Denso Investing $1 Billion in US Electrified and Autonomous Vehicle Supply

Automotive supplier Denso has announced it will invest $1 billion toward the future of electrified and autonomous vehicles.

The money will be used to expand manufacturing operations at a Maryville, Tenn. plant that specializes in electrification and safety systems.

Denso supplies Detroit automakers and Japanese brands.

Several production lines in its factory will grow and the move is expected to produce 1,000 new jobs filled by technical, production, engineering, and other support positions. The funds comprise a significant yet small portion of Denso’s global sales for the 2016-2017 fiscal year of $40.4 billion with 8.8 percent of it going towards research and development.

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

Among items produced at Denso’s Maryville factory are self-driving radar sensors, data control modules for over-the-air software updates, and other electrification products for hybrid and electric cars. Its expansion will make it one of the largest automotive factories in America.

This isn’t the first time Denso has expanded in U.S. territory. Last August, it announced its intention to invest $75.5 million toward its research and development regional headquarters in Southfield, Mich. with 120 new employees. Out of the $75.5 million investment, a small portion went toward a Dublin, Ohio plant specializing in the research and development of infotainment technology. An earlier 2015 investment saw DENSO add $400 million to Maryville’s coffers, which merged multiple warehouse operations into a single location and added 500 jobs.

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