12/20/2016

GKN Driveline, a leading supplier of automotive driveline components and systems,  plans to create 302 new jobs and invest at least $179 million in the state as it expands operations at its four North Carolina facilities in Alamance, Catawba, Lee and Person counties over the next five years.

“GKN Driveline is a global leader in the automotive industry and our innovative all-wheel drive and eDrive technologies position the company for growth in the coming years,” said Phil Swash, chief executive officer of GKN Driveline. “North Carolina is an important part of our strategy, with strategically located facilities and an outstanding workforce. GKN Driveline is excited about our expansion and its positive impact on the state and local communities.”

GKN Driveline develops, builds and supplies an extensive range of automotive driveline technologies – for use in the smallest ultra low-cost car to the most sophisticated premium vehicle demanding the most complex driving dynamics. GKN Driveline is a leading global producer of constant velocity joint systems, all-wheel drive systems, transaxle solutions and eDrive systems.

“GKN Driveline’s long and special relationship with North Carolina is set to move to a new level,” said North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory. “This announcement is further evidence that North Carolina is one of the most desirable places for innovative global manufacturers to do business. It also means more good jobs for North Carolina workers.”

The company is a unit of GKN plc, a global engineering business based in Worcestershire, United Kingdom. The publicly held parent company has operations in 34 countries. GKN opened its first facility in North Carolina in 1978, and its various locations in the state currently employ more than 2,700.

GKN Driveline’s expansion will add 159 people at its facilities in Sanford, Mebane and Timberlake over five years. Compensation will vary by position, with annual salaries for the new jobs averaging at least $43,161. Overall annual wages currently average $36,346 in Alamance County, $36,905 in Person County and $38,163 in Lee County.

The company’s expansion in Maiden will create 143 jobs over four years at wages averaging at least $45,860. Catawba County’s overall wages average $38,238 per year.

“Strong support for existing companies is at the heart of our state’s job-creation strategy,” said state Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla III. “North Carolina’s economy remains one of the best-performing in the nation, and innovative transportation equipment manufacturers like GKN Driveline help us lead the way.”

GKN Driveline’s expansions in Alamance, Lee and Person counties will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG). Under the terms of the JDIG, GKN is eligible to receive up to $1,539,000 in total reimbursements over 12 years. The company’s expansion in Catawba County, facilitated through a separate JDIG, makes GKN eligible to receive up to $1,587,600 over 12 years. The state’s Economic Investment Committee approved both grants earlier today.

JDIGs reimburse new and expanding companies a portion of the newly created tax-base with the goal of increasing the overall tax benefit to the state of North Carolina. Payments occur in annual installments pending verification by the state departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met incremental job creation and investment targets. The state reimbursement is contingent upon local participation from the county or municipality.

By law, JDIG projects must generate a net revenue inflow to the state treasury over the life of the award. For JDIG-supported projects in Tier 2 counties, 15 percent of the eligible grant is directed to the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account to help finance economic infrastructure in less populated counties. GKN’s expansion could provide as much as $347,400 in new funds for the Utility Account. More information on county tier designations is available here.

Numerous partners joined with Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina in supporting GKN Driveline’s expansion. They include the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, the state Department of Transportation, Alamance County, Catawba County, Lee County, Person County, the city of Mebane, the town of Maiden, the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation, the Sanford Area Growth Alliance, Alamance Chamber and the Person County Economic Development Commission.