ZF Friedrichshafen AG, fresh from announcing a $11.7 billion deal to purchase TRW Automotive Holdings Corp., forming the world’s second largest auto supplier, eyes more acquisitions in the near to mid-term future.
Stefan Sommer, ZF’s chief executive officer commented that a deal of the TRW magnitude is highly unlikely, and that the company could improve its capabilities in the industrial and trucking businesses.
“The amount of engineering to do devices of this sophistication, it’s a big burden,” comments TRW CEO John Plant about autonomous and connected cars. “It’s a select few that not only have been able to afford to do it, but will be able to afford it in the future. It’s not your middle-sized company that’s going to be able to step up to the plate.”
According to Sommer and Plant the automakers are increasingly asking suppliers to provide everything they need for their new global platforms, while regulators and makers alike add to the pressure with their desire to build autonomous cars, vehicles with an increased number of active safety features or connected autos that can communicate with each other and the surroundings.
ZF’s deal to incorporate TRW pushed the company past Japan’s Denso Corp. and Germany’s Continental AG, second only to Robert Bosch GmbH.