Bavarian-Chinese success story: ZD Automotive GmbH opens new company building in Großmehring near Ingolstadt

The specialist for infotainment systems and autonomous driving, which was only founded in 2012, is focusing on the location in Bavaria in the long term and intends to employ up to 120 employees in the areas of research and development there in future.

From left to right: Eichstätt District Administrator Anton Knapp; Christian Lösel, Mayor of Ingolstadt; Qiang Zhou, Founder and CEO ZD Automotive; Svetlana Huber, Invest in Bavaria; Ludwig Diepold, Mayor of Großmehring

The development of ZD Automotive GmbH can undoubtedly be described as a genuine Bavarian-Chinese success story. The founder and current managing director of the company, Mr. Qiang Zhou, initially worked as an engineer at BMW and Audi after completing his studies at TU Munich. He recognised the potential of infotainment systems for passenger cars there, at that time only normal radios were built into cars.


Zhou founded the company ZD Automotive GmbH as a two-man business on just 20 m² of office space in the basement of the EGZ start-up centre in Ingolstadt. Thanks to good local conditions, a vital network and Zhou’s intuition for the development of innovative products of the future, the company grew rapidly by an average of 30 percent annually. In the meantime, ZD Automotive has become an international provider of services and solutions for infotainment systems and autonomous driving. The company employs more than 300 people worldwide at sites in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Ingolstadt, where research and development has always been concentrated. 


ZD Automotive to focus on location in Bavaria in the long term


ZD Automotive bought the 4,000 m² site at Interpark near Ingolstadt and built the building with almost 1000 m² of office space and 400 m² of workshop space to enable further growth. There are about 40 employees there at the moment and the number is to be increased to up to 120 in the medium term. But that is not the end of development yet, as Zhou confirmed: "We want to expand." To this end, the existing building is to be kind of mirrored and a second identical one is to be added to it. 


Ingolstadt is considered a hotspot for companies from China


The commitment to Bavaria and Ingolstadt is no coincidence: Zhou has been committed to bilateral economic relations between China and Bavaria since the company was founded in 2012. He has been a supporter of the China Zentrum Bayern for many years and is involved, for example, in delegation visits by high-ranking automotive experts from China. 


We at Invest in Bavaria are delighted with the excellent development of ZD Automotive, wish Mr Zhou and his staff all the best for the future and assure them of Invest in Bavaria's continued support.