Following the easing of economic sanctions at the beginning of this year, ZF Friedrichshafen is intensifying its business commitments in Iran. To this end, the company has opened up the ZF Pars SSK subsidiary, which will start to combine ZF's business activities in the region.

Cars, trucks and buses purchased in Iran primarily come from local manufacturers. Economic sanctions set by the United Nations, the EU and the US have heavily restricted production in the past, but this is now set to change and market analysts are forecasting a noticeable rise in demand.

"The Iranian market offers a great deal of potential," says Matthias Benz, senior vice president for corporate market at ZF. "The new Iranian subsidiary will enable us to concentrate our existing business activities, while also tapping into new business areas and acquiring new customers." It will also establish business relationships with cooperation partners in the new active and passive safety technology division and the ZF services aftermarket organisation. The initial group of around 10 employees of ZF Pars SSK will be based in the capital Tehran with the prospect of hiring additional employees as business activities expand.

The opening of the subsidiary is not ZF's first business venture in Iran. The company set up operations in the region around 30 years ago and has also been a 16.7% shareholder in the joint venture S.S. Charkheshgar since the middle of the 1980s. Commercial vehicle transmissions primarily used in city buses have been produced in the Tabriz plant in northern Iran. "ZF has already contributed toward maintaining the country's infrastructure and improving the living conditions of its population," says Benz. The business activities of this joint venture, which will continue to exist alongside the new ZF Pars SSK subsidiary, will be intensified, the production facility is also scheduled to be modernised and updated.