GKN Driveline, a global automotive supplier with its North American headquarters in Auburn Hills, has started production at its new $17.5 million manufacturing facility in Villagran, Mexico, located northwest of Mexico City.
The facility, used to manufacture a new type of propshaft, serves Mexico’s automotive sector and local and global demand for all-wheel drive vehicles.
“The increasing worldwide demand for all-wheel drive vehicles is fueling growth for GKN’s lightweight, high-performance driveline technologies,” says Phil Swash, CEO of GKN Driveline. “GKN is introducing innovative propshaft designs that save weight, increase efficiency, and that make vehicle integration simpler.”
Swash says the 130,000-square-foot site is GKN’s second plant in Villagran, a center for automotive manufacturing in the center of Guanajuato. He says at full capacity, the plant will produce more than 1 million propshafts a year and employ 380 people. It also houses new constant velocity joint machining facilities, as well as a new propshaft painting line.
“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,” says Fidel Otake, driveline director for Mexico at GKN.
GKN Driveline established a presence in Mexico in 1979 and has more than 2,000 employees across its three plants. The company’s customers include Audi, BMW, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, and Volkswagen.
GKN Driveline operates in 23 countries at 46 locations, with about 25,500 employees.