Our History

Our History

A History of Bringing the Future Faster

AAM can trace its history to the beginning of the 20th century and the infancy of the automotive industry. The foundation for what is now AAM was established in 1917 when General Motors Corporation built an aircraft parts manufacturing facility in Detroit, on the land where AAM’s World Headquarters and flagship North American facility now stands. Later, automotive parts were added to the product mix. By 1920, two additional plants had been built in Detroit to meet the increased demands of the burgeoning automotive industry. Two additional plants were constructed in Detroit in the ‘40s and ‘50s.

The facilities remained under the General Motors umbrella until late 1992, when General Motors publicly announced that 18 of its manufacturing plants were for sale – five of which encompassed the Final Drive and Forge Business Unit of GM.

In response to the GM announcement, Richard E. Dauch, who had recently retired from the Chrysler Corporation as executive vice president Worldwide Manufacturing, formed a small investment team to purchase five driveline and forging assets that GM had up for sale. On March 1, 1994, AAM became a stand-alone, independent and multi-billion-dollar tier 1 automotive supplier.

Today, AAM delivers POWER that moves the world. As a leading global Tier 1 Automotive and Mobility Supplier, AAM (NYSE: AXL) designs, engineers and manufactures Driveline and Metal Forming technologies to support electric, hybrid and internal combustion vehicles. Headquartered in Detroit with over 80 facilities in 18 countries, AAM is bringing the future faster for a safer and more sustainable tomorrow. 






March 1, 1994, AAM is formed by Richard E. Dauch and a group of investors who establish its world headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. The following facilities are included in the purchase:
  • Detroit Gear & Axle - Michigan
  • Detroit Forge - Michigan
  • Buffalo Gear & Axle - New York
  • Tonawanda Forge - New York
  • Three Rivers Propshaft - Michigan

  • AAM Technical Center opened in Rochester Hills, Michigan
  • Buffalo Gear & Axle opens paint facility
  • AAM developed new alternate material for driveshafts - Metal Matrix Composite (MMC) and aluminum
  • AAM engineered and developed new, state-of-the-art axles
  • AAM introduced new Independent Rear Drive System
  • AAM introduced complete range of TracRite® traction enhancing differentials


  • AAM introduced new Axle Cooler technology
  • R.E. Dauch awarded Industry Leader of the Year by the Automotive Hall of Fame
  • Blackstone Group invested in AAM
  • Tokyo Business Office is opened in Tokyo, Japan
  • AAM produced 10 millionth axle
  • R.E. Dauch awarded Manufacturer of the Year by National Association of Manufacturers
  • R.E. Dauch named Crain's Detroit Newsmaker of the Year
  • R.E. Dauch awarded Ellis Island Medal
  • Groundbreaking for the greenfield facility, Guanajuato Manufacturing Complex in Mexico
  • AAM acquired Albion Automotive located in the United Kingdom


  • Groundbreaking for the Education and Health Center at Tonawanda Forge
  • AAM joined the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as a publicly traded company on January 29, 1999, with the ticker symbol: AXL
  • AAM opens European Business Office in Ulm, Germany
  • AAM do Brasil is established in Curitiba, Brasil
  • Colfor Manufacturing is acquired by AAM, with locations in Malvern, Minerva and Salem, Ohio


  • MSP Industries is acquired by AAM, with locations in Oxford and Centerline, Michigan


  • Production began at Guanajuato Manufacturing Complex
  • Guanajuato Forge begins construction in Mexico
  • Cheektowaga Manufacturing Facility is opened in Cheektowaga, New York
  • Powerlite® aluminum axles designed for mass savings introduced
  • Powerdense® gearsets offering reduced weight and increased torque capacity developed
  • TracRite® Axle & Transmission Differentials introduced
  • AAM introduced Integrated Oil Pan Front Axle with Electronic Disconnect
  • SmartBar™ Electronic Stabilizer System is introduced
  • I-Ride™ front & rear axle modules introduced 
  • Implemented new net shaped differential pinion and side gear technology to forge net shaped differential gears
  • Sao Paolo business office in Sao Paolo, Brasil is established
  • Initiated expansion of Guanajuato Manufacturing Complex to support new business from Chrysler
  • Three Rivers Manufacturing Facility expanded to include driveline production
  • Advanced Technology Showcase Vehicle Fleet introduced
  • AAM won Automotive News/PricewaterhouseCoopers "Shareholder Value Award" - one year return
  • AAM named one of the Best Big Companies in America by Forbes Magazine
  • R.E. Dauch named World Trader of the Year by Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Family of Power Transfer Units (PTU) introduced
  • PowerFilm® driveline lubricant developed


