Elena Donahue
Head of Commercial Vehicle Aftermarket and Fleet Business North America
ZF Group
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Enabling the Commercial Transportation of the Future

By Antonio Gozain | Wed, 07/20/2022 - 16:15

Q: How is ZF working to create innovative solutions for mobility, efficiency, safety and vehicle autonomy?

A: The evolution of mobility for all vehicle classes, in particular commercial and transport, is indeed smart and connected and involves standard and premium services for customers throughout the transport journey.

ZF is mobilizing commercial vehicle intelligence in fields such as vehicle motion control, integrated safety, automated driving and electric mobility.

This transformation is not just the result of incremental technological advances; it is radical in the way that the expectations of end customers and users have changed. In that sense, ZF Aftermarket sees its role not as a component supplier but as a partner, preparing and accompanying customers through this transformation. We aim to provide simplicity in an increasingly complex ecosystem trough: ecosystem through: 

•          Market proximity & strong technical support

•          Best-in-class logistics

•          Holistic “one-stop-shop" solutions

•          Early anticipation to enable the market to serve latest technologies

•          Embracing the digitalization of the industry

•          Entering a new era of partnerships that enable faster, easier access new technologies for customers

Q: How does ZF Group help mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) companies to provide quality services?

A: At its core, mobility generates, harvests and transforms energy to move people, goods, and services from point A to point B. The difference is that the ecosystems and customer demands are evolving to ensure such mobility is used at its max potential beyond its core purpose and with a customer journey in mind, including sustainably and eco consciousness.

To be a successful participant of the “Mobility as Service” market ecosystem, companies must ensure partnerships that can support with the best technology and products: hardware and software to offer increasingly connected solutions. ZF Aftermarket offers workshops to stay on top of new technology trends as they are being introduced.

Q: How does ZF Group work with workshops to provide the latest training?

A: To support mechanics on their journey of lifelong education, We added Advanced Driving Assistance System (ADAS) technology and high-voltage training to our workshop offerings. While our ADAS training is focused on sensor technology such as radar and lidar, our HV training provides knowledge about high voltage components within various electric vehicle applications. This knowledge will be needed for companies to successfully service fleets, regardless of the class of the vehicles.

Q: How does ZF Aftermarket Motion generate a competitive advantage for premium clients?

A: The recently-launched ZF Aftermarket Motion offers a premium service through a monthly subscription, allowing customers to access higher levels of services that help them   to differentiate themselves in the market. Motion members can Skill up on Demand, have VIP routing, access of dedicated talk time with a technical product expert, Toolkits and ZF TECHROOM access among others.

Q: What are the main challenges to implement commercial transportation technologies in Mexico?

A: The challenges that Mexico faces to implement mobility technologies are not unique. All countries in Latin America face similar challenges, to a different degree. The future of mobility involves improving and adopting telecommunication infrastructure as an important building block for digitalization and data intelligence and,  infrastructure in Mexico has always been a challenge. To provide quality services and take commercial transportation to the next level, the country must have this connectivity. Expanding broadband access in Mexico and availability of commercial charging stations is as crucial as to transportation infrastructure as roads, bridges and fuel stations.

Q: What are the main benefits of partnering with ZF throughout the life cycle of vehicle ownership?

A: ZF’s ambition is to drive Next Generation Mobility and solve key industry challenges around safety, efficiency, and sustainability for fleets. Its strategic goal of Vision Zero means zero emissions and, zero accidents as well as zero downtimes. We talk about “new mobility,” but the phrase I prefer is “radical mobility” because the transformation goes beyond the core purpose of transportation, enabling companies to add value to their original purpose ZF wants to be the a partner of choice that offers solutions to them.

Our service and product portfolio is large. Most vehicles in the market, especially commercial vehicles, have ZF content through one of our brands, which include ZF, Boge, Lemforder, Sachs, TRW and WABCO products, and expansion of premium and standard services.

Q: How will ZF Group’s new R&D center in Monterrey support the company’s global research strategy?

A: ZF’s new R&D center in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, will be focused on the development and manufacturing of electronic products, ADAS and other technologies that will lead the company toward autonomous driving and electrification, for both passenger and commercial transport.

The caliber of talent as well as the ambitious and resilient spirit in Mexico are key factors in continued in the region. The innovation and technology advancements generated at the Monterrey R&D Center will support ZF’s continued leading position in the aftermarket in Mexico.

Q: What are ZF North America’s near-term plans for the commercial vehicle, aftermarket and fleet business?

A: We are working hard to ensure we enable market proximity & strong technical support and services in Mexico, for Mexico. We are in alignment to the major trends in our region for aftermarket:

  • Acceleration of B2C e-commerce – We are increasing online to offline sales; through new channels and product expansion offerings for all North America
  • Braking, Transmissions and Axles products increase demand – We focus on commercial excellence offering full life cycle solutions
  • High demand for REMAN productsWith a global Reman footprint and 25 global Reman plants (two in Mexico, Queretaro and San Luis Potosi) we are a leading Remanufacturing supplier focusing in this region primarily on air compressors steering gears. We are expanding this to include ECUs, non-ZF products and trailer/telematics, for example.
  • Access to premium services – We have launched ZF Aftermarket Motion to accommodate high demand of premium services that enable strategic partnerships and doing so in a month subscription basis for easier, fastest access.

 

ZF Friedrichshafen is a German manufacturer of drivetrain and chassis components for light and heavy vehicles and motorcycles. The company has been in Mexico since 1965 and has 16 manufacturing plants across the country.

Antonio Gozain Antonio Gozain Journalist and Industry Analyst