GKN SDS JV manufacturingChina - The supplier is looking to expand its presence in the world's largest vehicle market by building a new plant through its joint venture Shanghai GKN Huayu Driveline Systems (SDS). The facility is currently being built by a third party in Pinghu, Zhejiang Province. It will cover 10,000 sq.m and is expected to be ready for use in the second quarter of 2018.

"The growth of vehicle electrification is accelerating faster in China than anywhere else in the world," commented SDS's deputy general manager Greg MacLean. "SDS, with strong support from GKN, is investing in people and facilities to meet the New Energy Vehicle market demand."

"Currently SDS is benefiting from a number of localisations built on GKN’s strong position in Europe and the Americas. Our long standing technical relationship with GKN affords SDS a unique position in the market to deliver innovative all-wheel drive and electrified technologies that our customers are demanding in China."

The facility will initially house the production of a multimode eTransmission, which is being supplied to a Chinese carmaker. SDS expects to be making around 1m eDrive units per year by 2025.

GKN was the first Tier 1 supplier to design, develop and manufacturer all-wheel drive systems in China back in 2015 for the MG GS. It has now produced AWD systems for nine different vehicle programmes to various domestic and international OEMs selling cars in the country.