GKN Automotive’s Chinese joint venture, Shanghai GKN Huayu Driveline Systems (SDS), has opened a new technical center in the city’s Kangqiao suburb.
The facility will specialize in research and development of state-of-the-art technologies for constant velocity joint (CVJ), All-Wheel Drive (AWD) and eDrive systems.
More than 300 jobs have been created at the facility, initially to work with customers in China on local applications of GKN Automotive’s existing eDrive, AWD and CVJ technologies. In the future, the SDS Technical Centre will have the expertise and resources to be the project leader for global development of new products.
Substantially greater physical space for R&D will be met by a significant increase in the headcount of specialist engineers, boosting numbers by nearly 50% over the next three years.
“The official opening of the new Technical Centre in Shanghai represents another step in a major investment program in what is currently the most significant market for eDrive,” said John McLuskie, president of GKN Automotive China.
“Growth of vehicle electrification is accelerating faster in China than anywhere else in the world. GKN Driveline established the first Tier One joint venture of its kind in the country 30 years ago, and SDS is now set to play a leading role in the next era of China’s automotive industry.”
In the coming months, SDS will also open a newly-constructed eDrive plant in Pinghu, Zhejiang Province, which will mark the beginning of a significant increase in manufacturing capacity for the joint venture.