American Axle Gains Control of Electric Drivetrain Venture

Feb. 29, 2012
AAM totally committed after Saabs bankruptcy ends joint ownership

American Axle & Manufacturing reports it has acquired full ownership of the joint venture it formed two years ago with Saab Automobile AB — e-AAM Driveline Systems AB. e-AAM was planned as a full-service developer and supplier of electric all-wheel drive systems. In 2010, American Axle explained the systems would be designed “to improve fuel efficiency, reduce CO2 emissions, and provide all-wheel-drive capability utilizing torque vectoring for vehicle stability.”

At the time of the launch, the goal for e-AMM was to supply electric drive systems for existing platforms, one target being Saab’s 2012 models.

"AAM remains totally committed to e-AAM", stated AAM president and COO David C. Dauch. "As a wholly owned entity, we now have greater flexibility to support e-AAM`s customers without limitations. We are pleased with the progress we are making in this new and emerging driveline technology, and expect to play a leading role in this important new product segment."

The cost of AAM’s takeover was not announced. Saab’s bankruptcy administrator conducted the sale.

Last September, Saab filed its second bankruptcy petition in less than three years, hoping to complete a voluntary reorganization before entering a new ownership group involving China’s Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile group and other Chinese investors. However, former Saab owner General Motors Corp. blocked that path by declaring that it would not continue Saab’s licenses to GM patents and technology if the company were sold to the Chinese investors.

In January 2011 American Axle gained full control of a venture in India that produces axle assemblies for light trucks, and in December it acquired the outstanding 50% of a Chinese venture that manufactures light commercial vehicle axles.

With several forging operations, American Axle is an integrated global supplier of driveline and drivetrain systems, and related components and modules, and chassis systems, for trucks, sport utility vehicles, passenger cars and crossover utility vehicles. It has plants in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, as well as Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Poland, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, and the U.K.