ZF to Set up Independent Passive Safety Systems Division

ZF has announced it will carve-out its Passive Safety Systems Division and set it up independently by the end of 2023. This decision is intended to open up new strategic options for action for the occupant protection systems business and is the result of a continuous review of the ZF portfolio. ZF has evaluated and analyzed the growing transformation business on the one hand and the growth potential of traditional business areas such as passive safety systems on the other. In a carve-out, the company sees the best conditions to generate stronger growth and a sustainable expansion of the market position of the world’s number 2 in the passive safety technology business by involving external investors.

assive safety technology systems include airbags, seat belts and steering wheels. They represent an independent business that operates largely unaffected of the transformation in the automotive industry and has high growth potential. However, additional investment resources are required to tap this growth potential.

The ZF Group has therefore decided to carve out its successful Passive Safety Systems Division by the end of 2023 and set it up independently. This measure serves to give the division more strategic options for its future development and thus to achieve higher growth. This may include the entry of external investors who can improve access to additional growth capital. This option will sustainably strengthen the division’s claim to be the most innovative and forward-looking player in the market.

“The Passive Safety Systems division has been a continuous success story for the ZF Group since the division was acquired in 2015. Over the past seven years, ZF has developed the division into the global number 2 in passive safety systems. Due to the transformation of the mobility business, we are planning to reposition the safety business,” said Wolf-Henning Scheider, CEO of ZF Group.

Today, the Passive Safety Systems Division has a market share of around 25 percent of global sales of passive safety equipment, with significant potential for more. The comprehensive product portfolio includes both individual components and complete passive safety systems for various vehicle segments, ranging from small vehicles in the volume segment to the most sophisticated luxury vehicles.

Martin Fischer, member of the ZF Group Executive Board and responsible for the Passive Safety Systems division, added: “Strategically and financially, we are in a comfortable position with stable and decent profits. These are independent of the disruptive developments currently characterizing the automotive industry. At the same time, this business will benefit from the megatrends of increased vehicle safety and autonomous driving.”

The division’s sales in 2021 amounted to €3.8 billion. This represents growth of 8.6 percent compared to 2020, despite the impact of the Corona pandemic and the approximately 10 million vehicles that could not be produced due to disrupted supply chains and material shortages. Overall, order intake increased by 60 percent from 2018 to 2021, reflecting the strong market position.