NC: GKN Driveline to Invest $113M, Create 228 Jobs in Catawba County | Trade and Industry Development

NC: GKN Driveline to Invest $113M, Create 228 Jobs in Catawba County

Apr 09, 2014

Governor Pat McCrory and North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker announced GKN Driveline will expand its Catawba County manufacturing facility. The company plans to create at least 228 new jobs in North Carolina by the end of 2018 and invest more than $113.8 million in this location. 

“Automotive manufacturing companies like GKN know that North Carolina is a strong fit for their company,” said Governor McCrory. “The additional skilled manufacturing jobs that they’ll create will strengthen the economy of Catawba County and add to our state’s already strong base of automotive parts manufacturers.”

GKN Driveline is the world’s leading supplier of automotive driveline components and systems, serving global vehicle manufacturers, including BMW, Chrysler, GM and Ford. GKN Driveline is a leading producer of constant-velocity joint (CVJ) systems, AWD systems, transaxle solutions and eDrive systems.

“We are committed to creating new jobs in North Carolina with an emphasis on working with existing businesses to help them grow,” said Secretary Decker. “We applaud the GKN Driveline team for their commitment to re-invest in North Carolina and expand their presence with us.”

GKN Driveline, a wholly owned subsidiary of GKN plc with U.S. headquarters in Michigan, is expanding its Catawba County facility by increasing the manufacturing floor space available for additional business volume.  The expansion project includes material flow improvements and the addition of new equipment for innovative processes. The company currently employs 729 people in its Catawba County facility.  GKN employs an additional 1,530 people at companies in other counties across North Carolina, making North Carolina the state with the largest GKN presence in the country.

“This investment in our North Carolina operations will allow us to better supply the global automotive industry with world-leading driveline systems and further strengthen our customer base,” said Robert Willig, president, GKN Driveline Americas. “We’re proud to bring more jobs to the state and we thank Governor McCrory and the State of North Carolina for their assistance in this expansion.”

Compensation for the new positions will vary by job function, but the average annual salary will be $39,986, plus a robust benefits package, including health, retirement and vacation time. The average annual wage in Catawba County is $36,167.   

“The team at our facility is extremely proud and excited about the expansion,” said Jochen Wieland, Vice President Operations- All Wheel Drive and Transaxle Solutions. “We look forward to the opportunity to produce even more high quality geared driveline products for our customers across the globe.”

State lawmakers representing this region applauded the automotive manufacturing expansion.

"GKN Driveline's latest expansion further supports our commitment in working to grow existing businesses in Catawba County and throughout the great state of North Carolina," said Senator Austin Allran. “I am committed to improving job creation in North Carolina along with Governor McCrory and Secretary Decker."

"A few hundred more jobs and new equipment allowing for more innovation and greater productivity is a winning combination for Catawba County and GKN Driveline,” said Representative Mitchell Setzer.

State Representative Andy Wells concurred; “These new manufacturing jobs signify the company’s commitment to North Carolina and the emphasis we have placed on existing business and workforce training.”

The project was made possible in part by an award to GKN Driveline from the state Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program, as voted by the state Economic Investment Committee on April 8, 2014. Receipt of the award is based on proof of  job creation and other performance requirements. JDIGs are awarded only to new and expanding businesses and industrial projects whose benefits exceed the costs to the state, and which would not be undertaken in North Carolina without the grant. 
Under the terms of the company’s JDIG award, GKN Driveline is eligible to receive up to twelve annual grants equal to 75 percent of the state personal income tax withholdings from the eligible new jobs created since the date of the initial award.  Receipt of each annual grant is based on state-certified proof that the company has fulfilled incremental job creation requirements. Over twelve years, the JDIG award could yield aggregate benefits to GKN Driveline of up to $3 million.

Up to $530,000 in additional funds from the company’s JDIG award could be added to the state’s Utility Fund for infrastructure improvements in economically distressed counties. When a JDIG is awarded to a company whose site is located in the state’s more economically prosperous counties such as Catawba, 15 percent of the company’s grant is allocated to the Utility Fund to encourage economic development in less prosperous counties. For more information on the county tier designations, visit:

Other partners who assisted with this announcement include: The N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, Catawba County, Town of Maiden, Catawba County EDC and Duke Energy.

For more information about GKN Driveline including job opportunities, visit

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