Driving Change

Bosch Acquires Key to Car of the Future

Volkmar Denner BOSCH
In the driving seat, Bosch head Volkmar Denner.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Bosch is developing autonomous-driving systems but lacked expertise in advanced steering systems. Its estimated €1 billion takeover of ZF Lenksysteme guarantees access to the technology.

  • Facts


    • Cost of deal between car parts makers undisclosed.
    • Bosch revenues after acquisition will exceed €50 billion ($65 billion).
    • Bosch competing with Continental for global market leadership.
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The increasing use of computers and the internet to assist driving is a strategically important area for Bosch. This week, the company completed the takeover of auto-parts maker ZF Lenksysteme (ZFLS), securing access to important technology for autonomous driving.

Bosch already owned half of the company, and both sides are keeping quiet about the price paid. Industry experts estimate Bosch will have paid about €1 billion once the deal is complete.

ZFLS currently makes 60 percent of its revenues, recently €4.1 billion ($5.3 billion), from electric steering systems. Power assisted steering is made possible by electric motors, which are easier to build into driver-assistance systems, such as emergency breaking and skid prevention, than traditional equipment.

Bosch, based in the southern state of Baden-Württemberg, has developed a system for moving vehicles and trailers via a smart phone and is getting close to production. Similar systems for commercial vehicles are undergoing trials. The company was therefore keen to secure ZFLS’s steering know-how.

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