BEIJING : ZF Lemforder (Thailand), a unit of the German auto-parts maker ZF Friedrichshafen AG, is ramping up its expansion to tap more Japanese car makers in the Thai market.
The company’s axle production line at its Beijing factory.
Stefan Sommer, the chief executive of ZF Friedrichshafen, said the company is seeking partnerships with Honda, Toyota and Nissan.
Founded in 2002, ZF Lemforder makes axle systems for well-known car makers worldwide.
The German parent delivers front and rear suspensions and corner modules from plants in the US, Thailand, Australia, China, Britain, Austria and South Africa.
In Thailand the company makes axle systems, part of the chassis in passenger cars, for General Motors, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
ZF Lemforder has just expanded its annual production to 240,000 sets from 200,000 at its plant in the Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate.
The Rayong plant moved from the Amata City Industrial Estate in 2011.
Mr Sommer expects sales for ZF Lemforder to remain unchanged this year from 47 million euros (1.98 billion baht) in 2012.
The German parent firm forecasts greater 2014 Thai sales of 70 million euros.
ZF Friedrichshafen expects worldwide sales growth of 10% this year to 19.1 billion euros, mainly on business from China and the US.
By 2015, it projects sales of 20 billion euros.
The group had 121 production facilities and 34 service companies in 27 countries as of last year.
On Wednesday, ZF opened its newest production plant in Beijing at a cost of 15 million euros.
Most of the output will go to axle systems for Beijing Benz Automotive Co, starting next Feb 18.
Annual production capacity is 144,000 sets this year, rising to 372,000 by 2020.
The new plant is expected to generate sales of 1.4 billion yuan (7.13 billion baht) this year and 5 billion yuan by 2020.
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- Writer: Piyachart Maikaew
Position: Business Reporter