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GKN Driveline getting new Mich. base, lands BMW pact

Keywords: Tags  GKN Driveline, GKN Sinter Metals, new headquarters, BMW, supply contract, Robert Willig, Corinna Petry

CHICAGO — GKN Driveline and GKN Sinter Metals, subsidiaries of GKN Plc, are expanding their automotive operations and moving to a new Americas headquarters early next year.

GKN Driveline has also won a contract to supply the front axle for several BMW X-series sports utility vehicles.

Construction of the 168,000-square-foot Auburn Hills, Mich., headquarters will begin this month. GKN has more than 300 employees at its existing 113,000-square-foot facility.

GKN Driveline makes driveline components and systems, including constant velocity joint, all wheel drive, transaxle and electric drive systems. GKN Sinter Metals makes precision powder-metal products.

The new space will house executive managers, testing and validation equipment and engineering design shops for both driveline and sinter metal applications.

GKN Driveline Americas president Robert Willig said the company will expand its work force to support more than 100 new program launches in the next three years for both Driveline and Sinter Metals.

The company expects to hire at least 50 full-time employees at the new headquarters over the next three years.

Separately, GKN Driveline’s Newton, N.C., plant will begin producing front final drive units for the current BMW X3 model beginning in August, and other high-performance X models later this year.

The Newton facility supplies all wheel drive systems, including final drive units, to several global car manufacturers, including side shafts and torque vectoring units for BMW’s X-series models. The facility sold more than 1 million units last year.

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