Component manufacturer ZF has re-affirmed its commitment to ZF at a press conference held during Automechanika. The conference was led by Head of ZF Services Helmut Ernst, alongside Neil Fryer, VP of aftermarket at TRW.
Ernst said in an interview with CAT after the conference that the combined organisation will change in the UK, but only as the market changes.
Describing the brand as ‘an asset’ he also said that there was ‘no reason’ to think that any of the sub-brands such as Brake Engineering would be affected. “All of the arrangements that TRW has made for a direct link to customers have their reasons. If it was logical for TRW to look at different levels of the aftermarket, we can clearly follow their logic, also” he said.
Commenting on the changes to UK operations, Ernst said: “ZF Services in the UK will change as the market changes. There will be a steady change and to bring together these two very successful aftermarket operations is only the first step”.
Ernst believes that networked vehicles with complex electronic systems represent the next big opportunity for the aftermarket. “The car is changing in respect of connectivity and we must be ready to service and repair these systems. It shouldn’t just be down to the vehicle manufacturers – it should be an open market” he said. “I don’t think it would be a threat as long as the access is there and we will deal with that”. To develop this, the firm has opened a new division called Openmatics to deal with aftermarket fleet telemetry.
When we asked what he would most like to change in the aftermarket, Ernst replied: “Nothing! I like the aftermarket just as it is”.