DETROIT - Drive Tek, the newly named joint venture of Dana Corp. and Germany's GKN Auto-motive AG, hopes to provide automakers with one-stop drivetrain shopping.
The subsidiary, announced last June but christened at the SAE 2000 World Congress here, plans to take over all drivetrain system development and integration business from its two parent suppliers. The 50/50 joint venture has 20 employees, and offices in Auburn Hills, Mich., and Lohmar, Germany.
The growing number of sport-utilities and other all-wheel-drive vehicles on the industry's drawing boards should provide Drive Tek a steady stream of work, said Tom Chambers, GKN Automotive Inc.'s managing director of operations for the Americas, based in Auburn Hills.
Drive Tek will bundle system engineering and program management services with Dana and GKN's core axle, driveshaft, half-shaft and torque-management components. Revenue from the services will be split equally between Dana and GKN, while each company keeps money made from its component contributions to the systems.
But Drive Tek President Jarvier Tamayo said his company will procure parts from anyone to suit the customer and manage the supply chain accordingly for the automaker.
In recent years, the ability to provide complete drivetrain systems has become the price of entry into the niche drivetrain business. Steyr-Daimler-Puch is providing a complete all-wheel-drive system for the 2001 Pontiac Aztek Buick Rendezvous, while New Venture Gear and Visteon Automotive Systems are jointly supplying a complete drivetrain to General Motors' 2003 Saturn sport-utility.
Tamayo says the Dana-GKN marriage is meant to merge GKN's experience engineering European awd passenger car programs with Dana's history of supplying parts to North American truck platforms. The two companies also have a history of joint projects and last March Dana sold GKN its constant-velocity joint business while taking over GKN's propeller shaft business.