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At other locations, GF Automotive’s high-pressure automotive diecastings include structural, steering, and drivetrain parts, like this front-engine cover panel.

GF, Linamar Linked in Automotive Diecasting Venture

July 19, 2015
$100-million project to start in Southeast U.S. by 2017 Integrated casting solutions Supplying European automaker “… promising North American market”

GF Automotive and Linamar Corporation have formed a 50-50 joint venture that will open an automotive diecasting plant in the Southeast U.S., supplying “powertrain, driveline, and structural components,” starting in 2017. While Linamar Corp. indicated the products would be supplied “to the NAFTA market,” the GF Automotive statement made clear the products would be supplied to an unnamed “European car maker.”

GF Linamar LLC, as the operation will be called, represents a capital investment of approximately $100 million over the coming five years. No details were released about the new plant’s location, nor about the specific products materials or to be cast.

Both partners will cooperate in the European and Asian markets as well, according to the GF Automotive statement, “in order to meet their respective customers’ demand for integrated casting solutions.” There is no further information on the scope of that participation.

It is indicated that GF will contribute high-pressure diecasting technology to the venture. At its current metalcasting locations in Europe and China, GF’s automotive castings include ferrous and nonferrous structural, steering, engine, and drivetrain parts, and door panels.

According to Linamar, its participation in the U.S venture will involve machining services “on site to provide optimal integrated cast and machined solutions at the best value, design, and quality to our customers. “

“GF and Linamar complement each other very well combining leading expertise in casting (and) respectively in machining,” stated Yves Serra, CEO of GF. “Our cooperation allows both partners to offer integrated solutions to their customers and for GF Automotive to expand its activities in the promising North American market.”

GF Automotive is a business unit of Switzerland-based GF, the organization formerly known as Georg Fischer Ltd. The automotive business produces ferrous castings at plants in Austria, Germany, and China, and aluminum and magnesium diecastings in Austria and China.

As Georg Fischer, it acquired E.D.C. Inc. in Montreal in 2006, but that plant was closed in 2009, ending the group’s metalcasting presence in North America.

Linamar is based in Guelph, Ont., and has two operating segments: Powertrain/Driveline and the Industrial. Last fall, Linamar bought Carolina Forge from MFC Corporation, and the hot-forging business of Germany’s Seissenschmidt AG, expanding its powertrain business and giving it new production capabilities for driveline and gear products.

Linda Hasenfratz, CEO of Linamar, stated: "Both companies share similar cultures in manufacturing excellence and sustained shareholder value. We look forward to the combination of our technical capabilities in order to serve our global customers even better."