ZF Anniversary This is How the Company Celebrated its 100th Birthday
A few days before the IAA, the major players from the international automotive industry met up in Friedrichshafen to raise a glass on the occasion of the ZF centennial.
The exhibition hall in Friedrichshafen was packed with well-wishers: 1,500 guests celebrated the technology company's centennial at a gala evening on September 9, 2015. While paying tribute to its moving history, ZF demonstrated to its guests during the anniversary ceremony that it is a dynamic, cosmopolitan technology company offering intelligent system solutions and pursuing a clear, forward-looking strategy. “Even one hundred years after its founding, ZF is still driven by its desire to invent new technologies and perfect existing ones,” said Chief Executive Officer Dr. Stefan Sommer in his speech.
Customers, business partners, and guests from business and politics from 45 countries came to Friedrichshafen to celebrate with ZF. Roger Lopez, the breakdance group Flying Steps, and other artists brought the company's strengths on stage, including allusions to current events. Their performances were backed up by impressive images presented on a 50-meter wide screen. The gala evening, which was hosted by newscaster Judith Rakers, also saw Charles Simmons and a backing band consisting of prominent figures take the stage to perform ZF's anniversary song "Today is the Day".
The digital guestbook was diligently signed. Pictured here, Heinz Hermann Thiele, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Knorr-Bremse, signs the guestbook before the Gala evening begins.
The commercial vehicles industry was also represented: DAF Manager Jos Smets also extends his congratulations.
Transmission experts stick together: Gerd Bofinger, Head of Transmission Development at Porsche, and ZF CEO Dr. Stefan Sommer.
ZF Supervisory Board Chairman Giorgio Behr showed genuine pleasure as he congratulated Dr. Stefan Sommer
Even Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann seemed to have enjoyed the informative and entertaining stage show.
Peter Lake (2nd from the right), future member of the Board of Management responsible for Corporate Market, also welcomed the guests, with Board of Management member for the Region of North America Franz Kleiner (far right) and Jürgen Holeksa, Board Member Human Resources.
He had a great time chatting with guests during the anniversary celebration: Hans-Georg Härter, CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen AG from 2007 to 2012.
BMW Board of Management member Klaus Draeger brought the model of a DTM racecar with him for ZF CEO Dr. Stefan Sommer as a symbol of outstanding cooperation.
Friedrichshafen’s mayor and member of the ZF Supervisory Board Andreas Brand, along with his wife Wilma, were among those extending their congratulations. As chairman of the Zeppelin Foundation, which benefits greatly from the success of the company, he was particularly pleased about growth at ZF.
Prominent guests at the anniversary ceremony: The entrepreneurial family Schaeffler-Thumann together with ZF’s CEO Dr. Stefan Sommer. From left: Georg F.W. Schaeffler, Jürgen Thumann and Marie-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann.
Franz Fehrenbach, Bosch’s Chairman of the Supervisory Board, together with Dr. Stefan Sommer and Michael Hankel, Board Member Production.
The 50-meter stage setting in the trade show hall colorfully illustrated ZF's strengths backed up by impressive images.
Looking into the future keeping tradition in mind: ZF's CEO Dr. Stefan Sommer presented the roots of the company by showing a shaft from the Soden transmission.
Among ZF's well-wishers were entrepreneur Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann and Daimler Board member Wolfgang Bernhard.
1,500 guests from 45 countries celebrated ZF's centennial on the trade show grounds in Friedrichshafen on September 9.
Peter Lake, designated ZF member of the Board of Management responsible for Corporate Market, explained to moderator Judith Rakers the simple recipe for success for companies: Always focus on the customer. The former TRW manager sees outstanding market opportunities for ZF in North America.
Our way into a bright future: On the screen, the Advanced Urban Vehicle illustrated its strengths as an intelligently connected and extremely agile city speedster.
UNESCO Special Ambassador Ute-Henriette Ohoven (right) expressed her thanks for ZF's exceptional commitment in the world's poverty-stricken regions. In the back: Jürgen Holeksa, Board Member Human Resources, and host Judith Rakers.
No jitters at all: The ZF anniversary choir sparked pure joy of living on the stage when presenting the anniversay project of 100 Years - 100 schools.
The breakdance champions "Flying Steps" linked traditional ballet elements with spectacular acrobatics in their stage show.