Getrag US unit Getrag Precision Gear in Charleston, South Carolina, which makes timing gears for heavy vehicles, will be spun off in a management buy-out (MBO).

Management of Getrag's remaining North American locations will now report directly to Getrag headquarters in Untergruppenbach, Germany.

"We are continuing to make progress. In 2011 we strengthened our balance sheet and reorganised our corporate structure. We pursue our focus to be a transmission specialist globally," the supplier said in a statement.

Last month, Getrag opened new regional headquarters in Shanghai.

China will play an important role in the overall strategy of the company. Local turnover in China is expected to reach about EUR400m (US$534m) in 2012 with production of 900.000 transmissions. Sales are expected to grow to almost EUR1bn by 2015 and output to 1.9m units.

Getrag is forecasting the highest sales in company history - over EUR3bn - in 2011.

Over the next five years, it will continue to invest in all regions - Europe, Asia and North America - for the development and production of transmission technologies.

 "We plan a global invest in almost all of our locations worldwide. Current market data and forecasts show that, with both manual and dual clutch transmissions, we are ideally positioned in the two fastest growing segments," the company said.