BorgWarner Increases Toyota Tundra Transfer Case Production

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On Friday, March 21, 2014, BorgWarner officials announced that their production of the two-speed, part-time four-wheel drive transfer cases for the Toyota Tundra will add 150 jobs. The jobs will be added at the South Carolina production facility.

BorgWarner Increases Toyota Tundra Transfer Case Production

This is the BorgWarner transfer case that features electronic shift-on-the-fly technology. (PRNewsFoto/BorgWarner Inc.)

BorgWarner held an press conference on the formal parts-supplier agreement during which they discussed the increase in jobs. They have been the supplier of the part since production of the 2014 model began, Friday’s announcement was more a celebration of winning the contract.

The transfer case they make allows the truck “to switch between two-wheel and four-wheel drive while moving (or “shifting-on-the fly”), BorgWarner’s transfer case uses an electromagnetic-based synchronization system to synchronize the front and rear axle speeds before locking them together. Unlike conventional mechanical synchronization systems, BorgWarner’s electromagnetic-based system provides a smooth, quiet and consistent transition from two-wheel to four-wheel drive,” according to a BorgWarner press release.

Also, “the transfer case featured in the Toyota Tundra is equipped with BorgWarner’s HY-VO® transfer case chain. Optimized for high-efficiency, durable performance, HY-VO chain technology also offers low mass and durability in a compact package.”

“We consider the transfer case BorgWarner is producing here to be the global benchmark and as our production in North America continues to increase, we need our supply base to grow with us,” said Chris Nielsen, senior vice president of Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America Inc, according to a Greenville newspaper article. “Strong suppliers, such as BorgWarner, will continue to be critically important to Toyota.”

Prior to the 2014 model, the transfer case was built by a Japanese supplier (the name of the company isn’t readily available).

Once again, it seems parts suppliers are angling to be more in the spotlight. BorgWarner’s event was precluded by press releases and the event included speeches by local lawmakers including U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham, R-S.C.

To be fair, the parts-supplier agreement is a big deal. BorgWarner says it took 9 years to reach the agreement. They have also invested mightily in their Seneca plant by spending upwards $60 million with support from the state of South Carolina. This investment has created more than 470 jobs in the past 5 years.

As anyone in manufacturing knows, you can only increase production if you have enough parts to build it. One does wonder then what the increase in parts will mean to future Toyota truck production capacity.

Lastly, for reference, the Tundra has 75 percent of its parts built in the U.S./Canada.

Here is a list of 2014 trucks and their parts content according to the NHTSA:

Trucks   
MakesModelsVehicle Type on Part 567 Certification LabelPercent Content US/Canada
FordF-150Truck75%
Fiat/ChryslerRamTruck66%
Chevrolet SilveradoTruck40%
GMC SierraTruck40%
HondaRidgelineTruck75%
Nissan FrontierLight-Truck50%
Nissan TitanTruck50%
ToyotaTacomaLight-Truck60%
ToyotaTundraTruck75%

While this news wouldn’t create a lot of headlines, it is pretty important to American manufacturing and Toyota.

What do you think? Are you happy to see a U.S. supplier get a long-term contract? Do you think this will help increase Toyota truck production?

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  1. Randy says:

    What I think that is really important to truck buyers is quality parts that get the job done and do not break. The fact that is BorgWarner and made in the USA is just icing on the cake.

    This much I know; the locking transfer case, combined with the 18” Michelins in the Off Road package, and Tundra’s excellent software driving the A-Trac system has produced the most sure footed 4×4 I have ever driven in ice and/or snow. I have been driving 4×4’s for a very long time, and this combination or parts and suppliers is the best solution I have seen and driven yet.

  2. mendonsy says:

    Well ….. hopefully it works a bit better than the 07-13 transfer case. Shifting those has been a bit problematic although part of that is the front differential lockup mechanism.
    At least they are being built here, not in Mexico or China.

  3. ricqik says:

    What I’d like to have is a 4wd system like the one found in the Sequoia. The ability to go 2WD HI/2WD LO/AWD HI/AWD LO/4WD HI LOCKED/4WD LO LOCKED. Living in MN, I can’t be driving around in 4WD HI LOCKED all the time. The convenience of AWD HI like my ’06 Sequoia is great.

  4. breathing borla says:

    my Ram says 67% on the sticker..

    anyway, look at GM?

    good lord, 40%, now wonder they catch on fire.

    maybe the are adding production to launch the TRD Pro model?

  5. breathing borla says:

    What model BW T-Case is it?

    mine is BW 44-44, I would like to read about the two.

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