|Germany-headquartered ZF Friedrichshafen AG, the €29.2-billion global auto parts major, plans a bigger play in India with a renewed focus on the auto components business.|
It also plans to set up a full-fledged research and development (R&D) operation.
ZF, one of the earliest entrants into the Indian parts industry, consolidated its commercial vehicle, passenger car, off-highway sales, after-market and engineering operations under its wholly-owned subsidiary ZF India at a new plant in Pune last year.
Consequent to ZF’s acquisition of TRW acquisition in 2015, the new entity will have greater clout, diverse market opportunities and the ability to focus on future mobility.
“Our immediate focus is to restore our reputation in India as a key global auto parts maker both for passenger cars and CVs. Another high priority is to identify and develop the R&D presence in the country. We are in the midst of populating our global R&D operations with a presence in India. We are in the process of finalising the location,” Rudi von Meister, ZF’s President-Asia Pacific, told a select group of Indian journalists at Aachen, Germany, last week.
KV Suresh, President, ZF India, said there was a strong possibility to set up R&D operations in India in view of the growth prospects in the Indian automotive industry.
The company would choose a location that is either a strong R&D hub or a popular automotive manufacturing centre for its R&D operations.
“Presently, we have about 30 engineers working on product development at our factory complex in Pune. We need to ramp up this operations for both global and local needs. This is also part of our global plans, under which we intend to shift our industrial infrastructure and product development capabilities out of our traditional home units to the markets that we serve,” said Meister.
ZF group spends about five per cent of its revenues on R & D. In 2015, it spent €1.4 billion on R & D.
He stated that re-establishing ZF’s reputation in India would be not only due to the TRW integration but also to catch the wind of the market in a country that is growing faster than any other nation.