FRANKFURT SHOW: ZF CEO upbeat on prospects
Speaking at a press conference held at the Frankfurt Motor Show, ZF's CEO Hans-Georg Härter said that the company has achieved sales revenue growth of 23% so far this year (first eight months versus same period last year).
ZF revenues for the year as a whole are projected by the company at EUR15bn versus EUR12.9bn in 2010.
He highlighted particularly positive results in the US. "The US market is developing very dynamically. It is no longer a problem area, but rather on track to becoming a model region,” said Härter. ZF sales in North America grew by an impressive 48% in the first eight months.
The company also achieved double-digit growth in Western Europe (21%), Eastern Europe (37%), and South America (20%); whereas growth in the Asia-Pacific region was somewhat more restrained at 7%. "We are particularly pleased to be continuing to record an increase in orders, despite the weakening economy,” maintained Härter.
In response to the positive outlook, ZF is planning to expand its international production capacity. ZF is expanding its transmission production facility in Saarbrücken and investing in the construction of a new transmission production facility in South Carolina, USA. Beginning in 2013, 8-and 9-speed automatic transmissions will be produced at this new plant.
ZF also said that the surge in orders primarily for automatic transmissions requires the company to respond rapidly and reliably to customer production requests. “At no time can we afford to have a rupture in the supply chain,” Härter said. For this reason, ZF has acquired the Nuremberg production facility of Honsel, the gearbox housing and die-cast specialist. Even prior to its acquisition, about two thirds of the plant’s sales were to ZF. Among other products, the Nuremberg facility supplies ZF with the housings for its 6-speed, 8-speed, and dual-clutch transmissions.