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ZF Friedrichshafen acquires Wabco

Component builder ZF Friedrichshafen takes over the Swiss company Wabco for more than $ 7 billion.

Both specialised companies working together should accelerate development in autonomous vehicles. The Swiss company Wabco is well-known for its braking systems and other vehicle safety systems. The purchase would involve a sum of more than $ 7 billion.

The transaction is approved by both companies, but is still waiting to be approved by the Wabco shareholders and competition authorities. The take-over is expected to be completed in early 2020. Both companies together will have a turnover of more than € 40 billion.

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Less depending on passenger cars

ZF Friedrichshafen mainly transmission and chassis technologies. 80% of ZF’s turnover comes from the division of passenger cars and commercial vehicles up to 6.000 kg. With the purchase of Wabco (which mainly supplies truck manufacturers), ZF expects to be less dependent of the economical ups and downs in the passenger cars division.

By the way: of ZF’s turnover – in total € 36.9 billion in 2018 – 8% comes from agriculture, construction, marine, aviation and wind energy departments. Wabco achieved a turnover of € 3.8 billion last year.

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With ZF and Wabco working together, the development of autonomous vehicles - also for agriculture - is to acceleratie. - Photo: Bob Karsten
With ZF and Wabco working together, the development of autonomous vehicles - also for agriculture - is to acceleratie. - Photo: Bob Karsten

Next Generation Mobility Strategy

The acquisition of Wabco is part of ZF’s Next Generation Mobility Strategy, and the company is expanding for the first time with expertise and products in braking systems for commercial vehicles. According to the component builder, this expertise is important for automated driving functions (such as an emergency brake for trucks and trailers).

Quicker development of autonomous vehicles

With the acquisition of Wabco, ZF expects to be able to offer a fully integrated solution to vehicle manufacturers for e-mobility and autonomous driving. ZF expects that these autonomous vehicles will mainly run on factory sites, airports and also in agriculture. The combination of both companies will accelerate the development of new technologies for autonomous driving.

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