see. think. act.
Strategy Strategy

The ZF Corporate Strategy

Next Generation Mobility

Our mission for clean and safe mobility – automated, convenient and affordable for everyone, everywhere.

Our "Next Generation Mobility" strategy provides the right framework for our actions, even in a difficult environment. With a focus on technological change, sustainability and digitization, we provide the answers to structural change in the automotive industry. Whether automated driving functions, new electronic vehicle architectures or increasing degrees of electrification: As an integrated system provider, we see ourselves as an active contributor to future mobility.

The increasing pressure on margins and intense competition require stricter prioritization of scarce resources. Because essential functions of mobility are defined by software, networking and artificial intelligence, numerous new players see their opportunities in the mobility market. We are well prepared for this: by expanding our digital range of services and combining it with ZF's established core competencies.


How ZF is Shaping the Transformation

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.

Acting now

Sustainability Means Responsibility

Sustainability is an integral part of ZF Group strategy. Its targets include complete climate neutrality by 2040. However, sustainability means far more to us than climate protection. In addition to climate and nature, we focus on the dimensions of people and lasting values.


On the Way to Becoming a “Data-Driven Company”

The central component of our digitization strategy is the ZF cloud, which consolidates all relevant data and production processes of the plants and makes them available for further analysis using modern, AI-based programming methods. Furthermore, we transfer all applications to the ZF cloud, creating a comprehensive database that we use to create process automations.

In addition, ZF is establishing a program to standardize all business processes based on the new SAP S/4HANA technology. By 2030, all areas should be equipped with this modern solution. In addition to process efficiency, the improved human-machine interface is also important here to focus the digital transformation on employees. The newly established "SkillsHub" learning platform forms the basis for this change in skills for all employees. Here, central methods and technologies are conveyed in a sustainable manner. By 2030, all business processes will be highly standardized across the board and implemented with AI-based autonomy. In addition, IoT methods are implemented to increase productivity in the production processes.

Research and Development

High Development Achievements Accompany the Change

Digital innovations and continuously increasing investments in research and development are taking ZF further: In addition to its core business, the Group is becoming one of the leading suppliers of electronics and software - with technology for e-mobility, vehicle motion control and both semi-autonomous and autonomous driving.

For this we develop central high-performance computers, connectivity solutions and software that enable new functions. We are already active today as a complete system supplier for passenger cars and commercial vehicles in electromobility, also with the heart of the electric drive, the power electronics. This is the basis for the necessary growth to compensate for the declining demand in the medium term for components that depend purely on the combustion engine.

The change in vehicle technology, which has accelerated significantly in recent years, is also affecting ZF in the form of greater development dynamics. Years of advance work are paying off - such as in the development of a family of central high-performance computers. These are increasingly being used by our customers. In this area, too, we won additional customers in 2022, setting us up to become one of the leading providers over the next few years.


Five Core Goals for a Balanced Development

Five goals form the basis for implementing the strategy of the ZF Group. They include all dimensions relevant to the company. This ensures that ZF continues to develop holistically.

Product & Technologies

4 Plus 1 Technology Domains for Three Customer Segments

ZF serves its customers in three segments: passenger cars, commercial vehicles, and industrial technology. With products and services, we cover both original equipment and the aftermarket. For our further development, we direct our strategic focus on our 4+1 technology fields: electric mobility, vehicle motion control, autonomous driving, integrated safety, and digitalization and software. We continue to develop our offer across these technology fields and connect them with each other via integrated solutions.

Digitalization and Software

Electronics, cloud networking and software are central basic modules for the transformation in all four technology fields: In addition to the high-performance computer ZF ProAI, ZF has presented the software platform ZF Middleware and established a Global Software Center to develop individual software solutions for customers. In this way, individual components in the software-defined vehicle are networked into comprehensive systems that can act independently with artificial intelligence.

Automated Driving

Automated driving will make mobility more comfortable and safer, and everyday life easier for people. ZF systems already enable vehicles to see, think and act as well as drive autonomously. This will also lead to innovative mobility concepts for which new suppliers are already positioning themselves. Moreover, for ZF as a component and systems supplier, it is creating additional opportunities across the broad spectrum of mobility.

Electric Mobility

Just like fully electric vehicle drives, hybrid drives are widespread in the market. Their growth rates will continue to rise over the short term until they are replaced by pure electric drives. ZF supplies the core components for electromobility, such as hybrid transmissions, electric motors or power electronics, as well as complete systems for pure battery vehicles – across all vehicle categories from passenger cars, commercial vehicles, agricultural and construction machinery to marine or rail applications and the micromobility sector.

Vehicle Motion Control

The chassis, comprising smart motion-related actuators, plays a major role in ensuring safety, comfort and efficiency in all types of vehicles. We can network and synchronize all systems that affect longitudinal, transverse or vertical dynamics so that cars and commercial vehicles are quiet and safe, regardless of whether they are driven or driverless.

Integrated Safety

Automated and autonomous driving along with intelligent traffic routing will make a vital contribution to avoiding accidents. Nevertheless, occupant safety will continue to play an essential role. ZF already has the most comprehensive safety technology in the supplier industry. It ranges from electronic control units, sensors, brakes, steering systems and seat belts as well as airbags, electronics and central computers with their corresponding software right up to active chassis systems equipped with the actively steering rear axle, for example.

Group DNA

It’s About Community

Winning the race for tomorrow’s mobility, together – that’s the guiding principle of the “ZF Way” transformation program. It sets out the “how” behind the Group’s “Next Generation Mobility” strategy. It also provides employees with orientation for the approach to leadership and teamwork. Read more about the ZF Way and the 5 principles on which it is based.

The ZF History

What has changed at ZF since it was founded in 1915? What values still exist today?


Annual Report 2022

In 2022, ZF made a commitment to climate protection and nature conservation, to people and to lasting values under one common motto: Acting now. ZF is driving forward its own transformation and that of its products and technologies with the same momentum. Details on this as well as on all key facts and figures on the 2022 annual accounts you can download here.