  • AAM announced Technical Center expansion completion adding 37,000 square feet - highlight of expansion is the addition of the Road Load Simulator
  • AAM do Brasil moved to larger facility in Araucária, Brasil
  • Installed advanced grinding equipment at Three Rivers Manufacturing Facility to begin production of spider u-joint cross pins
  • AAM World Headquarters is opened and dedicated
  • Awarded first driveline system contract with Korean OEM - SsangYong
  • AAM opened Pune Business Office & Engineering Center in Pune, India
  • AAM launched driveline system with SmartBar™ Electronic Stabilizer System for 2005 Ram Power Wagon
  • AAM's Quality Engineering Technical Center, Training Center and Process Development Center is opened in the Detroit Manufacturing Complex - South Campus
  • AAM won second Automotive News/PriceWaterHouse Coopers "Shareholder Value Award" - three year return
  • AAM is named Best Big Company in its sector by Forbes Magazine
  • AAM opens business offices in Shanghai, China and Seoul, South Korea
  • AAM opens the Process Development Center
  • Expansion of Guanajuato Manufacturing Complex to support driveshaft production is completed
  • New state of the art electronics lab is added at AAM’s Technical Center in Rochester Hills, MI
  • AAM is awarded SmartBar™ application for Jeep® Rubicon
  • Olawa, Poland manufacturing facility is announced
  • Europe Headquarters & Engineering Center opens in Bad Homburg, Germany
  • Production begins at Changshu Manufacturing Facility
  • Expansion of Colfor Manufacturing initiated in 2005 is completed
  • AAM formed India Joint Venture Company, AAM Sona Axle Private Limited
  • Richard E. Dauch received the American Society for Quality, Automotive Division, 2007 Quality Leader of the Year Award
  • AAM was awarded a new contract to produce rear drive modules (RDM) for a Chery Automobile Co., Ltd. crossover vehicle
  • "One Piece Flow" welding is introduced to improve welding of tube flanges and brackets, which replaces four, stand alone batch processes
  • AAM expanded R&D in Off-Road Racing
  • AAM opened a new forging facility in Oxford, Michigan, Oxford Forge Inc.


  • Initiated Restructure, Resize and Recovery program to transition business to meet current and projected market requirements
  • AAM and JAC Group Subsidiary in China formed a joint venture resulting in Hefei AAM Manufacturing Facility in China.


  • AAM formed new Metal Formed Products company, DieTronik™, focusing on precision tool and die manufacturing


  • AAM forms AccuGear™ Inc., a high-quality gear manufacturer


  • To support increased business for Europe, AAM transfers operations in Poland from Olawa to Swidnica
  • AAM awarded first major North American commercial truck program

  • General Motors and Chrysler filed for Chapter 11 – Bankruptcy
  • Launched light commercial axle production at AAM’s Pantnagar Manufacturing Facility
  • Pune Business Office & Engineering Center in India, ISO 9001-2008 Registered
  • AAM-JAC Hefei joint venture begins operations in China
  • Flawlessly launched gear and component machining capabilities in China
  • Established new, regional manufacturing facility in Lancaster, PA to support commercial vehicle business
  • The multi-year Restructure, Resize and Recovery program is completed, resulting in significant, permanent and structural cost reductions as well as a reduction in AAM’s operating breakeven level to a U.S. SAAR equivalent of approximately 10 million vehicle units
  • The AAM World Headquarters in Detroit, Michigan earns the Energy Star Label

  • AAM World Headquarters was awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's prestigious Energy Star Award
  • Launched rear drive module, power transfer unit and a three-piece driveshaft for premium crossover vehicles at the Guanajuato Manufacturing Complex
  • AAM relocates the Quality Engineering Technical Center and Process Development Center to Auburn Hills, MI
  • AAM's Guanajuato Manufacturing Complex North Plant was awarded the 2009 Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing 
  • Araucaria Manufacturing Facility in Brasil launches driveline products for Volkswagen AG
  • AAM launches EcoTracTM brand of fuel-efficient and environment-friendly driveline products


