Investing in mechatronic and electronic know-how

ZF has acquired the Cherry Corporation, headquartered in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, with production locations in Germany, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Hong Kong, China and India (joint venture with TVS Group). The electronics manufacturer develops and produces including switch systems, sensors and automotive control units. In 2007, Cherry had sales of approximately $400 million and employed 3,100 people worldwide.

ZF’s CEO and president, Hans-Georg Hrter, said: With ZF Electronics, we are reinforcing our competence profile in the fields of mechatronics and electronics. In particular for our future tasks in driveline and chassis technology, we can swiftly apply Cherrys know-how.

Cherry Founded in 1953, Cherry develops and manufactures switches, sensors, control units and electronics modules for the automotive industry, components for industrial and household applications, and computer input devices. Cherrys electronics, software, mechatronics and plastics technology know-how is incorporated in mechatronics modules, sensor systems, operating switches, selector lever modules and keyless entry electronics.

Half of Cherrys workforce is located in Germany, with headquarters in Auerbach, between Nuremberg and Bayreuth. Globally, Cherry has approximately 900 employees in North America, 250 in Asia, and 400 in Eastern Europe. Of $400 million sales, 65 per cent was generated in Europe.

Cherrys chairman and president, Peter Cherry, said: This 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 Cherrys product segments. There are many opportunities for incorporating Cherrys technologies into the broad range of ZF applications.

The companys innovativeness and performance were recognised with the award for the Best Factory of the Year 2005, Automotive Lean Award (2006) and Bavarian Quality Award (2008). Customers include Autoliv, Valeo, Lear, Kiekert, and Continental.