GKN Driveline to create 228 jobs in Catawba County

Automotive manufacturer GKN Driveline plans to expand its facility in Catawba County, creating 228 new jobs over the next four years, the office of Gov. Pat McCrory announced Tuesday.

The company will invest more than $113 million in the project.

“Automotive manufacturing companies like GKN know that North Carolina is a strong fit for their company,” McCrory said in a statement. “The additional skilled manufacturing jobs that they’ll create will strengthen the economy of Catawba County and add to our state’s already strong base of automotive parts manufacturers.”

GKN supplies automakers such as BMW, Chrysler, General Motors and Ford with drivetrain components and systems, including all-wheel-drive systems and electric drive transmissions.

The company, a subsidiary of a British engineering firm with a U.S. headquarters in Michigan, will expand its manufacturing floor space in its Newton facility. About 730 people currently work there. Other GKN facilities across the state employ 1,530 people.

The average salary for the new jobs will be $39,986 plus benefits – about 10 percent more than Catawba County’s average annual wage.

A state economic development committee voted Tuesday to give GKN Driveline an incentive grant. Depending on whether the company hits job targets, it could receive $3 million over 12 years.

The grant comes two years after GKN Driveline was pledged about $1.5 million in state and local incentives to add jobs in Person County.