GKN, SDSChina – Shanghai GKN HUAYU Driveline Systems (SDS) will start production of the parent company’s latest eDrive products in 2018, becoming a manufacturing hub for its electrified drivelines. GKN expects its joint venture to produce over 1m eDrive units per year by 2025.

SDS will begin making the Multimode eTransmission for a Chinese vehicle-maker in 2018 and the complete eDrive system in 2019. Consisting of an electric motor, inverter and eAxle reduction gearbox within a single housing, the latter will first be installed in the small car of a European OEM which will be sold around the world.

GKN said that eDrive production in China will be scaled up during the next seven years as it starts to fulfill agreements with both domestic and international vehicle-makers. The company also noted forecasts by IHS Automotive that the production of electric and hybrid vehicles in China will grow by more than 400% by 2025 to almost 4m per year.

“The growth of vehicle electrification is accelerating faster in China than anywhere else globally, so it is a logical step for GKN and SDS to establish China as a major hub for the development and production of eDrive systems,” commented Phil Swash, CEO of GKN Driveline.

Alongside the increase in production capacity, GKN and SDS are expanding their engineering resources, having recently opened a technical centre in Shanghai. More than 300 personnel are now working with clients on local applications of GKN’s eDrive, all-wheel drive and constant velocity joint (CVJ) technologies.

GKN started its JV in 1988, introducing the latest CVJ products to the market. In 2013, the company expanded its business with SDS to include the manufacture of torque management technologies and all-wheel drive systems. Last year, SDS produced over 22m driveshafts (each consisting of two CVJs), which was a record for the company.