GKN BruneckItaly – The company said it will increase the existing floor space by more than 60% to create an 18,000 sq.m, dedicated production area. Constant velocity joint manufacture will be relocated to other sites in Europe and 70-80 employees refocused on eDrive, while the Off Highway business will move to a new facility in Welsberg-Taisten, Italy.

The expansion project, which is due to be completed by 2019, will enable the supplier to deliver ten eDrive programmes from Bruneck as well as boost the output of all-wheel drive technologies such as electronic torque management units.

“Bruneck has already established itself as a centre of excellence for the production of leading electric driveline systems,” said Peter Moelgg, GKN Driveline All-wheel and eDrive CEO. “This major expansion will enable eDrive production to move up a gear, to deliver the growing number of programmes won by GKN for next-generation hybrid and electric vehicles.”

The factory, which was established in the 1960s, now makes the PACE coaxial eAxle used in a range of plug-in hybrids from Volvo; the two-speed axle featured on the BMW i8; and all-wheel drive products including electronic torque management systems. The current workforce numbers 800.

In addition to Bruneck, GKN manufactures eDrive technologies in Japan and will begin production in China next year with its joint venture partner, SDS.