A GKN Driveline employee processes a propshaft utilizing a crimping operation.
A GKN Driveline employee processes a propshaft utilizing a crimping operation.

GKN Driveline, a manufacturer of electrified driveline technology, has started production at its facility in Villagran, Mexico. The new US$17.5 million facility will serve Mexico's automotive sector and growth in local and global demand for all-wheel drive vehicles.

The 130,000 ft2 site is GKN Driveline's second plant in Villagran, based in the central state of Guanajuato, a center for automotive manufacturing. The facility is producing a new type of higher performance propshaft, the GKN VLi, which is faster to assemble and can operate at higher rotational speeds.

Customers include Audi, BMW, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Volkswagen. At full capacity, the plant will produce more than one million propshafts a year and will employ 380 people. It also houses new constant velocity joint machining facilities, as well as a new propshaft painting line.

‘With the start of production on these new lines in Villagran, GKN's long-standing operations in Mexico are entering a new phase,’ said Fidel Otake, GKN Driveline director for Mexico. ‘This investment brings the latest technology to market in Mexico, strengthening the support we provide to an increasing number of automakers and global programs with local production here.’

GKN Driveline established a presence in Mexico in 1979 and now employs 2,075 people across its three plants.

This story is reprinted from material from GKN, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.