Auto Supplier ZF Remains On Course For Growth

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Auto Supplier ZF Remains On Course For Growth
Auto Supplier ZF Remains On Course For Growth

Video: Auto Supplier ZF Remains On Course For Growth

Video: Auto Supplier ZF Remains On Course For Growth
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The automotive supplier ZF wants to continue its growth course in the coming year. Company boss Hans-Georg Härter announced the creation of further jobs.

The automotive supplier ZF expects only slightly slower growth in the coming year and wants to create more jobs in Germany. "The course is clearly aimed at growth, regardless of the economic development," said ZF boss Hans-Georg Härter on Monday evening in the Club Wirtschaftspresse München. This year, the turnover of the major supplier from Lake Constance should increase by at least eight percent to 12.6 billion euros. In 2008, five to six percent are possible on their own. But strategic acquisitions are also conceivable. "We have a lot of money available and are also prepared for larger acquisitions." The US business continues to be the Group's biggest problem child.

Return of reason

For example, an acquisition could give ZF better access to the Japanese auto giant Toyota, with which it currently has few business relationships. Recently, ZF held back with acquisitions because "crazy prices were paid," said Härter. In the meantime, however, reason is returning to the market. An investment of two to three billion euros is quite conceivable for ZF.

As the third largest German automotive supplier, ZF Friedrichshafen AG specializes in transmissions for cars and trucks, among other things. "We are very strong in all business segments," said Härter. The profit, which in 2006 after taxes was 297 million euros, should increase significantly this year.

Difficult US market

The US market will again not contribute anything. Operationally, you will reach the zero line this year. Due to the announced closure of two US plants, the bottom line could be again in the red due to possible restructuring provisions. "In no way do we have a situation in the USA that satisfies us," said Härter. ZF's problem is that it is primarily doing business with the former “Big Three”, that is, with Chrysler, Ford and General Motors. But it is precisely those who have to contend with declines in sales and the discount wars on the US market. "We have to get our customer portfolio in order," said Härter.

However, the problems in the USA are more than offset by progress made in the rest of the world. The number of ZF employees is expected to increase by 3,000 to 58,000 worldwide this year. 1200 jobs will be created in Germany. "We are currently looking for 250 engineers," said Härter. Germany as a business location has made progress in recent years. "We have job flexibility here, in other countries we only dream of." (dpa)