GKN plc and HUAYU Automotive Systems Co. Ltd. (HASCO.) are today celebrating the 25th anniversary of their joint venture Shanghai GKN Drive Shaft Company (SDS). SDS has been operating since 1988 and is the largest driveshaft manufacturer in China producing components for domestic and western brands from eight manufacturing plants.
Speaking at a ceremony to commemorate this landmark Nigel Stein CEO GKN said: “In the mid 1980s China only produced around 5000 cars. Now the auto market here is the biggest in the world with more than 20 million vehicles per year.”
“GKN was the first UK company to invest in the automotive components’ industry in China and since 1988 SDS has experienced excellent growth. Today this successful joint venture manufactures 14m driveshafts per year, bringing leading technology and world class operational performance to our customers in China. We are delighted to be celebrating this achievement with our partners.”
Nigel Stein joined Mr Shen Jianhua Vice Chairman of SAIC, Zhang Haitao CEO Hasco., Xue Jinda Managing Director SDS and Andy Reynolds Smith, CEO GKN Automotive to welcome visitors for the ceremony including a tour of the Kangqiao plant and the SDS Technology Centre.
GKN recently announced plans to extend the scope of the SDS joint venture to cover the complete GKN Driveline Systems’ capability – including all-wheel drive and eDrive components and systems.
Andy Reynolds Smith commented: “We are committed to strengthening our Chinese operational and technology capability to fully support our global and domestic customers. This development puts SDS in a position to provide cutting edge driveline component and system technology to the rapidly growing all-wheel drive vehicle market.”
SDS now employs over 4,400 people in eight locations across China. The ceremony today will recognise some of the individuals who have made an outstanding contribution over the past 25 years.