  • AAM establishes eAAM Driveline Systems AB


  • The AAM World Headquarters in Detroit, Michigan earns the Energy Star Label.
  • Joint venture was expanded with JAC Group, making AAM the second largest axle supplier in China's light commercial truck segment
  • Expanded AAM's manufacturing presence in Asia with the opening of Rayong Manufacturing Facility. Products manufactured at the facility include front axles, rear axles and driveshafts.
  • Aftermarket established a new distribution center in Silao, Mexico to serve its growing network of distributors throughout Latin America
  • Acquired full ownership of the AAM Sona Axle Private Limited Joint Venture (AAM Sona Axle) in Pantnagar, India
  • Three Rivers Manufacturing Facility was recognized as one of the 10 Best Plants in North America by IndustryWeek magazine for 2010
  • Launched the production of a rear axle and driveshaft with first time customer Nissan
  • The AAM World Headquarters in Detroit, Michigan earns the Energy Star Label
  • AAM appoints David C. Dauch President & Chief Executive Officer. Richard E. Dauch is named Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board
  • AAM expands its metal form operations in Mexico with the opening of AccuGear Silao
  • AAM expands its manufacturing capabilities in India with the opening of the Chennai Manufacturing Facility in Chennai, India
  • AAM launches transfer case production for Jaguar Land Rover
  • AAM opens its Winter Test Facility at Colmis Proving Grounds in Arjeplog, Sweden
  • e-AAM Driveline Systems AB becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of AAM
  • The AAM World Headquarters in Detroit, Michigan earns the Energy Star Label

  • AAM's EcoTrac® Disconnecting All Wheel Drive is featured on the all-new 2014 Jeep® Cherokee
  • AAM opens Silao Manufacturing Facility to complement its Guanajuato Manufacturing Complex with a machining and assembly operation
  • AAM's Changshu Manufacturing Facility receives the "Best Supplier Award" from BBAC
  • Rayong Manufacturing Facility expands its capabilities by adding hypoid gear machining as well as helical case machining and assembly
  • AAM's World Headquarters achieves ISO 50001, the top international standard certification for energy management
  • AAM's World Headquarters achieves LEED Certification through year 2018, a designation from the US Green Building Council for buildings with optimum energy, water usage and air quality efficiencies
  • David C. Dauch receives the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, an award presented to individuals of various ethnic backgrounds who exemplify outstanding qualities in both their personal and professional lives, while continuing to preserve the richness of their particular heritage
  • The AAM World Headquarters in Detroit, Michigan earned the Energy Star Label
  • MSP Industries launches production of continuously variable transmission (CVT) pulleys for Honda (2014 model year)
  • Colfor Manufacturing in Minerva, Ohio; DieTronik in Auburn Hills, Michigan; and Changshu Manufacturing Facility in Changshu, China, were awarded the 2013-2014 General Motors Supplier Excellence Award
  • AAM's World Headquarters in Detroit and Rayong Manufacturing Facility in Thailand achieve ISO 50001, the top international standard certification for energy management


  • The AAM World Headquarters in Detroit, Michigan earns the Energy Star Label
  • AAM appoints Michael K. Simonte as President. Christopher J. May is named Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
  • AAM announces the initial occupancy of the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) in Detroit on October 1


  • AAM launches the Rochester Manufacturing Facility (ROMF), an Indiana-based machining operation that supports Three Rivers Manufacturing Facility (TRMF)


  • AAM announces Auburn Hills Manufacturing (AHM), a metal forming facility located in two former driveline operations in Michigan


  • Crain's Detroit Business recognizes the quality of AAM's innovation and patents with the 19th Best Patent Portfolio in SE Michigan out of 100 companies.
  • AAM launches its Q4 Quality Assurance Program, designed to drive quality perfection through continuous improvement.
  • AAM achieves ISO 50001, the top international standard certification for energy management, at its World Headquarters in Detroit; Rayong Manufacturing Facility in Thailand; Changshu Manufacturing Facility in China; and Świdnica Manufacturing Facility in Poland


