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American Axle & Manufacturing Expanding, in Thailand

Groundbreaking this spring, production beginning in 2009

American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. reports it will build a new manufacturing plant near Rayong, Thailand, southeast of Bangkok. The 90,000-ft 2 plant will be built in an industrial park southeast of Bangkok, and produce driveline products, beginning next year. The cost of the project was not announced.

Last year, AA&M started operation at its first operation in Asia, a plant at Changshu, China,, where it produces rear drive axles, power transfer units, integrated oil pan, front axle modules, and driveshafts. Those products are supplied to automakers in the region, including Chery Automobile. Daimler, and General Motors.

Also last year, the company announced plans to enter a joint venture in India with Sona Koyo Steering Systems Ltd., where it will produce light-vehicle axles for Tata Motors.

"Our new facility in Thailand represents a significant expansion of our manufacturing footprint in the important economy of Asia where growing demand for vehicles is accelerating production volumes," stated chairman and CEO Richard E. Dauch. "AAM is continuing to invest in products and markets where we can best serve our customers and have the opportunity to drive profitable growth."

Groundbreaking at the 21-acre site will take place later this spring. AA&M has not revealed what operations will be performed at the new plant, but it named Joseph S. Tang to oversee construction, build the organization, and lead the future operation.

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