TOKYO -- ZF Friedrichshafen will quadruple sales to Japanese automakers to 1.6 billion euros this year because of the acquisition of TRW Automotive, ZF CEO Stefan Sommer said.
ZF had sales of 400 million euros to Japan's automakers last year, Sommer said at the auto show here.
He said the large majority of the new and old business is to support Japanese automakers’ factories outside of their home country, where it continues to be tough to win contracts from local rivals.
To improve its chances of gaining more business with companies such as Honda, Toyota and Nissan in Japan, ZF will expand TRW's r&d center in Yokohama to about 320 engineers in the next two years from 250 now.
The new employees will help ZF to develop affordable, innovative e-mobility solutions for hybrids and plug-in hybrids for the local market and globally.
The Yokohama facility, which was opened by TRW in 2001, will now be called the Japan Tech Center. It will be a key part of ZF’s newest business unit, the E-Mobility Division, which will start operations on Jan. 1. ZF decided to add the division a few weeks ago as a way to capitalize on growing demand for power electronics and the development and design of electric drivelines.
ZF took over TRW in May to create the world’s second-largest parts supplier. The two companies had worldwide sales to automakers of $38.43 billion last year, according to the Automotive News Data Center.