ZF Friedrichshafen AG announced it is entering a joint venture with Chinese company Anhui Heli Co., Ltd. to expand the company’s reach into the Chinese forklift market. ZF-Heli Drivetech (Hefei) Co., Ltd., will provide its forklift axles and transmissions built at its Hangzhou plant, while Heli will also contribute part of its own transmission and axle production to the joint venture. No financial details were provided.
ZF called China the fastest-growing region for forklift trucks and overall, the country is an important, strategic growth market for ZF Friedrichshafen AG.
“With Heli, we have found a partner with an outstanding level of expertise in forklift trucks,” said Wilhelm Rehm, member of ZF’s Board of Management responsible for the Industrial Technology and Commercial Vehicle Technology Divisions. “This company is the market leader in China and the seventh-largest company in the forklift truck segment worldwide.
“By combining ZF’s products in the premium and high-tech segments with the cost benefits of Heli’s products, we are able to create a systems supplier with a comprehensive product range for hydrodynamic and electrically powered forklift trucks,”
ZF has 51% share in the joint venture and said as a result, it will implement its “best choice,” three-tier approach both in China and internationally. Through the best choice strategy, ZF offers customized products in basic, highline and premium configurations.
The joint venture targets Heli as a customer, as the company is currently both a supplier and a customer as well as a manufacturer of complete forklift trucks. In addition, ZF said the joint venture products will also be sold in Asia and worldwide.