ZF Friedrichshafen AG to acquire Cherry Corporation

By: Greg Worrall


ZF Friedrichshafen AG is further expanding its leading worldwide automotive supplier position for driveline and chassis technology with the planned

ZF Friedrichshafen AG is further expanding its leading worldwide automotive supplier position for driveline and chassis technology with the planned purchase of the Cherry Corporation, headquartered in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, US and production locations in Germany, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Hong Kong, China, and India (a joint venture with TVS Group).

The electronics manufacturer develops and produces among others switch systems, sensors, and control units for the automotive industry and in 2007 had sales of approximately US$400 million with 3,100 employees worldwide.

"With the new ZF Electronics, we are reinforcing our competence profile in the fields of mechatronics and electronics," says Hans-Georg Härter, ZF's CEO and President.

"In particular for our future tasks in driveline and chassis technology, we can swiftly apply Cherry’s know-how."

Cherry started in 1953, developing and producing switches, sensors, control units, and electronics modules for the automotive industry, components for industrial and household applications, and computer input devices.

Cherry’s comprehensive know-how for electronics, software, mechatronics, and plastics technology is, for example, currently incorporated in mechatronics modules, sensor systems, operating switches, selector lever modules, and keyless entry electronics.

Peter Cherry, Chairman and President of Cherry, says the transaction has great strategic value as it will allow Cherry to expand its current customer base and ZF will bring substantial additional resources for future growth in all of Cherry’s product segments.

"There are many opportunities for incorporating Cherry’s technologies into the broad range of ZF applications," he says.

The innovativeness and performance of the company were recognised with the award for the Best Factory of the Year 2005, and, at the end of 2006, with the Automotive Lean Award, as well as in 2008 with the Bavarian Quality Award.

Among the customers of the Cherry Corporation are, in addition to ZF, various system suppliers, such as Autoliv, Valeo, Lear, Kiekert, and Continental.

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