Denso to invest $1.6 billion to support electric cars, self-driving technologies

by Wesley Brown ([email protected]) 505 views 

Japanese auto giant Denso Corp., which operates a state-of-the-art HVAC manufacturing facility in Osceola, has announced plans to invest nearly $1.6 billion over the next three years to support its aggressive development and production of electrified automotive products, systems and technologies.

The multi-billion dollar investment follows recent companywide initiatives by the world’s second largest automotive supplier after the company announced two years ago that it was making a dramatic companywide shift toward sustainability and reducing its environmental footprint by 2030.

That overarching goal has led the Japanese automotive components giant to increase its investment in the U.S. in developing auto parts for environmentally-friendly cars and sophisticated vehicle safety and security systems. Denso’s new investment will help the Kariya, Japan-based auto supplier accelerate its performance in the area of electrification and move closer to the company’s long-term business goal to create and inspire new value for the future of mobility.

“Denso is committed to advancing automotive innovation and anticipating the changing needs of our customers in the transportation industry. Electric vehicles are increasingly becoming the norm throughout the world, and to meet the rising global demand for automotive electrification technologies and products, Denso will strengthen its ability to develop and produce them,” Yukihiro Shinohara, the company’s senor executive officer, said in a recent statement.

To accelerate business execution around electrification, Denso said it is establishing the Electrification Innovation Center at Denso’s Anjo Plant in Japan in May 2020. That center will conduct advanced R&D, develop and test prototypes, and mass produce newly developed automotive electrification products, systems and technologies.

Recently, Denso has partnered with startups to develop software-based solutions to advance innovation in electrification, as well as automated driving, connectivity and shared economy.

On the manufacturing front, Denso North America announced plans a year ago to add four new production lines and 320 new jobs at its huge manufacturing complex in Athens, Tenn. That $190 million capital outlay followed a larger $1 billion investment in late 2017 to expand the company’s Tennessee operations and add about 1,000 new jobs, including high-paying technicians and engineer positions.

Denso’s sprawling operations in eastern Tennessee near Knoxville are part of the same supply chain as the Japanese auto parts giant’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Osceola that employs nearly 500 workers and produces HVAC assemblies and Engine Cooling Modules (ECM) for the company’s North American customers.

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