Fidel Otake
Vice President
GKN Driveline Operation in Mexico
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View from the Top

Operational Excellence a Top Priority

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 12:46

Q: What new client relationships have you established and how important will Audi and BMW’s operations be for the company?

A: We have started a relationship with our customer Mercedes-Benz in Mexico. This company, along with Audi and BMW form a distinguished group of German automobile manufacturers that have settled in the country. Globally, GKN has a long history with all of them but the operational relationship in Mexico is relatively new. It is crucially important to quickly establish GKN’s Mexico operations as a provider of excellence for the premium sector, as it is already recognized for other markets where the company operates.

Q: How are you helping local players develop and participate in the automotive chain?

A: We are supporting the creation of forums that help suppliers show their range of products and solutions. GKN is also sharing and developing tools to improve local providers’ capacity to meet the requirements of the automotive sector, contributing in the evaluation and creation of technical and specialized training programs while bringing companies closer to Guanajuato’s technical specialization centers.

Q: With the growth in electrification, how attractive do you think your eDrive solutions will become in the near future compared to your CVJ and AWD systems divisions?

A: We expect this portfolio to be very attractive. Our eDrive division is growing fast based on the near future expectations and how the world is moving toward electrification. Mobility in big and megacities will demand less CO2 emissions and eDrive — both hybrid and full-electric — solutions will be crucial to meet these requirements. GKN Mexico is part of a global Engineering web that supports the GKN innovation strategy and new developments, so we are already involved in the development of these advanced components.

Q: GKN Driveline represents the largest percentage of GKN’s overall revenue. What are its growth expectations for 2017?

A: North America accounts for 33 percent of GKN Driveline revenues and it is crucial to have an integrated North American manufacturing strategy to supply this large market. With the addition of new OEMs to Mexico, GKN Driveline’s projected growth in Mexico is 20 percent for 2017.