October 30, 2007 — American Axle & Manufacturing reports it has formed a joint venture in India, AAM Sona Axle Private Ltd., to manufacture and market axle assemblies for light trucks, passenger cars, and SUVs, for the domestic market. AA&M's partner is Sona Koyo Steering Systems Ltd., and the venture will be centered in Pune, India.
Sona Koyo is India's largest manufacturer of steering systems, and produces axle assemblies for Suzuki Maruti in India. It supplies gears, columns, and rack-and-pinion steering assemblies to most of India's passenger car and utility vehicle manufacturers.
A greenfield manufacturing facility will be built at a site in northern India (Pune is in the western part of the country, near the Indian Ocean), and production will begin next year with light-vehicle axles for Tata Motors.
According to chairman and CEO Richard E. Dauch, "AAM Sona Axle gives AAM a manufacturing and operations presence in India with the ability to provide current and future customers with driveline systems with the highest quality, technology and delivery that are the hallmark of AAM and Sona Koyo."
Dauch added that the joint venture is evidence of the firm's commitment to its long-term strategy of expanding its product portfolio and serving markets with a global manufacturing presence.