GKN Driveline, the world's leading driveline technology provider, is developing a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Villagran, Mexico, to introduce premium propshaft production in the country for a range of automaker customers. The facility will accommodate Mexico's burgeoning automotive sector and the broader growth in demand for all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicles in the Americas.
The 12,000 square metre site – GKN Driveline's second plant in Villagran, based in the state of Guanajuato – will also include Constant Velocity Joint machining facilities and a new propshaft painting line.
The facility will produce up to one million propshafts per year and will serve customers including Audi, BMW, FCA, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Volkswagen.
Independent research forecasts AWD production will increase by 21% in North America by 2020 to reach around three million vehicles1. GKN is a leader in AWD driveline technology, with its technology featuring on vehicles such as the Jeep Renegade, Range Rover Evoque and all-new Volvo XC90, and is investing to increase its AWD production capacity globally.
GKN held a ground breaking ceremony this week to mark the expansion, attended by GKN Driveline Chief Executive Phil Swash, GKN PLC Chief Executive Nigel Stein and the GKN Board. GKN Driveline is investing US$17.5 million in the development of the new facility, which will be fully operational by April 2016.
Fidel Otake, GKN Driveline Director for Mexico, added: "The expansion of GKN Driveline Villagran, which is located in a growth region for automotive manufacturing in Mexico, further strengthens our position in this important market. GKN is bringing the latest propshaft and sideshaft production techniques to Mexico, helping our customers make their vehicles lighter and more efficient."
Robert Willig, GKN Driveline Americas President, added: "As the global leader in driveline technology, GKN is addressing the key requirements of OEMs and their customers. Half the world's cars are driven by GKN technology and we work with over 90% of the world's automotive manufacturers.
"We lead the market in CVJ driveshafts and fuel efficient all-wheel drive systems. In electric drive we have many more eAxles – electric AWD – on the road than any of our competitors, over 250,000 vehicles and rising. GKN Driveline continues to invest in its business to ensure it can meet the global needs of its customers, as well as to cater for the drive towards global platforms."
GKN Driveline established a presence in Mexico in 1979 and now employs 2075 people across three plants.
GKN plc is a global engineering group. It has four divisions; GKN Aerospace, GKN Driveline, GKN Powder Metallurgy and GKN Land Systems, which operate in the aerospace, automotive and land systems markets. Over 50,000 people work in GKN companies and joint ventures in more than 30 countries. GKN is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: GKN) and recorded sales of GBP7.5 billion in the year to 31 December 2014.
ABOUT GKN DRIVELINE
GKN Driveline is the world's leading supplier of automotive driveline components and systems. As a global company serving the world's leading vehicle manufacturers, GKN Driveline develops, builds and supplies an extensive range of automotive driveline components – for use in the smallest ultra low-cost car to the most sophisticated premium vehicle demanding the most complex driving dynamics.
GKN Driveline is a leading global producer of CVJ Systems, AWD Systems, Trans Axle Solutions and eDrive Systems and operates in 22 countries at 45 locations, employing approximately 26,500 people.