MUNICH, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- German auto industry supplier ZF Friedrichshafen feels "at home" in China, the company's chief executive officer (CEO) said recently, vowing to further deepen localization in the world's largest passenger car and truck market.
"Our teams in China play a role as that it is a country like Germany, where we have the capabilities to deploy and develop a full system," Wolf-Henning Scheider, also ZF's chairman, told Xinhua at the International Motor Show Germany (IAA Mobility) held Tuesday through Sunday, noting that ZF has set up its first "global homerooms" in China, where new products can be developed and serve the world.
In the fields of alternative energies and e-mobility, China is "at the forefront," the 59-year-old chief executive said, who is seeking to leverage opportunities there by providing relevant solutions, as the country has set a goal of peaking its carbon emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.
Against the backdrop of a number of uncertainties impeding the significant transformation of the automobile industry overall, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, increasingly tougher CO2 regulation, ongoing shortage of semiconductors as well as geopolitical risks which destabilize global value chains, Scheider said ZF remains cautious about its growth outlook, noting "the second half of 2021 is a little bit more difficult than the first half."
In his view, the chip shortage would continuously hinder production in the auto industry throughout 2021 and 2022 before relief might be in sight by the end of next year.
"The situation that we are facing right now obviously kicks off some critical review of the overall supply chain and the setup for the years to come," Scheider told Xinhua, while arguing "it's too early to have conclusions."
It requires a very thorough review with partners and customers in the supply chain to check how supply and demand can be further balanced out before creative ideas and measures would be found to prevent such shortages in the coming years, he said, but adding he is still optimistic about ZF's growth in areas like electronic components.