GKN Driveline to strengthen customer base by investing in North Carolina

RALEIGH—Gov. Bev Perdue announced today that GKN Driveline, a major manufacturer of automotive driveline components, will expand its presence in Person County. The company plans to create 131 jobs over the next five years and invest $24.1 million. The project was made possible in part by state grants from the Job Development Investment Grant and the One North Carolina Fund award.

GKN Driveline media image.

“Creating jobs is my No. 1 priority,” Gov. Perdue said. “One of the best ways to do that is to work with companies like GKN, who already call North Carolina home, and help them to expand. Our history of investment in education and job training has built a skilled workforce and world-class business climate where advanced manufacturers, like GKN, and other industries can grow.”

GKN Driveline is a world leader in automotive driveline systems and solutions. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of GKN plc., which serves the automotive, aerospace and land systems markets globally.  

Max Owen, President, GKN Driveline Americas. Image courtesy of GKN Driveline.

“This new investment in our North Carolina operations will allow us to better supply our world-leading driveline systems and will allow us to further strengthen our customer base. This expansion is the next stage of our growth in North Carolina,” said Max Owen, President GKN Driveline Americas.

GKN Driveline employs more than 950 people in Person, Alamance and Lee Counties. The GKN Group also employs an additional 557 employees in Catawba County.  The current expansion in Roxboro will increase the manufacturing floor space for additional business volume.  The project also includes material flow improvements and the addition of new manufacturing equipment.

Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual wage will be $41,108. The Person County average wage is $32,188. 

To help facilitate this expansion, the company has been awarded a grant of up to $175,000 from the state’s One North Carolina Fund. This fund assists the state in industry recruitment and expansion by providing financial assistance through local governments to attract business projects deemed by the governor to be vital to a healthy and growing state economy. One North Carolina Fund grants require a local match, and this grant is contingent upon approval of local incentives.

“I am excited that GKN has chosen to expand its Person County operation. This process has been a cooperative effort among the Person County Economic Development Commission, the Department of Commerce and the Governor’s office,” said Rep. Winkie Wilkins. “I am also pleased to see that once again two of our best job recruitment tools—the Job Development Investment Grant and the One North Carolina Fund—have come together successfully.”

“Companies know that they need an educated, trained workforce in order to grow,” said Sen. Ellie Kinnaird. “And, thanks to our past investments in education, they also know they can find those workers in North Carolina.”

In addition, the state Economic Investment Committee voted to award a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) to GKN Driveline. 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 JDIG, the company is eligible to receive a grant equal to 60 percent of the state personal income withholding taxes derived from the creation of new jobs for each of the 10 years in which the company meets annual performance targets. If GKN Driveline meets the targets called for under the agreement and sustains them for 10 years, the JDIG could yield as much as $1.12 million in maximum benefits for the company.

In addition, up to $198,000 could be added to the state’s Utility Fund for infrastructure improvements in economically distressed counties. When a JDIG is awarded in the state’s more economically prosperous counties such as Person, 15 percent of the grant is allocated to the Utility Fund to encourage economic development in less prosperous counties.

Other partners who assisted with this announcement include: The N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, Person County, the City of Roxboro, PSNC Energy and Progress Energy.  

For more information about GKN Driveline, visit www.gkndriveline.com.