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GKN continues to invest in China and opens a new plant in Wuhan

GKN has opened its 11th plant in China. The new driveshaft facility is wholly- owned by Shanghai GKN Drive Shaft, a joint venture between GKN and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC)

The plant, in the Wuhan Economic Development Zone, is close to the headquarters of the Dongfeng Automotive Group, one of the top four automotive companies in China. The new Shanghai GKN facility at Wuhan will supply vehicle manufacturers in central China, including Dongfeng Auto, Dongfeng Citroen, Dongfeng Nissan, and Dongfeng Honda.

The new 44,000 square-metre facility has been constructed over the last 12 months at a cost 230 million RMB (€23 million, US$34 million).

The facility is scheduled to produce 500,000 sideshafts in 2010 with production expected to increase to one million sideshafts by 2011 and two million sideshafts by 2012.

The new Shanghai GKN facility officially opened on November 24th by Sir Kevin Smith, chief executive of the GKN Group, Shen Jianhua, president of SAIC and Yang Sang, Vice Party Chief of Hubei Province.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Sir Kevin Smith noted that GKN was the first major European automotive supplier to invest in China and today is the country’s leading producer of driveline components.

Sir Kevin Smith said, “China is the fastest growing market in the world. Our many years of cooperation with SAIC have proved to be a most successful partnership. Shanghai GKN serves as an industry model for successful joint-ventures in China and we anticipate continued growth for years to come. We have extended our relationship with SAIC for another 50 years and look forward to growing together in the Chinese automotive market.”

About Shanghai GKN

Shanghai GKN Drive Shaft currently has five production facilities in China. In addition to its Wuhan and Chongqing plants, it has manufacturing operations in Kangqiao, Shenjiang and Zhoupu. The company annually produces more than 600,000 propshafts, 5 million sideshafts and 1.5 million universal joints.

Shanghai GKN’s major Chinese automotive partner, SAIC, is one of China’s top three automotive companies with sales in 2008 of more than one million passenger cars and 500,000 commercial vehicles.

About GKN Driveline

The first major European automotive supplier to invest in China, GKN is the country’s leading producer of driveline components. GKN Driveline currently has automotive manufacturing operations in Kangqiao, Zhoupu and Shenjiang in Pudong, Shanghai, as well as plants in Chongqing, and Wuhan.

GKN Driveline is the world’s leading supplier of automotive driveline components and systems. As a global company serving the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers, GKN Driveline develops, builds and supplies an extensive range of automotive driveline components – 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 sideshafts, propshafts, mechanically and electronically controlled torque management systems and associated geared components.

About the GKN Group

GKN plc is a global engineering business serving mainly the automotive, industrial, off-highway and aerospace markets. It has operations in more than 30 countries, nearly 40,000 employees in subsidiaries and joint ventures and had sales of £4.4 billion in the year ended 31 December 2008. GKN plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: GKN).

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