The ZF Friedrichshafen Supervisory Board is creating a new division for electrified car drives. This will be an amalgamation of what used to be the Car Driveline Technology and E-Mobility divisions. The goal is to offer customers electrified driveline solutions under one roof.
ZF has announced that: “In the future, ZF will no longer develop components for internal combustion engine drives but will instead focus on long-range plug-in hybrids and purely electric vehicles.” This shift should be enabled with the new division led by Stephan von Schuckmann.
Von Schuckmann has been in charge of the Car Driveline Technology department based in Saarbrücken since autumn 2018 and has now been appointed to the ZF Board of Management starting from 01 January 2021. The new unit will is supposed to generate sales of around ten billion euros and make up about a quarter of the total Group sales.
The decision in favour of von Schuckmann should have been fairly easy for ZF: The head of the E-Mobility division, Jörg Grotendorst, has already resigned from ZF and will head the Automotive division at Rheinmetall in 2021. Von Schuckmann has been with ZF since 2003 and has held various management positions since then such as the steering system subsidiary in Hungary, at the headquarters of the former ZF Lenksysteme GmbH in Schwänsich Gmünd (now Bosch Automotive Steering), before moving to the Car Driveline Technology division.
The new structure should also reflect the Group’s strategic reorientation: “In the future, ZF will no longer develop driveline components for pure combustion engine vehicles.” Once all drives are electrified, ZF will no longer have to run the two drive divisions work separately. ZF says it will “combine its competencies in order to better address the increasing electrification in passenger cars, improve customer proximity and further accelerate the transformation to plug-in hybrids and electric drives.”
So far the Group has not revealed where in Germany the new division will be headquartered, whether this will be in Saarbrücken at the current headquarters of Car Driveline Technology, or in Schweinfurt, where E-Mobility division is based.
It is not clear what effect the merger of the two divisions will have on the number of employees. Last week, ZF gave a two-year employment guarantee but also cut working hours by 20 per cent. In the next two years, the Group also wants to restructure other divisions.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany