100 Years of ZF From Gear Factory to Global Player

Exactly a hundred years ago, the ZF success story began in Friedrichshafen. Even back then the desire for perfection was the driving force in the company.

The publication of the entry in the trade register of the municipal court of Tettnang on September 9, 1915.

On September 9, 1915, the municipal court of Tettnang published in the trade register the foundation of the “Zahnradfabrik GmbH” in Friedrichshafen to “manufacture gears and transmissions for aircraft, motor vehicles, and motorboats.” And what became of it? The technology company based on Lake Constance assumes a global leading position in the automotive supply sector in its anniversary year “100 Years of ZF” with 134 000 employees and annual sales of more than EUR 30 billion.

Top performance for driveline and chassis technology – with this aspiration, Friedrichshafen AG has become a sought-after automotive industry partner over the past hundred years. With the TRW acquisition in May this year, ZF is extending the product portfolio to include active and passive safety technology. “We are now combining the strengths of two global champions. Our aim is to become the preferred supplier of automotive manufacturers worldwide,” says Dr. Stefan Sommer, Chief Executive Officer of ZF Friedrichshafen AG.

Video: 100 Years ZF

For hundred years ZF has been setting the benchmark for gear wheels and rotating parts. Watch the video to discover how the company has taken the technological lead globally since then.

Throughout its eventful history, ZF has repeatedly seized its entrepreneurial opportunities and developed into a global leader in driveline and chassis technology. Today's ZF portfolio includes driveline and chassis technology products such as transmissions, driveline and chassis components, as well as complete axle systems and modules. ZF technology is used in passenger cars, commercial vehicles, construction and agricultural machinery, rail vehicles, and marine applications. The company also focuses on wind power technology and on the development and production of electronic components. Safety technology is also being added with TRW, enabling ZF to augment its expertise portfolio as well as its global market presence in order to serve global megatrends even better.

With the TRW acquisition, ZF will grow into the world's third-largest automotive supplier in its anniversary year. The technology company provides a comprehensive and complementary product portfolio covering driveline and chassis technology, safety, and electronic systems. It has a regionally balanced, customer-specific product range in both the volume and premium segments, with a strong presence in the key automobile markets of Western Europe, the USA, and Asia-Pacific. All in all, many good reasons to celebrate today, the day on which the company was founded, our landmark anniversary in 2015 with employees, customers, suppliers, business partners.

Paving the way for the future: With the acquisition of TRW (May 2015), ZF can offer its customers more and more safety solutions from a single source. In the photo: By means of data fusion, ZF TRW combines the strengths of radar and camera so that driver assistance systems can make complex and reliable decisions.

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