The structural shift in the automotive industry and the mobility transformation continue to accelerate – driven by the digital revolution. The wish of users for a constant supply of affordable, clean and safe mobility is met with a reality characterized by congestion, emissions and a lack of options. This is evident not only in city traffic, but everywhere. With our corporate strategy “Next Generation Mobility”, we are developing holistic solutions to address these challenges – today and in future. We stand as an integrated systems provider that is exerting a major influence on the shape of future mobility.
For companies such as vehicle manufacturers and their technology partners, changes in the market mean upheaval on an almost unprecedented scale. The structures, thinking and business models that were valid just a few years ago will have disappeared by the end of the decade. ZF identified this transformation early on and is already in the middle of a restructuring process which will affect literally every single part of the business. The company has identified three key areas driving the mobility of tomorrow, and on which it has already focused its sights – electric mobility, automated and autonomous driving and software-defined vehicles.
How is ZF mastering the challenges so successfully? One key is the Dual Operating System. ZF defines early on working groups that function like start-ups with a very high level of flexibility, disconnected from the operating business. These internal start-ups receive resources to pursue completely new ideas and develop their concepts into market-ready products, largely decoupled from day-to-day operations. ZF then consolidates its start-ups into its existing structures to create new, high-performance units. Flat hierarchies and the agile thinking of young, flexible start-ups thus merge with the established processes of an industrial company to create an efficient whole.
“What we do now will be decisive,” sums up ZF Board Member Sabine Jaskula. Sustainable thinking and action at ZF are guided by the principle “Acting now”, with sustainability an integral part of Group strategy. The crucial importance of the issue is also evident in concrete and ambitious targets. By 2040, we want to be completely climate neutral, including the entire upstream supply chain. However, sustainability is about more than just the environment and climate protection. That’s why, in addition to “Climate and Nature”, we are also concentrating on “People” and “Enduring Values”.
The ZF Group serves its customers in three segments – cars, commercial vehicles and industrial technology – with products and services, including the aftermarket. For our continued development, our strategic focus is on electrification, digitalization and automation. In pursuit of this, we are developing our offerings across 4 plus 1 technology clusters, which we connect with one another through integrated solutions. They are automated driving, electric mobility, vehicle motion control, integrated safety plus digitalization, networking and software.
Is the future programmable? Software will be a decisive factor for success in the mobility industry, and not just for ZF. Because the automobile is increasingly software-defined, the company is pushing the topic to the forefront of its thinking and actions. It is therefore no surprise that the Annual Report has a strong software theme in terms of both look and content. Find all the key facts and figures on the 2021 annual accounts in this downloadable PDF.