It was nearly four years ago at the 2000 Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress that Dana Corp. announced its Drive-Tek joint venture with competitor GKN plc to supply components and systems for the burgeoning all-wheel-drive market.

That partnership failed a year ago, and now Dana has a new partner for AWD.

Dana and German transmission specialist Getrag Getriebe Zahnradfabrik announce they have purchased a controlling 60% stake in Volvo Car Corp.'s AWD assembly operations in Koping, Sweden. Volvo will retain 40%.

The JV, in the works for two years, will be known as Getrag All-Wheel Drive AB, a Dana/Getrag company. Dana has owned 30% of Getrag since November 2000 and owns 49% of Getrag's North American operations. Getrag's Newton, NC, plant produces power takeoff units (a key drive component for AWD systems) and front and rear axles.

But it's the expanded European presence with Volvo's AWD that made the Koping facility so attractive to Dana, says Bill Carroll, Dana's acting president and chief operating officer.

Getrag All-Wheel Drive has a solid book of business to continue supplying Volvo vehicles with power takeoff units, front and rear axles, differentials and casings, Carroll says, unlike Drive-Tek, which didn't have any customers when it was formed in 2000.

Output is pegged at 1 million AWD systems annually. Carroll declines to disclose the price paid for the 60% stake.

The JV also will produce AWD systems for various Ford Motor Co. models and those of Ford affiliates and Carroll tells Ward's the JV already has a non-Ford customer.