GKN Driveline expands Thai production to meet Asia-Pacific demand

By CARSIFU | 20 July 2015

RAYONG: GKN Driveline has opened its new all-wheel drive (AWD) plant in Thailand to meet the growing AWD needs of key customers in the Asia Pacific region.

The GKN Driveline Rayong AWD facility will make key AWD driveline technology, including front and rear final drive units (FDU) and electronic differential locking (EDL) systems for transaxle systems. The facility will supply a number of global OEMs, including Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi

Demand for AWD vehicles is rising rapidly in the Asia Pacific region, with independent forecasts suggesting that AWD production from countries in the region will account for a third of global AWD output by 2020.

Many of GKN’s customers are adding AWD vehicles to their ranges and this new plant will enable them to source key advanced AWD driveline technology locally.

The 4,800 square metre facility is located on the Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate, close to GKN Driveline’s existing facility in Thailand, which produces driveshafts and constant velocity joints.

It was officially opened by GKN Driveline Asia Pacific President Arnaud Lesschaeve at an inauguration ceremony attended by the British ambassador, Mark Kent, GKN Driveline executives, customers, employees and local dignitaries. Work on this project began in 2013.

"Demand for all-wheel drive vehicles is growing significantly in the Asia Pacific region and will continue to do so," said Lesschaeve.

"This new facility adds to our all-wheel drive technology capacity in the region and, along with facilities in China and Japan, means that we can continue to meet our customers’ needs. This new facility also strengthens our presence in Thailand, a country in which we have been operating for nearly 20 years and one of our key industrial hubs in Asia.”

GKN first began manufacturing driveline systems in Thailand in 1998 and has grown its presence in the country since, adding a forging plant in 2003 and expanding driveshaft capacity last year.