GKN Driveline’s recently completed all-wheel-drive acquisition from Getrag makes it the only driveline automotive supplier capable of providing complete systems to its customers.
The $440 million Getrag acquisition added geared driveline products including power transfer units (PTU), rear drive units (RDU) for AWD vehicles and final drive units (FDU) for high performance rear-wheel-drive vehicles to GKN Driveline’s product portfolio.
The acquisition started last year and now fully integrated into the driveline company with $3.9 billion in annual revenues. It included manufacturing plants in Köping, Sweden and Newton N.C., as well as engineering facilities in Cologne, Germany and Sterling Heights, Mich. Approximately 1,500 employees were added to GKN Driveline’s worldwide workforce.
“The acquisition now allows us to provide our global customers with ‘one-stop’ shopping for our leading-edge products by offering complete driveline systems — from the transmission differential all the way through to the wheel-end,” said Dr. Ray Kuczera, vice president of engineering for GKN Driveline Americas.
In addition to a complementary geographical and customer footprint, the acquisition gives GKN Driveline the ability to support customers with state of the art AWD and eDrive systems technology including a next generation of fuel-efficient driveline systems.
GKN has produced 250,000 drive systems for electric vehicles, but the current forecast for the EV business shows it growing much slower than early boosters such as President Obama hoped. Obama predicted there would be a million EVs on the roads by 2015, something that clearly is impossible. Sales of the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt totaled 10,000 ytd. The Fiat 500 EV produced in Mexico will be GKN’s first eDrive application in the Americas starting late this year. Total program volume is planned at 5,478 Fiat EVs.
The acquisition also provided manufacturing technology to GKN Driveline in the Americas, including ground hypoid gear manufacturing, advanced vacuum carburizing and single piece flow assembly.
“Combining the world-class Newton plant into GKN Driveline’s existing manufacturing facilities in North Carolina and Ohio enables GKN Driveline to both develop and produce complete driveline systems in North America,” said Jochen Wieland, managing director for AWD Systems and Trans Axle Solutions