GKN Driveline has announced that it plans to set up a new manufacturing site in Tokoname City, Japan, which will replace an older plant. The new facility will meet the increasing demand for advanced all-wheel drive (AWD) and electric drive (eDrive) systems, and represent a substantial technological upgrade of GKN Driveline’s capability in the region. The company said production at the new manufacturing plant will prepare for the trend of vehicle electrification in Asia. Ground-breaking for construction of the new facility will take place in September, 2017, with scheduled completion expected by the middle of 2018.
Announcement of the new plant follows a significant number of new business wins for GKN Driveline’s AWD and eDrive systems, the company said. GKN Driveline forecasts a significant uplift in revenue from the operation over the next four years. The company added that the new Tokoname City operation will be state-of-the-art and filled with GKN’s best practice manufacturing technology. It will be able to deliver high quality, next-generation AWD systems and Rear Drive Modules (RDMs), featuring advanced technologies such as electronic disconnect capability and torque vectoring, GKN noted.
Phil Swash, CEO, GKN Driveline, said one-third of total vehicles are designed and developed by Japanese OEMs, so it is essential that the company has world-class capability in the region. This facility will allow GKN to meet increasing demand for advanced AWD and eDrive systems, while retaining all the benefits of an automotive manufacturing site in the Nagoya area, he added.