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 driving 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 12,000 square metre site is GKN Driveline‘s second plant in Villagran, based in the central state of Guanajuato, a centre 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 programmes with local production here.”
GKN Driveline established a presence in Mexico in 1979 and now employs 2,075 people across its three plants.