GKN Driveline has opened a new cold-weather facility at the vast Smithers Winter Test Center (SWTC) in Brimley, Michigan, meaning that GKN now has proving grounds for extreme cold-weather conditions on three continents: Europe (Arjeplog, Sweden), Asia (China) and North America.
The test site, situated on the Michigan Upper Peninsula, comprises a new 10,000 square-foot facility within the SWTC’s 750-acre complex. The facility provides GKN Driveline’s North American customers with a local base at which to test the company’s all-wheel-drive and eDrive systems in the extremes of cold and in hazardous, low-traction road conditions. The facility also features a large central workshop bay with four vehicle hoists and three private garages that help ensure confidentiality and security for GKN’s customers.
“All-wheel-drive technology continues to grow in overall consumer acceptance and demand and has emerged for it as a key product differentiator for vehicle manufacturers,” said Gavin Streather, senior director of global engineering processes and systems at GKN Driveline, who will oversee the facility’s operation. “The private facility will allow our engineers to collaborate with customer engineering teams to develop and tune all-wheel-drive systems that meet unique brand characteristics for a variety of vehicles.”