ZF Sachs

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Sachs moped motor
Vintage hydraulic bicycle drum brake manufactured by Sachs

ZF Sachs AG was a German manufacturer of automotive parts, producing powertrain and suspension components. It was formerly known as Fichtel & Sachs, Mannesmann Sachs and Sachs. In the past the company also produced ball bearings, motorcycle engines, bicycle parts and – via its subsidiary Sachs Motorcyclesmotorcycles, mopeds, motorised bicycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).


On 1 August 1895, the Schweinfurter Präzisions-Kugellagerwerke Fichtel & Sachs general partnership (oHG) was founded in Schweinfurt by inventors Ernst Sachs (1867-1932) and Karl Fichtel, to produce ball bearings and bicycle hubs. In 1897, the company introduced its freewheel for bicycles, which became widely popular.

By 1911, the year Fichtel died, the company had approximately 7,000 employees. In 1923, the oHG partnership was changed to a stock corporation, and the ball bearing division was sold to the SKF, a Swedish ball bearing corporation, with the condition that the production remain in Schweinfurt permanently.

Logo at the production site in Schweinfurt

From 1929 to 1996, F&S also produced motors, first for bicycles, and later for motorbikes, two-stroke snowmobiles, and small cars. (The Messerschmitt KR175 and Messerschmitt KR 200 used Sachs engines (1955 to 1964)) In 1929, F&S started production of automobile components, mainly clutches and shock absorbers. Ernst Sachs died in 1932, and, in 1936, his son Willy Sachs donated the Willy-Sachs-Stadion sporting arena to the City of Schweinfurt.[1][2]

In the 1960s and early 1980s, F&S purchased several traditional bike parts companies and brands like Hercules, Rabeneick, Huret, Maillard and Sedis.[3]

In the early 1970s, Sachs produced the revolutionary Wankel-engine-powered Hercules motorcycle.

In 1987, the German Mannesmann AG acquired the majority of F&S stock, and in 1997 F&S was renamed to Mannesmann Sachs AG.

In 2001, Sachs was sold to ZF Friedrichshafen AG, and renamed to ZF Sachs AG. The bicycle division was sold to a US-company, the Chicago-based SRAM Corporation, leaving the Sachs division of ZF to focus on the production of automobile components for drivetrains and chassis. As of 2003, ZF Sachs AG had 16,511 employees in 19 countries, and a sales volume of 2.1 billion euros. The sales volume has since dropped to 1.8 billion euros in 2011.

In 2011 ZF Sachs was incorporated to ZF Friedrichshafen AG.[4]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Geschichte des FC 05 Schweinfurt" [FC Schweinfurt 05 History] (in German). www.schweinfurtfuehrer.de. Retrieved 2017-08-21.
  2. ^ "Schweinfurt Under the Swastika". www.thirdreichruins.com. Retrieved 2017-08-21.
  3. ^ Trekkingbike Magazine 6/2005: Zweck-Ehe ("convenience marriage", article in German language) Archived 2014-05-08 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 3 January 2013
  4. ^ ZF-Gesellschaften zu ZF Friedrichshafen AG verschmolzen