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GKN Driveline Invests More Than $113.8 Million To Expand Its Catawba County, North Carolina, Manufacturing Facility

Area Development Online News Desk (04/08/2014)
GKN Driveline will invest more than $113.8 million to expand its Catawba County, North Carolina, manufacturing facility, with plans to create at least 228 jobs by the end of 2018.

A supplier of automotive driveline components and systems, serving global vehicle manufacturers, GKN Driveline is a leading producer of constant-velocity joint systems, AWD systems, transaxle solutions and eDrive systems. The manufacturer is expanding its production floor space to handle additional business volume. The expansion project includes material flow improvements and the addition of new equipment for innovative processes.

The company currently employs 729 people in its Catawba County facility. GKN employs an additional 1,530 people at companies in other counties across North Carolina, making North Carolina the state with the largest GKN presence in the country.

“This investment in our North Carolina operations will allow us to better supply the global automotive industry with world-leading driveline systems and further strengthen our customer base,” said Robert Willig, President, GKN Driveline Americas. “We’re proud to bring more jobs to the state and we thank Governor Pat McCrory and the State of North Carolina for their assistance in this expansion.”

“The team at our facility is extremely proud and excited about the expansion,” said Jochen Wieland, Vice President Operations, All Wheel Drive and Transaxle Solutions. “We look forward to the opportunity to produce even more high quality geared driveline products for our customers across the globe.”

“Automotive manufacturing companies like GKN know that North Carolina is a strong fit for their company,” said Governor McCrory. “The additional skilled manufacturing jobs that they’ll create will strengthen the economy of Catawba County and add to our state’s already strong base of automotive parts manufacturers.”

The project was made possible in part by an award to GKN Driveline from the state Job Development Investment Grant program, as voted by the state Economic Investment Committee. Receipt of the award is based on proof of job creation and other performance requirements. JDIGs are awarded only to new and expanding businesses and industrial projects whose benefits exceed the costs to the state, and which would not be undertaken in North Carolina without the grant.

Under the terms of the company’s JDIG award, GKN Driveline is eligible to receive up to twelve annual grants equal to 75 percent of the state personal income tax withholdings from the eligible new jobs created since the date of the initial award. Receipt of each annual grant is based on state-certified proof that the company has fulfilled incremental job creation requirements. Over twelve years, the JDIG award could yield aggregate benefits to GKN Driveline of up to $3 million.

Other partners who assisted with this announcement include: The North Carolina Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, Catawba County, Town of Maiden, Catawba County EDC and Duke Energy.

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