ERJ staff report (TP)
Stuttgart & Friedrichshafen, Germany – ZF Friedrichshafen, the automotive supplier, announced that new plants in the US and China, high demand for car driveline and chassis technology and a healthy upswing in commercial vehicles in the second half of the year have boosted its business in 2013. The technology company is set to close the year with a ten-percent increase in sales to an anticipated €17bn.
“With this pleasing growth rate, we have once again outstripped the average in the industry and further strengthened our position among the world’s leading automotive suppliers,” said ZF CEO Dr. Stefan Sommer at the annual press conference in Stuttgart.
He noted that particularly in the most important market after Europe – North America – ZF had taken a major step forward with the opening of its new plant in Gray Court, South Carolina, in July. In recent years, the company has invested almost half a billion euros in the establishment and expansion of the production location for 8- and 9-speed automatic transmissions.
A large part of the investments totalling more than €1bn went to Asia-Pacific in 2013 and the company plans to do considerably more in the region.
The growth in sales went hand-in-hand with the creation of new jobs: In 2013, ZF hired some 5,200 new employees worldwide, 2,100 of them in Germany. This is set to continue to a lesser extent next year; Sommer expects more than 2,000 new jobs of which one quarter will be created in Germany. However, sales are anticipated to rise again in 2014 by around 10 percent.
Sommer explained that the strong growth in North America and Asia-Pacific would also impact on the long-term corporate strategy: “The sales share of North and South America as well as Asia-Pacific will increase from 40 percent today to more than 50 percent in 2025.”
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Press release from ZF Friedrichshafen