GKN Chief Executive Nigel Stein and GKN Automotive CEO Andy Reynolds Smith led inauguration ceremonies for the expanded facility which supports new business "wins" and expected future growth in the region.
"Mexico is a significant growth market for GKN and this is an important step as we continue to grow by leveraging GKN's global footprint," said Stein.
The 8,000-square-meter expansion, which is expected to create 250 jobs in the area, primarily will produce constant velocity joint (CVJ) systems, but also includes a new product development facility and will increase the annual production of sideshafts from 7.5 million units today to 9.5 million units in 2015.
"We have invested more than $233 million (3.2 billion pesos) in our Mexican operations since 2005," added Fidel Otake, operations director, GKN Driveline Mexico. "We are proud to be able to increase the number of skilled trade workers in the region."
Bob Willig president, GKN Driveline Americas, continued: "This expansion allows us to fully support our customers in this fast growing region. The new product development center brings increased opportunity for local innovation to create customer focused systems and solutions."
GKN Driveline Villagran was established in 2006 and, together with GKN Driveline's Celaya plants, is one of three facilities across the country employing a total of 1,850 people. GKN Driveline supplies world-leading driveline systems and solutions to nine vehicle makers in 14 cities throughout Mexico.
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 Driveline in Mexico has grown continuously since it started production of CVJ systems in Celaya in 1979. A state-of-the-art technology center opened in 1997. In addition, a precision forge was established in 2000, to produce a wide variety of extrusions.
To support the growing market for CVJ Systems in Mexico and the U.S. an assembly facility opened in 2006 at Villagran.
About GKN Group
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. Approximately 48,000 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 GBP6.9 billion in the year to 31 December 2012.