China – At a cost of 300m yuan ($48m), the joint venture between GKN HUAYU Driveline Systems (SDS) and China Changan Automobile Group has expanded the plant by 129,000 sq. ft to 258,000 sq. ft, raising its capacity for sideshafts to 2.1m per annum.
The expansion, which took one year to complete, will also facilitate the localisation of constant velocity joint (CVJ) production for a number of car manufacturers in the area. SDS will move CVJ for Changan Ford from Shanghai to Chongqing following completion of the project.
“Chongqing is the automotive manufacturing centre for south-west and mid-China and we are expanding along with our customer base,” commented Andrew Reynolds Smith, CEO at GKN Driveline. “Our rapidly increasing China footprint allows us to better serve our customers, creating more efficiency in supply chains with localised supply and continued high levels of service.”
GKN Driveline has been operating in China for 27 years via the SDS joint venture and currently employs over 3,600 people across nine sites. GKN Chongqing Driveshaft (GDC) was established in 2006 and focuses on producing CVJ shafts; customers include Changan Ford, Changan Mazda, JAC, Great Wall, BAIC Motor and SGMW. There are plans to increase the workforce at GDC from 310 individuals to over 400 by 2017.