GKN Driveline Newton set for all-wheel drive growth with grand opening of its facility expansion

Aug 27, 2015, 13:00 ET from GKN

NEWTON, N.C., Aug. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- GKN Driveline, the global leader in automotive driveline technologies, marked a significant expansion of its Newton facility in Catawba County, North Carolina, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today.  

The expansion follows a $100 million investment in GKN Driveline Newton, creating approximately a 25 percent increase in manufacturing floor space to accommodate anticipated increases in geared driveline technology production.

GKN Driveline Newton specializes in producing all-wheel drive (AWD) driveline technology, including Final Drive Units, Power Transfer Units and clutches. The expansion creates capacity for anticipated program wins with major automakers over the coming years, with AWD production in the US expected to grow significantly. Independent forecasts indicate production will increase by 21 percent by model year 2020 to reach around three million AWD vehicles a year in North America.1

GKN is a leader in AWD driveline technology, featuring on vehicles such as the Jeep Renegade, Range Rover Evoque and all-new Volvo XC90, and is investing in increasing its AWD production capacity globally.

The GKN Driveline Newton expansion was made possible in part by the Catawba County Economic Development team, which facilitated an award from the state's Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) Program. GKN broke ground on the expansion in September 2014.  

"This expansion is a win for the local economy here in Catawba County, as it strengthens the manufacturing sector," said Robert Willig, president of GKN Driveline Americas. "But it's also a win for GKN Driveline and our customers as it will improve our ability to deliver high quality, innovative driveline technology in the auto industry."

GKN Driveline Newton employs more than 800 people, and GKN employs an additional 1,700 people at facilities in other counties across North Carolina, including Conover, Roxboro, Mebane and Sanford.

"We are helping to improve the North Carolina economy by recruiting and retaining businesses that create and innovate. A strong manufacturing sector benefits the entire region," said North Carolina Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla III. "Companies such as GKN are an integral part of North Carolina's reputation as a manufacturing powerhouse."

Jochen Wieland, Vice President, Operations AWD & Transaxle Solutions, said: "We are proud to have worked closely with Catawba County and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina during this expansion process. I also want to thank our employees because without their strong work ethic, talent and dedication we would not be expanding in this area, nor would we be able to continue to supply our customers with world class products."

1.    IHS

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. Nearly 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.

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.