Italian manufacturing site to grow on the back of increasing investment in EV programmes from OEMs
Engineering firm GKN Driveline is to expand its European eDrive production facility in Bruneck, Italy,on the back of increasing demand for electric and hybrid vehicle programmes.
Orders from existing and new OEMs have led GKN to increase its current 11,000 sqm floor space by more than 60%, to create an 18,000sqm facility dedicated predominantly to electric drivetrain (eDrive) production. The expansion will also help enable increased production of all-wheel drive technologies, such as electronic torque management units.
Between 70 and 80 employees who currently work on constant velocity joint (CVJ) production will move into eDrive manufacturing. The project will be complete by 2019, and will leave the Bruneck site predominantly focused on eDrive production. Current expectations are that 10 eDrive programmes will be delivered from the site.
Other driveline production will be relocated to alternative sites in Europe. CVJ manufacturing will be moved from Bruneck to alternative Driveline facilities within Europe, while its Off Highway business will move to a new facility in Welsberg-Taisten, Italy.
GKN has already established a reputation for itself within EV and hybrid manufacturing. The current Bruneck site manufactures components for the coaxial eAxle, featured on a range of Volvo plug-in hybrids; the world’s first two-speed eAxle, equipped on the BMW i8 sports car, and all-wheel drive products such as its Electronic Torque Management systems.
In a statement GKN Driveline All-wheel and eDrive CEO Peter Moelgg added: “This major expansion will enable eDrive production to move up a gear, to deliver the growing number of programmes won by GKN for next-generation hybrid and electric vehicles.”
GKN, which has interests in the automotive, aerospace and agricultural sectors, also manufactures eDrive technologies in Japan, and will commence production of eDrive systems in China next year with its Joint Venture partner, SDS.