GKN Driveline has unveiled plans to construct a new world-class manufacturing facility in Tokoname City, Japan. The new site will replace an older plant, representing a substantial technological upgrade of GKN Driveline’s capability in the region.
The announcement follows a significant number of new business wins for GKN Driveline’s All-Wheel Drive (AWD) and eDrive systems, with the company forecasting a significant uplift in revenue from the operation over the next four years. Construction of the new facility will break ground in September 2017 and is scheduled to be complete by the middle of 2018.
The new Tokoname City operation will be state-of-the-art and filled with GKN’s best practice manufacturing technology, 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.
Furthermore, together with GKN Driveline’s world class engineering capabilities, it will mean GKN Driveline is ready to support customers increased vehicle electrification requirements in Asia. GKN Driveline’s existing facility, based in Nagoya, is already supplying Mitsubishi with significant volumes of latest technology Multimode eTransmission for its Outlander PHEV, one of the world’s most popular plug-in vehicles.
Phil Swash, CEO of GKN Driveline, said: “One third of the world’s vehicles are designed and developed by Japanese OEMs, so it is essential that GKN has world-class capability in the region. This new state-of-the-art facility will allow us to meet increasing demand for advanced All-Wheel Drive and eDrive systems, while retaining all the benefits of an automotive manufacturing site in the Nagoya area.”
GKN Driveline specifically looked for a site to stay in the Nagoya area as it is close to many existing OEM customers. Furthermore, the proximity to potential new OEM customers provides excellent prospects for future growth in the supply of AWD and eDrive systems.