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Investment advances U.S. role in crafting the future of electrification and safety technology, creates 1,000-plus jobs in Tennessee.

Stephen Moore

October 10, 2017

3 Min Read
Denso investing $1 billion in U.S. automotive manufacturing to produce the future of mobility

Japanese Tier 1 auto parts supplier Denso is expanding its U.S. footprint with a massive $1 billion investment in its Maryville, Tennessee location. The investment is part of Denso’s commitment to advancing automotive innovation in North America, and will significantly increase the role North America plays in the global trend toward vehicle safety and electrification according to the company.

Denso will create more than 1,000 jobs in Maryville, Tennessee to make it a primary manufacturing center in North America for electrification and safety systems. Globally, Denso is a leading developer of electrification systems for environmentally-friendly automobiles, sophisticated functions involved in vehicle safety and security, and new services that connect vehicles and society. These systems will play a crucial role in meeting increasing electric vehicle demand. Safety devices being developed by Denso include millimeter-wave radar sensors and stereo vision sensors for autonomous vehicles.

Safety products being developed by Denso include stereo vision sensors (above) and millimeter-wave radar sensors (below) for the new 2018 Lexus LS. These devices enable more precise detection of obstacles on the road.

In September Denso officially joined forces with Mazda Motor and Toyota Motor to jointly develop basic structural technologies for electric vehicles. Furthermore, the three companies have also decided to establish a new company consisting of selected engineers from the three companies to ensure the efficient implementation of the joint technological development projects. One of the roles of the joint venture, EV C.A. Spirit, will be research into the characteristics (common architecture) that define optimum performance and functions of electric vehicles from the standpoint of both individual components and the whole vehicle.

Commenting on the company’s initiative in the U.S., Kenichiro Ito, chairman of Denso's North America Board of Directors and chief executive officer of Denso International America, said: "This  is an investment in the future of Denso, and also the future of transportation. We are seeing dramatic shifts in the role of transportation in society, and this investment will help position us to meet those changing demands.”

Denso’s $1 billion investment will create about 1,000 new production and support jobs, including technicians and engineers. The investment will also expand multiple production lines to produce advanced safety, connectivity, and electrification products for hybrid and electric vehicles.  These new products will radically improve fuel efficiency and preserve electric power by recovering and recycling energy, and by connecting all systems and products inside the vehicles. Denso’s products will create the highest efficiency for a whole vehicle by anticipating the road environment via collaboration with information outside the car and using data to enhance performance of electrified products.

Denso announced a $400 million investment in Maryville in 2015, adding 500 jobs and consolidating various warehouse operations into one central location. The company broke ground on the facility in July 2016.

The $1 billion investment in Maryville is the latest in a line of strategic investments in North America for Denso. The company recently invested $75.5 million in its Southfield, Michigan headquarters and Dublin, Ohio facilities.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia, and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking his bike on overseas business trips, and is a proud dachshund owner.

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