What a $12 Billion Auto-Parts Deal Says About the Future of Driving

An employee installs a gearbox at the ZF Friedrichshafen factory in Friedrichshafen, Germany Photograph by Felix Kaestle/Corbis

ZF Friedrichshafen, a German auto-parts giant, has just agreed to shell out $11.7 billion for TRW Automotive, its Michigan-based rival. The offer represents a 16 percent premium over TRW’s recent market value, and yet for ZF it is still a safety play—literally.

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