Bosch is planning to increase its stake in ZF Lenksysteme GmbH (ZFLS) to 100 percent. On Sept. 15, Robert Bosch GmbH and ZF Friedrichshafen AG signed an agreement to this effect. Purchase price will not be disclosed, the two companies stated.
Until now, ZFLS, based in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, has been a 50:50 joint venture between Bosch and ZF. Employing more than 13,000 associates in eight countries, ZFLS develops, produces and sells steering systems for passenger cars and commercial vehicles worldwide. In 2013, it registered sales of approximately 4.1 billion euros. With a total of 20 locations, the company is active in the world’s most important automotive markets. Alongside locations in Europe, the U.S., and China, ZFLS also produces in India, Brazil, and Malaysia.
“With its complete takeover of ZFLS, Bosch is strengthening its ability to actively shape the future of mobility. The company is a technological leader in the growth area of electric power steering, and precisely this is the core technology for automated driving, for more efficient vehicles, and also for electric cars,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.
ZFLS already generates some 60 percent of its total revenue with modern, fuel-efficient electric power steering systems.
“Since 1999, ZFLS has experienced strong growth, and has also developed very successfully as a result of the excellent collaboration between ZF and Bosch. I would like to sincerely thank all ZFLS associates for their hard work and dedication over the years,” said Dr. Stefan Sommer, CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen AG. “In order to continue to be able to meet the demands of an ever-more dynamic business environment, Bosch and ZF have decided to change the ownership structure of ZFLS.”
In related news, ZF announced this past August that the company's American location in Vernon Hills, Ill. – ZF Services LLC – will assume responsibility for the independent aftermarket sales and distribution of ZF Lenksysteme passenger car products in North America.