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GKN Driv­e­line to set up new plant in Mex­ico for AWD tech­nol­ogy

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GKN Driv­e­line is de­vel­op­ing a new state-of-the-art man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity in Villagran, Mex­ico, to in­tro­duce pre­mium prop­shaft pro­duc­tion in the coun­try for its cus­tomers. The fa­cil­ity will ac­com­mo­date Mex­ico‘s bur­geon­ing au­to­mo­tive sec­tor and the broader growth in de­mand for all-wheel drive (AWD) ve­hi­cles in the US. The 12,000 square me­tre site – GKN Driv­e­line‘s sec­ond plant in Villagran, is lo­cated in the state of Gua­na­ju­ato – will also in­clude Con­stant Ve­loc­ity Joint (CVJ ) 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. The com­pany 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 said, “The ex­pan­sion of GKN Driv­e­line Villagran, which is lo­cated in a growth re­gion for au­to­mo­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing in Mex­ico, fur ther 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.”

In­de­pen­dent re­search fore­casts AWD pro­duc­tion will in­crease by 21% in North Amer­ica by 2020 to reach around three mil­lion ve­hi­cles. 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 Driv­e­line es­tab­lished a pres­ence in Mex­ico in 1979 and now em­ploys 2,075 peo­ple across three plants.

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