SHANGHAI, Oct. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- GKN plc and HUAYU Automotive Systems Co. Ltd. (HASCO.) are today celebrating the 25th anniversary of their joint venture Shanghai GKN Drive Shaft Company (SDS). SDS has been operating since 1988 and is the largest driveshaft manufacturer in China producing components for domestic and western brands from eight manufacturing plants.
Speaking at a ceremony to commemorate this landmark Nigel Stein CEO GKN said: "In the mid 1980s China only produced around 5000 cars. Now the auto market here is the biggest in the world with more than 20 million vehicles per year."
"GKN was the first UK company to invest in the automotive components industry in China and since 1988 SDS has experienced excellent growth. Today this successful joint venture manufactures 14m driveshafts per year, bringing leading technology and world class operational performance to our customers in China. We are delighted to be celebrating this achievement with our partners."
Nigel Stein joined Mr Shen Jianhua Vice Chairman of SAIC, Zhang Haitao CEO Hasco., Xue Jinda Managing Director SDS and Andy Reynolds Smith, CEO GKN Automotive to welcome visitors for the ceremony including a tour of the Kangqiao plant and the SDS Technology Centre.
GKN recently announced plans to extend the scope of the SDS joint venture to cover the complete GKN Driveline Systems capability - including all wheel drive and eDrive components and systems.
Andy Reynolds Smith commented: "We are committed to strengthening our Chinese operational and technology capability to fully support our global and domestic customers. This development puts SDS in a position to provide cutting edge driveline component and system technology to the rapidly growing all wheel drive vehicle market."
SDS now employs over 4,400 people in eight locations across China. The ceremony today will recognize some of the individuals who have made an outstanding contribution over the past 25 years.
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 56 locations employing 22,000 people.
GKN in China
In 1988, GKN was the first western company to invest in the automotive component industry in China. Through more than 25 years investment and development of our capabilities, GKN now operates from 14 locations in China with one under construction, employing more than 5,500 people and also serves a number of high growth markets including agricultural and construction.
About the GKN Group
GKN plc is a global engineering business serving mainly the automotive, aerospace and land systems markets. It has operations in more than 32 countries, around 48,000 employees in subsidiaries and joint ventures and had sales of £6.9 billion in the year to 31 December 2012. GKN plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: GKN).
SOURCE GKN Driveline