Automotive supplier ZF Friedrichshafen recently celebrated its 100th anniversary with a gala event attended by around 1,500 international guests from the automotive industry, business, government, and the community as well as friends and business partners of the company.
On September 9, 1915, Zahnradfabrik GmbH, headquartered in Friedrichshafen, Germany, was entered into the trade register of the Tettnang district court. The aim of the newly founded company was to produce gears and transmissions for aircraft, motor vehicles and motorboats. ZF soon began offering its technology to automobile manufacturers and advanced to become one of the leading automotive supply companies.
“Even one hundred years after its founding, ZF is still driven by its desire to invent new technologies and perfect existing ones,” stated CEO Dr Stefan Sommer in his speech during the celebration event. “Reliability and innovation represent the general values of our company and are the basis of our actions.”
Sommer emphasized that in light of increasing digitalisation and networking in automobiles, it is not enough to simply collect components, “Intelligently combining mechanics, electronics, and big data is decisive in developing adequate solutions for the mobility trends of the 21st century. ZF is now very well positioned, as a system supplier, to be a global partner for automobile and commercial vehicle manufacturers. It has the capacity to be a one-stop shop for supplying the right products and technologies.”
The trend toward autonomous driving and electromobility will change automobile use and technology more than any other previous developments. “Nevertheless, it will probably still take more than two decades before electromobility achieves a dominating market share,” said Sommer. “Even if we devote all of our effort to developing the electric drive, ZF will also have to look closely at driveline hybridisation in order to increase the efficiency of cars and further reduce emissions.” The plug-in hybrid is an important bridge technology from today’s world of the combustion engine into the new world of pure electromobility, the company stated.