STUTTGART, Germany – On Jan. 30, the Bosch Group completed its acquisition of ZF Friedrichshafen AG’s 50-percent share in the joint venture ZF Lenksysteme GmbH (ZFLS). The antitrust authorities have approved the acquisition. This means that Bosch now owns all shares in the formerly 50/50 joint venture.
The business will be incorporated into the Bosch Group as a new division with the name Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH. A vote was held among ZFLS associates to determine the new name. ZFLS employs more than 13,000 associates in eight countries. The company develops, manufactures and sells steering systems for passenger cars and commercial vehicles worldwide. In 2013, it registered sales of around 4.1 billion euros ($4.6 billion U.S.). With a total of 20 locations in places such as Europe, the U.S., China, India, Brazil and Malaysia, the company is active in the world’s most important automotive markets, according to Bosch.
ZFLS is a leading manufacturer of modern, fuel-saving electric steering systems, from which it currently generates around 60 percent of its sales. Bosch’s customers will benefit from the increased range of products on offer, which now includes steering systems. A main focus of ZFLS’s R&D activities will be the networking of components into software-controlled complete systems.
In total, around 1,400 of the new division’s associates, or more than one in 10, work in development. In 2013, the company spent roughly 238 million euros ($269 million U.S.) on research and development. Since its establishment some 15 years ago, the company has filed around 750 patents.