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New GKN plant in Japan to meet increasing demand for AWD and eDrive systems; trend of electrification in Asia

GKN Driveline plans to construct a new world-class manufacturing facility in Tokoname City, Japan. The new site will replace an older plant, and is intended to meet increasing demand for advanced AWD and eDrive systems.

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 feature 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 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.

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.

—Phil Swash, CEO of GKN Driveline


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