  • The AAM World Headquarters in Detroit, Michigan earns the Energy Star Label
  • AAM is named to the Eureka Index of the Most Innovative Companies by Crain’s Detroit Business. AAM is tied for the No. 9 spot with 32 patents filed in 2015
  • AAM debuts QUANTUM™, it’s new light weight axle technology, at Winter Test in Brimley, Michigan
  • AAM opens the Mechatronics Technical Center (MTC) in Auburn Hills, Michigan to focus on the areas of integration and communication between our products and other vehicle systems
  • AAM announces the acquisition of Metaldyne Performance Group
  • Three AAM Facilities—Oxford Forge, RHTC and ATDC—achieved ISO 50001 Energy Management certification
  • Globally, AAM facilities undertook >30 projects to reduce energy, recycle oils and coolants and reduce wastewater

David C. Dauch Wins EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Michigan and Northwest Ohio
  • General Motors selects AAM as a GM Supplier of the Year
  • AAM completes the acquisition of Metaldyne Performance Group Inc. (April 6, 2017)
  • AAM is named one of America's Best Midsize Employers by Forbes
  • Corp! Magazine names AAM one of Michigan's Economic Bright Spots
  • AAM is recognized as a West Michigan Best & Brightest Company to Work For
  • David C. Dauch, Chairman and CEO, wins EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Michigan and Northwest Ohio region
  • QUANTUM and e-AAM included on Motor Trend Promising Technologies list
  • AAM wins honorable mention in PR Daily Video Awards
  • Barcelona Manufacturing Complex celebrates 50th anniversary
  • AAM earns a spot on the Crain's Detroit Business Fast 50 Fastest Growing Companies list
  • AAM hosts United States Vice President Mike Pence and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder at Auburn Hills Manufacturing Complex
  • Six global facilities earn GM Supplier Quality Excellence Award: Auburn Hills Manufacturing Complex, Bluffton Manufacturing Facility, Changshu Manufacturing Facility, Chicago Manufacturing Facility, Minerva Manufacturing Facility and Pyeongtaek Manufacturing Facility
  • Oxford Manufacturing Facility wins Hino Quality Achievement Award
  • Ramos Manufacturing Complex wins FCA Outstanding Quality Award
  • Rayong Manufacturing Facility wins Ford Q1 Award
  • Swidnica Manufacturing Facility wins JLR Quality Award
  • AAM Powertrain technology is included on the 2018 Wards Best Engines List
  • First production e-AAM unit is manufactured at Świdnica Manufacturing Facility in Poland
  • AAM expands footprint in China through formation of joint venture with Liuzhou Wuling
  • General Motors chooses AAM as a Supplier of the Year for the second year in a row
  • Forbes recognizes AAM as one of America’s Best Employers in 2018
  • AAM hosts Investor Day and rings the Closing Bell at the New Year Stock Exchange
  • Corp! Magazine honors AAM as one of Michigan’s Economic Bright Spots
  • Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) selects AAM for the JLR Excellence Award
  • AAM is named to the Fortune 500 list, which recognizes the largest corporations in the United States
  • AAM earns the first-ever Altair Enlighten Future of Lightweighting Award for QUANTUM lightweight driveline technology, and helps ring the NASDAQ bell
  • Crain’s Detroit Business selects AAM for its Fast 50 list, which spotlights the fastest growing companies in metro Detroit
  • Richard E. Dauch Training Institute opens in Mexico
  • AAM’s QUANTUM lightweight driveline technology earns the Society of Automotive Analysts’ inaugural Lightweighting Innovation Award
  • AAM opens new technology evaluation course on its Detroit campus
  • AAM’s global facilities win 14 quality awards
2019-AAM 25th Anniversary
  • AAM celebrates 25th anniversary on March 1, 2019
  • AAM and the City of Detroit announce neighborhood partnership with Detroit’s Campau/Banglatown neighborhood. AAM’s commitment of $5 million over the next five years will help revitalize the area by funding projects including park improvements, streetscape improvements, commercial corridor development and affordable single-family housing
  • AAM is recognized by General Motors as a 2018 Supplier of the Year for third consecutive year
  • Ford presents Sustainability Award to AAM at the 21st annual Ford World Excellence Awards
  • AAM earns the General Motors Diversity Award
  • AAM earns 17 customer quality awards including a record number (11) of GM Supplier Quality awards
  • AAM publishes first Sustainability Report
