VILLAGRAN, Mexico, May 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- GKN Driveline, the global leader in advanced and electrified driveline technology, has started production at its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Villagran, Mexico. The new US$17.5 million facility will serve Mexico's fast-growing automotive sector and the strong growth in local and global demand for all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicles.
Phil Swash, GKN Driveline Chief Executive Officer, said: "The increasing worldwide demand for all-wheel drive vehicles is fueling growth for GKN's lightweight, high-performance driveline technologies. GKN is introducing innovative propshaft designs that save weight, increase efficiency and that make vehicle integration simpler. This expansion of GKN's existing footprint in Mexico strengthens the company's position as the leading driveline system supplier for global vehicle platforms and will also enable us to support further growth in Mexico's automotive sector."
The 130,000-square-foot site is GKN Driveline's second plant in Villagran, based in the central state of Guanajuato, a center for automotive manufacturing. The facility is producing a new type of higher performance propshaft, the GKN VLi, which is faster to assemble and can operate at higher rotational speeds.
Customers include Audi, BMW, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Volkswagen. At full capacity, the plant will produce more than one million propshafts a year and will employ 380 people. It also houses new constant velocity joint machining facilities, as well as a new propshaft painting line.
Fidel Otake, GKN Driveline Director for Mexico, said: "With the start of production on these new lines in Villagran, GKN's long-standing operations in Mexico are entering a new phase. This investment brings the latest technology to market in Mexico, strengthening the support we provide to an increasing number of automakers and global programs with local production here."
GKN Driveline established a presence in Mexico in 1979 and now employs 2,075 people across its 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 55,000 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 GBP7.7 billion in the year ending December 31, 2015.
ABOUT GKN DRIVELINE
GKN Driveline is the world's leading supplier of automotive driveline technology 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 technologies – 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 23 countries at 46 locations employing approximately 25,500 people.
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SOURCE GKN Driveline