GKN Driveline is set to commence production at a new facility in Olesnica, South West Poland.
The new 14,280 square metre facility is the first phase of a EUR16.5m (US$18.3664m) investment programme in Olesnica and effectively doubles GKN’s footprint in Poland.
It will help meet increasing demand in the region for more advanced sideshafts and propshafts. GKN Driveline Olesnica will supply driveline technologies to global vehicle platforms produced by Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen Group, Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles, General Motors and Volvo, amongst others.
The new production facility is close to an existing GKN facility in Olesnica, which produces constant velocity joints. A new engineering facility employing around 50 engineers at the site will also provide testing and application engineering support for customer programmes.
Speaking at an opening ceremony for customers, employees and local dignitaries, GKN Driveline chief executive Phil Swash said: “Poland is an important regional hub for the development and production of the essential driveline technologies that GKN supplies globally. The expansion of our footprint here reinforces our leading position in Europe and will enable GKN to keep pace with demand for technologies that help make drivelines lighter, smoother and more efficient.”
GKN originally established operations in Poland in 1996 and currently employs around 1,000 people. As production increases in Olesnica, employment is expected to reach 1,400 employees over the next three to four years. Future plans for the development of the site include the addition of new forging capacity. When fully operational, the plant will have capacity to produce over 10m sideshafts a year and 1m propshafts.
GKN Driveline Olesnica plant director Mariusz Karolewski said: “This expansion of our operations in Poland demonstrates strong demand for the innovation and quality that GKN brings to essential driveline technologies. With automakers expanding in Eastern Europe, this new facility provides additional local supply and technical support, and shows Poland’s automotive sector going from strength to strength.”