Illustration, sample cross-beam
A cross beam or cross-member is a part of an automotive suspension system, a structural element that is bolted across the underside of a unibody vehicle, supporting the engine and/or transmission.

GF Linamar Draws $300M Order for Lightweight Structures

New joint-venture HPDC plant will produce magnesium cross-beams for pickup trucks

GF Linamar LLC, the $217-million automotive high-pressure diecasting and machining joint-venture due to start up next month in North Carolina, already has reported a major order for series production. One of the venture partners, GF Automotive, announced an estimated $300-million, five-year contract to produce magnesium crossbeams for a new-model pickup truck.

Cross-beams are large structural components for vehicle suspension systems. While they are typically formed in steel, producing such parts in magnesium would deliver considerable weight savings to the vehicle.

GF did not reveal the customer that placed the magnesium crossbeam contract or give further details about the order.

Work on the new contract will begin in 2020, according to the GF Automotive statement. Venture partner Linamar Corp. has not commented on the contract.

GF Linamar is due for an official opening in October. The joint venture was announced in 2015, linking GF Automotive — which produces ferrous sand castings and nonferrous diecastings for automotive engines, powertrain parts, and structural elements— with Linamar, whose expertise is precision machining for automotive powertrain products.

At the time that they announced their venture the parties also indicated plans to cooperate in Asia and in Europe in order to meet their respective customers demand for integrated casting solutions.

The GF Linamar LLC plant site at Mills River, NC, is about 40 miles north of Greenville, SC, where BMW US Manufacturing Co. assembles cars and SUVs. South Carolina also will be home to a new Volvo Car USA LLC plant, and other foreign automakers have assembly plants across the Southeast states.

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