News Releases

ZF Friedrichshafen, TRW Celebrate Acquisition

May 20, 2015

Northville and Livonia, Mich. Today, ZF Friedrichshafen AG is celebrating the completion of its acquisition of TRW Automotive in three southeastern Michigan employee events, including one in Livonia where a donation of $100,000 will be made to FIRST in Michigan symbolizing the company’s long-standing commitment to a culture of learning and innovation.

“The acquisition of TRW has expanded our expertise as a system supplier enabling us to provide our customers a broad portfolio of driveline, chassis, safety and driver assistance systems and technologies – delivering ‘The Power of 2’,” said Stefan Sommer, Chief Executive Officer of ZF. “We are excited to welcome the TRW team and look forward to working together to continue to develop and manufacture industry-leading technologies.”

TRW has been incorporated into ZF as a new division called Active & Passive Safety Technology. The new division headquarters will remain in Livonia.

ZF is announcing a partnership with FIRST in Michigan that includes a $100,000 donation and a commitment to offer engineers as mentors for the organization. The Michigan-based FIRST Robotics Competition program inspires young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting, mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills.

“As an innovation company, we are eager to support an organization developing tomorrow’s visionaries,” said Sommer. “The FIRST Robotics Competition is a unique program that not only engages students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), but also teaches problem solving, collaboration and competition all of which are critical skills for the future of our industry.”

In addition to the Livonia event, employee events will be held at new ZF facilities in Washington and Farmington Hills. ZF’s Stefan Sommer, Franz Kleiner—member of the Board of Management—and former TRW CEO John Plant will be visiting each location celebrating and sharing information about the combined organization.


Press Contacts:

Bryan Johnson, Head of Corporate Communications North America, phone: 734-272-8798, email:<>


Colleen Hanley, Head of Global Communications Division Active & Passive Safety Technology, phone: 734-855-2610, email:<>



ZF is a global leader in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology. The company, which acquired TRW Automotive on May 15, 2015, is now represented at about 230 locations in about 40 countries. The two companies, which were still independent in 2014, achieved a sales figure exceeding €30 billion with 134,000 employees. As in previous years, both companies have invested approximately 5 percent of their sales in Research and Development (recently €1.6 billion) in order to be successful with innovative products. ZF is one of the top three automotive suppliers worldwide.



In 2015, the company is celebrating its centennial. Originally named Zahnradfabrik GmbH, ZF was founded in Friedrichshafen in 1915 by Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH among others. In its early years, the company developed, tested, and manufactured aircraft transmissions. After 1919, the company focus shifted under Alfred Graf von Soden-Fraunhofen, the first Managing Director and later member of the Board of Management and CEO, to the automotive and commercial vehicle industry. In this sector, the company established itself once and for all as a major technology supplier, registering numerous patents for innovative transmission technology. The first location outside Europe was founded in Brazil in 1958, launching a globalization drive that continues today. In addition, ZF constantly expanded its range of expertise – also through acquisitions. For instance, in 1984 ZF acquired the majority share in Lemförder Metallwaren & Co. KG, a move which extended the product portfolio to include chassis technology. Later, in 2001, ZF took over Mannesmann Sachs AG to strengthen its value creation chain with driveline and chassis components. It adopted the current name of ZF Friedrichshafen AG in 1992. Today’s product range includes driveline and chassis technology such as transmissions, driveline and chassis components, as well as complete axle systems and modules. ZF products are used in passenger cars, commercial vehicles, construction and agricultural machinery, rail vehicles and marine applications. The company also focuses on the wind power and electronic components business. In addition, ZF Services represents the Group on the international aftermarket. In May 2015, ZF completed the acquisition of the U.S. automotive supplier TRW which had been previously announced in 2014. The shareholders of ZF Friedrichshafen AG are the Zeppelin Foundation, administered by the City of Friedrichshafen, holding a share of 93.8 percent, and the Dr. Jürgen and Irmgard Ulderup Foundation, Lemförde, with 6.2 percent. The “Motion and Mobility” slogan clearly states the company’s core mission: Right from its foundation, ZF has developed and manufactured innovative products for all people around the globe who want to move things reliably, comfortably, and safely, and experience the ultimate in efficient mobility. Quality, technological leadership, and innovative power have always defined the Group’s identity – today as much as ever.

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This press release contains statements related to our future business and financial performance and future events or developments involving ZF that may constitute forward-looking statements. These statements may be identified by words such as "expect," "look forward to," "anticipate" "intend," "plan," "believe," "seek," "estimate," "will," "project" or words of similar meaning. We may also make forward-looking statements in other reports, in presentations, in material delivered to shareholders and in press releases. In addition, our representatives may from time to time make oral forward-looking statements. Such statements are based on the current expectations and certain assumptions of ZF's management, of which many are beyond our control. These are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and factors. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying expectations not occur or assumptions prove incorrect, actual results, performance or achievements of ZF may (negatively or positively) vary materially from those described explicitly or implicitly in the relevant forward-looking statement. ZF neither intends, nor assumes any obligation, to update or revise these forward-looking statements in light of developments which differ from those anticipated.



For further information: Bryan Johnson, Head of Corporate Communications North America, phone: 734-272-8798, email: Colleen Hanley, Head of Global Communications Division Active & Passive Safety Technology, phone: 734-855-2610, email:

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