GKN Automotive Limited

Company Profile




2100 The Crescent, Birmingham Business Park, Birmingham B37 7YE, UK

Business Overview

-A UK-based leading supplier of driveline systems, all-wheel drive (AWD) systems and electric drive technologies for the automotive industry.

-Since March 2018, the company has been operating as an automotive division under the umbrella of the investment company Melrose Industries plc. The name GKN Automotive Limited continues and the company operates in two divisions (i.e., Driveline, ePowertrain).

  • Driveline: Focuses on providing products such as sideshafts, propeller shafts and constant velocity joints (CVJ).
  • ePowertrain: Focuses on electric drive technologies and intelligent all-wheel drive (AWD) systems.


Electrification Initiatives

-For more than 20 years, GKN Automotive has been developing technology for drive systems for EVs. The company is developing drive units for EVs in collaboration with Drive System Design, a U.S.-based driveline engineering company, and the University of Nottingham in the UK. The electric drive unit, ACeDrive, will be 20% lighter and 10% more efficient than conventional products, and production is scheduled to start in 2023.



-American Axle
-Hitachi Astemo
-Hyundai WIA
-IFA Rotorion


-The Company is a division and subsidiary of Melrose Industries plc.


-Sideshaft systems for hybrid and electric vehicles
-VL3 sideshaft for premium rear-wheel drive applications
-VLX rear sideshaft for off-road all-wheel drive applications
-UF-MTS-AAR sideshaft for small vehicle front-wheel drive applications
-Sideshaft systems for SUVs
-Sideshaft systems for low-cast rear-wheel drive applications

-Modular lightweight propshaft systems

CV joints
-Fixed joints
-Interconnecting shafts
-Ball plunging joints
-SIO joints
-Monobloc tubular shafts
-Countertrack joints
-Sealing systems

eDrive systems
-Single-speed eAxles
-Multi-speed eAxles
-Co-axial eAxles
-Modular eDrive system for compact cars
-Modular eDrive for mid-sized cars
-Modular eDrive system for large battery electric vehicles
-Multi-Mode dedicated hybrid transmission
-eTwinster torque vectoring system for electric drivelines

All-wheel and four-wheel-drive solutions
-ActiveConnect all-wheel drive systems
-ActiveConnect power transfer units
-Booster rear drive units
-Twin AWD rear drive units
-Twinster torque-vectoring rear drive units
-Intelligent all-wheel drive systems
-Power transfer units
-Electromagnetic control devices
-All-wheel drive coupling modules
-Electronic torque managers
-Final drive units
-Electronic differential locks
-Limited slip differentials


1900 Established in Great Britain in 1900 as Great Keen &Co. by merger of Guest & Co. and The Patent Nut & Bolt Co.
1902 Name changed to Guest, Keen & Nettlefolds, PLC upon acquisition in 1902 of the screw and wire manufacturing business founded by John Sutton Nettlefold. Present name adopted in June 1986.
Aug. 2001 The demerger of the Company's industrial services businesses to Brambles Industries plc and the combination (by way of a dual listed companies structure) of Brambles industries plc with Brambles Industries Limited.
Feb. 2005 Entered into an agreement to form a new company in China with Henan Zhongyuan Engine Fittings Stock Company Limited (ZYNP).
Completed the acquisition of the 51 % equity interest that it does not already own in Velcon S.A. de C.V. (Velcon), its Mexican constant velocity joint venture.
2006 Opened a manufacturing operation in China. The new business - GKN Zhongyuan Cylinder Liner Company Limited (GKNZ) - is a joint venture between the Company, which holds 59 % of the company and Henan Zhongyuan Engine Fittings Stock Company Limited which holds 41 %.
Jan. 2007 Closed GKN Sheepbridge Stokes Ltd, the UK cylinder liner business.
Feb. 2008 Built a new production facility in Oragadam, India
Oct. 2008 GKN Driveline Torque Technology has started volume production of transmission differentials at its new facility in Pudong, Shanghai, China.
Sep. 2011 Acquired Getrag's Driveline Products Business (comprising Getrag Corporation based in U.S. and Getrag All Wheel Drive AB based in Sweden).
2012 Held a ground breaking ceremony for a new manufacturing facility for GKN Sinter Metals in Yizheng Ltd. in Jiangsu Province, China.
Apr. 2014 Acquired the entire issued share capital of Williams Hybrid Power Limited (WHP) from Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited.
Jul. 2014 Divested remaining 50% share of Emitec (50/50 with Continental) to Continental.
Jul. 2015 Formed joint venture through the Company’s GKN Powder Metallurgy division with Hongsheng Industrial Company Ltd. to produce ferrous powders.
Mar. 2018 Melrose Industries plc was successful in its takeover of GKN plc for GBP 8 billion.

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