CHONGQING – GKN Driveline has nearly tripled its manufacturing capacity at its Chongqing plant to support the expansion plans of its car manufacturer customer base, according to a company news release.
GKN Chongqing Driveshaft (GDC), a joint venture between GKN HUAYU Driveline Systems Co., Ltd (SDS) and Chinese automaker Chang’an, has expanded the plant by 129,000 square foot as part of the $48 million investment.
The project brings the total size of the plant to 258,000 square foot and will enable it to produce an additional 1.5 million sideshafts a year, bringing overall capacity to 2.1 million sideshafts. GDC plans to increase its workforce to 400 people from current 310 by 2017.
The expansion, which took a year to complete, also facilitates the localization of Constant Velocity Joint (CVJ) production for a number of car manufacturers in Chongqing, with SDS moving CVJ production from Shanghai to Chongqing for Chang’an-Ford following the completion of the project.
“Chongqing is the automotive manufacturing center for South West and Mid-China and we are expanding along with our customer base,” said GKN Driveline CEO Andrew Reynolds Smith. “Our rapidly increasing China footprint allows us to better serve our customers, creating more efficiency in supply chains with localized supply and continued high levels of service.”
GDC aims to provide a comprehensive range of services, including research and development, production and technology support to OEM customers in the middle and west areas of China, according to Andrew Moss, president of GKN China.
Established in 2006, GDC’s main products are CVJ shafts and customers include Chang’an-Ford, Chang’an-Mazda, Chang’an-Suzuki, Chang’an Auto, JAC, Great Wall, BAIC Motor and SGMW.
GKN Driveline has been operating in China for 27 years via its SDS joint venture and employs over 3,600 people across nine sites. Automotive production has increased by 404 percent in China over the past 10 years and production is forecast to grow to from 22.6 million vehicles this year to 31.4 million by 2021.