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Bosch completes acquisition of ZF Lenksysteme

Antitrust authorities approve

  • The growth area of electric steering is the basic technology for driver assistance, automated driving, and electric cars
  • Integration in the Bosch Group as separate division
  • Company will be called Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH

Stuttgart/Schwäbisch Gmünd – On January 30, 2015, 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. It 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. 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.

ZFLS is a leading manufacturer of modern, fuel-saving electric steering systems, with which it currently generates around 60 percent of its sales. Alongside its potential to save up to 0.8 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers, electric steering is the basic technology required to realize a number of assistance systems in cars as well as automated driving. For example, electric steering systems are one of the prerequisites for automatic evasive steering support in critical situations, the lane-keeping assistant, and the start-stop coasting function in which the engine shuts off while coasting. ZFLS also offers suitable, systems-capable electric steering systems for the growing electric vehicle market.

Electric steering is also increasingly being used in commercial vehicles. At the 2014 IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hannover, ZFLS presented the new commercial-vehicle steering system Servotwin, which marks the first step into the electrification of commercial vehicle steering. This hydraulic-electric steering for commercial vehicles paves the way for the introduction of driver assistance systems in the commercial segment as well.

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 is the networking of components into software-controlled complete systems. For example, the company brought a solution to series production which allows a car hooked up to a trailer to be maneuvered from outside the vehicle with a smartphone. Thanks to the development of the Servotwin electro-hydraulic commercial-vehicle steering system, this principle also now works in trucks with well over 40 metric tons of load volume. The corresponding prototype was presented at the 2014 IAA.

A compact, locally-engineered, and especially cost-effective electric power steering system for Asian markets shows that the company not only offers solutions for the premium segment. This means that even customers who drive more affordable compact cars can benefit from the increased efficiency offered by these products.

In total, around 1,400 of the new division’s associates, or more than one in ten, work in development. In 2013, the company spent roughly 238 million euros on research and development. Since its establishment some 15 years ago, the company has filed around 750 patents.

Tags: Acquisition, Hannover

Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. In 2018, its sales came to 47.6 billion euros, or 61 percent of total group sales. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers. The Mobility Solutions business sector pursues a vision of mobility that is accident-free. emissions-free, and fascinating, and combines the group’s expertise in the domains of automation, electrification, and connectivity. For its customers, the outcome is integrated mobility solutions. The business sector’s main areas of activity are injection technology and powertrain peripherals for internal-combustion engines, diverse solutions for powertrain electrification, vehicle safety systems, driver-assistance and automated functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, repair-shop concepts, and technology and services for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch is synonymous with important automotive innovations, such as electronic engine management, the ESP anti-skid system, and common-rail diesel technology.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 410,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2018). The company generated sales of 78.5 billion euros in 2018. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected manufacturing. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 460 subsidiary and regional companies in over 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At nearly 130 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 68,700 associates in research and development.

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com, www.iot.bosch.com, www.bosch-press.com, www.twitter.com/BoschPresse.

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