  • AAM Co-Founder Richard E. Dauch is inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame
  • Electric Drive Technology by AAM powers the new Jaguar I-PACE
  • Automotive News names AAM a 2020 PACE Award Finalist for our Electric Drive Technology
  • New 15,600 sq.-m. Barcelona Manufacturing Facility opens in Viladecans, Spain to support demand and growth from new and current European customers
  • AAM completes acquisition of MITEC Automotive AG, now AAM’s Eisenach Manufacturing Facility
  • AAM closes sale of U.S. iron casting operations
  • AAM wins two Automotive News PACE Awards for our Electric Drive Technology on the Jaguar I-PACE: the PACE Innovation Award and the PACE Innovation Partnership Award
  • General Motors recognizes AAM as a Supplier of the Year for the fourth consecutive year
  • AAM earns Hyundai Motor Group Supplier of the Year Award
  • Eight AAM facilities earn the General Motors Supplier Quality Excellence Award: Auburn Hills Manufacturing Complex, Changshu Manufacturing Complex – Plant 1, Minerva Manufacturing Facility, Pyeongtaek Manufacturing Facility, Ramos Manufacturing Complex – Plant 1, Rayong Manufacturing Facility, Ridgway Manufacturing Facility, Subiaco Manufacturing Facility
  • Forging Industry Association honors AAM with Safety Award
  • Chairman and CEO David C. Dauch is named a 2020 Automotive News All Star
  • VP Global Supply Chain Management Faith Wandrie is selected for the Automotive News Leading Women List
  • AAM’s Barcelona Manufacturing Facility wins the Ford Zero Defects Award
  • AAM’s North Vernon Manufacturing Facility earns the Ford Outstanding Support and Supplier Quality Award
  • AAM’s Ramos Manufacturing Complex – Plant 1 wins the Ford Super-G Bonus Award
  • AAM’s Silao Manufacturing Facility earns the  Ford Q1 Award
  • AAM’s Valencia Manufacturing Facility wins the Ford Silver Excellence Award
  • American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand selects AAM’s Rayong Manufacturing Facility as Community and Social Responsibility (CSR) Award winner for second year in a row
  • AAM supplies electric drive unit for the new Baojun E300 Plus in China
  • AAM publishes first comprehensive Sustainability Report
  • AAM awarded next generation RAM heavy duty axle and driveshaft program.
  • AAM wins 2020 Dorian Award for Problem Solving Cultural Excellence.
  • AAM publishes 2020 Sustainability Report.
  • AAM’s EcoTrac PTU is featured on the Ford Bronco Sport.
  • AAM and REE Automotive jointly develop new electric propulsion system for e-Mobility.
  • U.S. Department of Energy awards AAM with cooperative agreement for electric drive technology development.
  • GM names AAM sole axle supplier for additional pickup production at the GM Oshawa facility.
  • AAM recognized by GM as winner of Overdrive Award.
  • AAM wins the Altair Enlighten Award in the Future of Lightweighting category.
  • AAM’s TracRite® differentials help new GMC HUMMER EV conquer the road.
  • AAM secures agreement with REE Automotive to supply high-performance electric drive units in a modular platform that can support multiple customer vehicle programs.
AAM AMG electric drive
  • AAM and REE Automotive hold joint technology event at CES 2022.
  • AAM launches AAM.com/Future to showcase our market-ready, scalable driveline systems and products compatible with all electrified architectures.
  • Newsweek names AAM one of America’s Most Responsible Companies.
  • AAM invests in Autotech Ventures.
  • Forbes selects AAM as one of America’s Best Large Employers.
  • AAM’s EcoTrac PTU is featured on the full-hybrid Ford Maverik.
  • AAM secures contracts valued at more than $10 billion for next-generation full-size truck axle programs.
  • GM honors AAM with the GM Overdrive Award for the second consecutive year.
  • AAM acquires Tekfor, a leading specialist in formed and e-mobility components.
  • AAM publishes 2021 Sustainability Report.
  • AAM is recognized with three PACE Awards from Automotive News for our Innovative EV Technologies. AAM was named the winner of a PACE Award and PACE Innovation Partnership Award for our P3 2-speed Electric Drive Technology, and a PACEpilot Innovation to Watch Award for our P4 Integrated 3-In-1 Wheel-End Electric Drive Unit EDU.
  • AAM’s electric driveline technology powers AMG’s first plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) model, the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE.
  • Forbes names AAM one of Mexico's Best Employers.