Dana Holding has broken ground for a US$20m technical centre in Pune, India. This 15th technical centre globally provide design, testing, and analytical support for each of the supplier's primary markets - automotive, commercial vehicle, and off-highway - under one roof and is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2011.

"A ground breaking is typically about putting down roots," said Dana chief technology and quality officer George Constand. "But given our widespread presence in India, [this] is really about extending our local roots.  This new technical centre will enable Dana to serve the expanding needs of one of the world's strongest growth markets."

Local managing director BD Singh added: "With as many as 550 engineers on site when fully operational, the new technical centre will more than double Dana's engineering presence in India. Along with serving the local market, it will also provide an essential complement to our existing engineering resources at technical centres strategically located across four continents."

The new centre will be part of Dana India Technical Centre, a wholly-owned subsidiary, and will encompass 125,000 sq ft (11,600 sq m) on a 4.75-acre (1.9-hectare) lot located adjacent to Dana's existing off-highway axle facility. The centre will house engineering design activities and a test laboratory. The centre will include performance, structural, environmental, oil flow and lubrication, and metallurgical testing, as well as noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) testing capabilities.

The groundbreaking is the second this year for Dana in India. In February, Spicer India, a Dana majority-owned venture with Anand Automotive Systems, broke ground for a 50,000sq ft (4,645sq m) hypoid gear manufacturing facility in Chakan. The new gear facility is expected to begin production in the first half of 2011. The addition of these two new facilities will bring the number of Dana operations in India to 12. The supplier and its affiliates employ approximately 2,000 people in India and anticipate 2010 sales of over $200m.

Dana's presence in India dates back to the 1960s.