GKN Driveline Introduces New Power Transfer Unit

REDDITCH, England, August 9//--GKN Driveline's Torque Technology Group is introducing a new power transfer unit (PTU) for all-wheel-drive vehicles in North America and Japan that is lighter and stronger than previous designs, while providing customers with reductions in noise, vibration and harshness.

The new PTU is the result of a two-and-a-half-year development programme with DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi. In North America, the new unit will be available on three new 2007-model DaimlerChrysler vehicles and will be manufactured at a GKN Driveline facility in Bowling Green, Ohio.

The company recently completed a multi-million-dollar renovation of the Bowling Green plant to prepare for the PTU production launch and to optimize lean manufacturing at the facility. There are plans to add a second shift to the plant's PTU assembly line early next year.

GKN Driveline began production of the new PTU for Mitsubishi last September at a plant in Nagoya, Japan. "This is a significant product launch for GKN Driveline Torque Technology," says Graeme Walford, managing director of the company's Torque Technology Group. "Our new PTU is a significantly improved product compared to previous designs."

An integral part of all-wheel-drive vehicle systems, the PTU transfers engine torque (power) to the vehicle's rear wheels to improve traction -- a situation that might occur under snowy, icy or wet road conditions.

GKN Driveline product development engineers used state-of-the-art "face-hobbing" technology -- a method for cutting hypoid drive gears -- to increase the PTU's power density and reduce manufacturing costs, according to Graeme Walford. The new design provides customers with units that are lighter, but also capable of transferring more power.

"The launch of our new PTU has been truly a global effort with collaboration among our engineering, business development, purchasing and manufacturing departments in Japan and North America," Walford adds. "It demonstrates our ability to develop innovative new power transfer products that are stronger, lighter and smaller than ever before."

GKN Driveline is a global enterprise with 21,000 people working at more than 40 locations in over 30 countries. The company recorded sales of pounds Sterling 2 billion (US$3.8 billion) in 2005. Recognised as the auto industry's leader in the design and production of driveline components, GKN Driveline provides driveline solutions for the smallest front-wheel-drive vehicles up to the most sophisticated four-wheel-drive models. The company has a commanding share of the global market for CVJ (constant velocity joint) sideshafts and also is a leading global producer of all-wheel-drive PTUs (power transfer units) and torque management devices.

Further information is available on the Internet at www.gkndriveline.com.

Web site: www.gkndriveline.com

Source: GKN Driveline

Company Contact:
Paul Dinwiddy
Communication Director
GKN Driveline Headquarters
Tel: +44-1527-533-646
Mobile: +44-7801-077-523
Email: paul.dinwiddy@gkndriveline.com

Media Contacts:
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Simon Pearson
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Yoshinori Yamaguchi
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