Auto parts supplier GKN Driveline recorded an increase by 10 percent in sales last year, thanks to the surging demand for all-wheel-drive vehicles. When including the revenues of Getrag Group's driveline operations, revenues are up 15 percent. In GKN acquired the driveline operations in October 2011 for $441 million or 339 million euros.
In the next year, the all-wheel-drive operation is expected to grow as much as 30 percent in the next three years, the company's sales and marketing director Jim Voeffray revealed. He further stated that the awd could become as much as 30 percent of the company's business in the next five years.
Contributing to the great increase in the demand for all-wheel-drive systems is the largely popular crossover segment. Models like the Volkswagen Tiguan and the Range Rover Evoque are engineered as front-wheel-drive, with an optional awd capability.
Rising sales of all-wheel-drive automobiles in Russia, the United States and particularly China has been unexpected and "a bit of a surprise", according to Voeffray. He cited Tiguan as an example, stating that when VW originally planned sales, it thought the awd mix would be 25 percent, but it's been more like 75 percent versus the two-wheel drive.
GKN Driveline began as an ironworks in 18th century Wales. Currently, it has 15 factories in Europe and employs 20,000 people all over the world. Based in Redditch, England, it is the biggest business unit within GKN plc, the worldwide engineering group. GKN Driveline supplies most of the component that deliver power to the rear wheels, including the propshaft, final drive unit and power take-off unit. [source: Autonews]