Dana Holding Corp. has agreed to buy the commercial-truck axles business from its joint venture Axles India Ltd. (AIL), including the AIL axle drive-head (the pinion, ring gear, differential lock, bearings, lube pump, and yoke inside the axle housing) and final axle-assembly operations, for $13 million. The drivetrain producer estimates the business will generate $50 million in annual revenue.

The deal gives Dana increased access to vehicle manufacturers in India. In February Dana expanded its market share in South America by agreeing with forger SIFCO S/A to distribute commercial vehicle front and rear axles, driveshafts, and suspension components there. Adding those products makes it a full-service supplier of commercial driveline systems in the region, Dana said.

Dana’s statement said the transaction reconfirms its commitment to expansion in emerging markets.

Ohio-based Dana designs and produces drivetrain products like axles, driveshafts, and transmissions; power technologies (sealing and thermal-management products); and service parts for light- and heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers. At the end of 2010 Dana started building a $20-million technical center in Pune, India, for commercial vehicle, automotive, and off-highway vehicle customers.

In addition to manufacturing at AIL, Dana will assume responsibility for marketing, sales, and engineering of AIL’s medium- and heavy-duty axles.

AIL is a joint venture between Dana, Wheels India Ltd. and Sundaram Finance Group, and it will continue manufacturing axle housings for Dana and other customers, including Ashok Leyland and Mahindra & Mahindra.

"This agreement further extends our capabilities and operations in another rapidly growing market," stated Dana Heavy Vehicle Products Group president Mark Wallace. "With the compound annual growth rate of India's commercial vehicle market at 8 percent, we have high expectations for this investment."