ZF is a global leader in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology. The company, which acquired TRW Automotive on May 15, 2015, is now represented at about 230 locations in some 40 countries. The two companies, which were still independent in 2014, achieved a sales figure exceeding €30 billion with 134,000 employees. As in previous years, both companies have invested approximately 5 percent of their sales in Research and Development (recently €1.6 billion) in order to be successful with innovative products. ZF is one of the top three automotive suppliers worldwide.
The company was founded in 1915 for the development and production of transmissions for airships and vehicles. Today, the group’s product range comprises transmissions and steering systems as well as chassis components and complete axle systems and modules. As stockholders, the Zeppelin Foundation – which is administered by the City of Friedrichshafen – holds 93.8 percent and the Dr. Jürgen and Irmgard Ulderup Foundation Lemförde holds 6.2 percent of shares.
The ZF Group invests 5 percent (2014: EUR 891 million) of total revenue in research and development every year