Increasing demand for electric and hybrid vehicle programs from OEM clients has led GKN Driveline to undertake a major expansion of its eDrive production facility in Bruneck, Italy, due for completion in 2019.
Currently standing at 11,000sqm, floor space at the facility will be expanded by more than 60% to create an 18,000sqm facility dedicated predominantly to eDrive production. To facilitate the expansion, GKN will relocate other driveline production to alternative sites in Europe. According to the company, the expansion will also help facilitate the increased production of all-wheel drive technologies, such as electronic torque management units.
The Bruneck site’s manufacturing portfolio includes the coaxial eAxle, as featured on a range of Volvo plug-in hybrids, the two-speed eAxle, as fitted to the BMW i8 sports car, and all-wheel drive products such as electronic torque management systems.
Peter Moelgg, GKN Driveline’s CEO, said, “Bruneck has already established itself as a center of excellence for the production of electric driveline systems. This major expansion will enable eDrive production to move up a gear, to deliver the growing number of programs won by GKN for next-generation hybrid and electric vehicles.”
Beyond the Bruneck site, GKN also manufactures eDrive technologies in Japan, and will commence production of eDrive systems in China next year with its joint-venture partner, SDS.
GKN will relocate CVJ manufacturing from Bruneck to alternative Driveline facilities within Europe, while its off-highway business will move to a new facility in Welsberg-Taisten, Italy.