Automotive supplier announces plans for new Japanese factory

How GKN Driveline's new facility in Tokoname City will look

Birmingham-based automotive supplier, GKN Driveline is to expand its global operations after unveiling plans to construct a new manufacturing facility in Japan.

The new site in Tokoname City, Nagoya will replace an older plant and represents a substantial technological upgrade of GKN Driveline’s capability in the region.

The announcement follows a significant number of new business wins for GKN Driveline’s All-Wheel Drive (AWD) and eDrive systems, with the company forecasting a significant uplift in revenue from the operation over the next four years.

Construction of the new facility will break ground this month and is scheduled to complete by the middle of next year.

The new Tokoname City operation will be a state-of-the-art facility featuring GKN’s best practice manufacturing technology. It will be able to produce high quality, next-generation AWD systems and Rear Drive Modules (RDMs), featuring advanced technologies such as electronic disconnect capability and torque vectoring.

It will also improve the company’s ability to cater for Asia’s growing electric vehicle market.

GKN Driveline’s existing facility, based in Nagoya, is already supplying Mitsubishi with significant volumes of latest technology Multimode eTransmission for its Outlander PHEV, one of the world’s most popular plug-in vehicles.

Phil Swash, CEO of GKN Driveline, said: “One third of the world’s vehicles are designed and developed by Japanese OEMs, so it is essential that GKN has world-class capability in the region. This new state-of-the-art facility will allow us to meet increasing demand for advanced All-Wheel Drive and eDrive systems, while retaining all the benefits of an automotive manufacturing site in the Nagoya area.”

GKN Driveline had specifically looked for to stay in the Nagoya area as it is close to many existing OEM customers. In addition, the proximity to potential new OEM customers is said to offer excellent prospects for future growth in the supply of AWD and eDrive systems.