
Oct. 2004 Established a new joint venture, ZF Algeriein Rouiba, Algeria, with the state-owned commercial vehicle manufacturer SNVI (Societe Nationale des Vehicules Industriels).
2005 Four new companies were founded in China for the production of axles and suspension components, commercial vehicle transmissions, rubber-metal components, as well as steering systems.
Jul. 2006 ZF Getriebe N.V. was acquired by Punch International NV.
Mar. 2007 ZF Lemforder opened a new plant in Adelaide.
2008 Acquired the Cherry Corporation, an electronics manufacturer developing and producing among others switch systems, sensors, and control units for the automotive industry.
2011 Acquired the Nuremberg plant from the German automotive supplier Honsel.
Acquired the plant of Bauknecht Hausgerate GmbH in Neunkirchen (Saarland), Germany.
Jan. 2014 Sold its South African subsidiary Auto Industrial Brake & Chassis Holding Johannesburg (AIBC) to Trinitas, an independent private equity fund.
Sep. 2014 Sold its Rubber & Plastics business unit to Chinese rubber and plastic products manufacturer Zhuzhou Times New Material Technology Co,. Ltd. (TMT).
Announced that it entered into a definitive agreement with U.S.-based TRW under which the Company will acquire TRW for approximately USD 12,400 million. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2015.
Jan. 2015 Sold all of its 50% stake in the steering systems joint venture ZF Lenksysteme to the joint venture partner Robert Bosch.
May 2015 Completed acquisition of TRW, a developer of active and passive safety systems, for approximately USD 12,400 million.
Jun. 2015 Acquired Halla DAS Lab Europe GmbH, a software development department focused on semi-autonomous driving located in Germany.
Jul. 2016 Divested Engineered Fasteners and Components business of ZF TRW to Illinois Tool Works Inc. for approximately USD 450 million.
Aug. 2016 Acquired 40% stake in Ibeo Automotive Systems GmbH, a market leader in lidar technology and environment recognition software with a focus on autonomous driving applications.
Sep. 2016 Acquired 40% stake in doubleSlash Net-Business GmbH, a software company focused on vehicle networking.
Mar. 2017 Acquired approximately 45% of shares in Astyx Communication & Sensors GmbH, a developer of ultrahigh-frequency radar sensors and modules.
May 2017 Signed investment and cooperation agreement with BeeSpeed Automatizari S.R.L., an engineering services company. BeeSpeed’s Automotive Division will spin-off in 2018 with the legal transfer to the Company taking place in the beginning of 2019.
Jan. 2019 Acquired automotive division of BeeSpeed, an engineering service provider located in Romania.
Mar. 2019 Acquired 60% share of 2getthere B.V., a company located in the Netherlands which provides automated transport systems.
Mar. 2019 Announced agreement to acquire WABCO Holdings, a commercial vehicle safety and efficiency company, by acquiring all outstanding shares in an all-cash transaction for an equity value of more than USD 7 billion.
May 2019 Acquired 90% share in Simi Realty Motion Systems GmbH, a company which develops image-based 3D systems.
May 2020 Completed acquisition of WABCO, a commercial vehicle technology supplier, integrating the entity as an independent division, Commercial Vehicle Control Systems.
Aug. 2020 Completed acquisition of Veoneer’s U.S. brake control business.
Oct. 2020 Acquired all shares of former ZF Sachs Micro Mobility GmbH joint venture from BMZ Batterien-Montage-Zentrum GmbH and Gustav Magenwirth GmbH & Co. KG.
Jan. 2022 Created new Commercial Vehicle Solutions Division by merging Commercial Vehicle Control Systems Division and Commercial Vehicle Technology Division.

Supplemental Information 1