ZF plans to be full-range systems supplier for new mobility
Indian auto component industry grows 13% in FY2018: ICRA
In the past several years, auto component manufacturers have encountered many speed bumps and have tackled the automakers’ demands for productivity gains, stricter environmental and safety regulations, increasing liability for warranties and recalls. Through these uncertainties and upheavals, the suppliers have survived with healthy growth in the overall automotive industry. But the global auto industry is facing what could be its most dramatic challenges in a century, driven by the convergence of technology, regulatory pressure, and consumer trends, and so the suppliers seem to be at the centre of all these.
Having a strong strategy for mobility to face the emerging trends is now more important than before. One of the leading global automotive system and technology suppliers, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, is planning to be a full- range systems supplier to tap the upcoming trends in the automotive industry. Recently, the German company conducted its ZF Tech Day in Friedrichshafen and showcased its technology prowess in automated driving, electric mobility, vehicle motion control and integrated safety. Being a global event, ZF Friedrichshafen AG invited
AutoComponentsIndia and it is understood that most of the technologies showcased and demonstrated at the event will change the perspective the mobility in the coming years.
The future of mobility has begun presenting new challenges to suppliers across the industry. More powertrain suppliers are expected to offer both advanced control systems and low-cost but long-lasting components. The emergence of a new mobility ecosystem offers suppliers new choices of where to play and how to win. In the future of mobility, the key trends would be the emergence of autonomous vehicles and shifts in mobility preferences giving rise to shared access to the transportation.
ZF’s strategy is to focus on forward-looking mobility concepts. It has joined hands
with Aachen-based e.GO Mobile AG and introduced e.GO Mover, a people and cargo mover, primarily for urban mobility needs of the future. In the joint venture company e.GO Moove GmbH, ZF will supply to this vehicle its technologies like electric drive systems, steering systems and brakes as well as ZF’s ProAI central computer (using artificial intelligence) and sensors which enable automated driving. The company also announced that the series production will begin in Aachen, Germany, next year. To begin with, the vehicle will be manualdriven with some level of autonomous technology.
“In an increasingly complex technology environment, companies that can quickly offer perfectly harmonised subsystems or complete systems solutions have a distinct advantage. This is how we have aligned our company’s strategy,” WolfHenning Scheider, CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen AG, said. “ZF’s strategic focus is to be a systems provider that shapes ‘Next Generation Mobility’. We want to provide systems solutions which can address all potential requirements when it comes to the mobility of the future,” he said.
With its broad portfolio of products and competencies, ZF is active in the relevant technology fields. By mastering the integration of sensors, control units and vehicle motion control, ZF has gained a strong market position. The company is focusing on 4 fields: automated driving, electric drives, integrated safety systems and vehicle motion control to make the driving experience as comfortable and pleasant as possible for occupants. In addition, ZF has set up its Internet of Things (IoT) Cloud to enable extensive networking between systems. ZF will be active globally and across all applications in passenger cars, commercial vehicles, offhighway vehicles and industrial technology.
ZF is keenly following the developments in the Indian economy and its fast-evolving automotive industry. India will make airbags mandatory for all passenger cars from October 2019, and will move to BS VI emission norms from April 2020. Plans are under way to replace a large fleet of vehicles that are older than 20 years from the roads with the new ones. Due to new dafety regulation, ZF feels that the demand for seat belts and airbag will be in upswing. Therefore the company is in discussion with the OEMs and is planning to enhance its capacity for airbags and seatbelts. The powertrain supplier also feels that, from 2020 there will be big demand for automatic transmission systems for trucks after the implementation of BS VI.
“India will be shifting to BS VI emission norms in 2020. Due to higher emission norms, higher efficiency is needed on the drivelines. We hope that this will help the market upgrade from manual transmission systems to the automatic transmission systems. We are trying to be ready for that. We have major plans on how to grow in India and in China. In China, we have built up an engineering centre in Shanghai. China is a major truck market and, therefore, we started working on a JV with Foton. In India, our focus is on the Pune facility, which has enough area for future expansion. Also, our seatbelt and airbag business is very important for us due to upcoming safety norms. We are having discussions with our OEMs and plan to optimise costs through largescale manufacturing,” Wilhelm Rehm, Head Corporate Materials Management, Commercial Vehicle technology and Industrial technology and Member of the Board of Management at ZF Friedrichshafen AG said.
Earlier this year, ZF India achieved cumulative exports of parts worth 100 million euros (Rs 802 crore). The company has doubled its target to 200 million
euros. For this, the company plans to have a secured supply chain from India and have installed a purchasing hub with people located in Hyderabad, Pune and in Coimbatore. Rehm said, “We have aligned this purchasing hub directly to Europe, and we are having a lot of discussions with our Indian suppliers. For us, India is a very important market. In many cases, we have delivered parts from India to the US, Germany and to other locations as well.”
About the plans for ZF India, Fredrik Staedtler, Executive VicePresident, Head of Commercial Vehicle Technology Division at ZF said, “It is very encouraging to see the developments that are happening in the Indian market. In India, we will focus more on the six-speed and nine-speed manual transmission systems. We will work with the supply base to increase our production capacities. This will be the first step where we will see the automation of the transmission systems. We have plans to localise our chassis components like shock absorbers. Various aspects of chassis and drivetrain will be localised in our Pune plant.”
In India, ZF is present with 2 fully-owned subsidiaries - ZF India (Pune) and ZF Wind Power (Coimbatore) and has 5 joint ventures; ZF Hero Chassis System, Rane TRW Steering Systems, Somic ZF Components, TRW Sun Steering Wheels and Brakes India. It also has its Technology Centre in Hyderabad, which works for both local and global projects.
ZF is a global leader in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology. It has a global workforce of 146,000 in about 230 locations in 40 countries. In 2017, ZF achieved sales of Euro 36.4 billion. ZF is one of the largest automotive suppliers worldwide. ZF allows vehicles to see, think and act. The company invests more than 6% of its sales in research and development annually – mainly for the development of efficient and electric drivelines and for a world without accidents. With its broad portfolio, ZF is advancing mobility and services in the automobile, truck and industrial technology sectors.
ZF India will be increasing the localisation of its six-and nine-speed transmission
The AVE 130 electric portal axles can be combined with most conventional power source, including batteries, supercaps, fuel cells or even overhead lines
Wilhelm Rehm, Head Corporate Materials Management, Commercial Vehicle Technology and Industrial Technology, ZF
The e.GO Mover is the first production-ready vehicle featuring ZF systems which provides an autonomous mobility concept
Fredrik Staedtler, Executive VicePresident, Head of Commercial Vehicle Technology Division, ZF