DENSO Manufacturing Michigan, Inc. in Battle Creek makes automotive air conditioning and engine cooling components and systems. Courtesy DENSO
A Japanese auto supplier has invested $53.6 million and created 100 jobs in the region to support the company’s “next-generation” production and testing capabilities.
DENSO Battle Creek grows
DENSO Corp., based in Kariya, Japan, said yesterday that its subsidiary DENSO Manufacturing Michigan purchased two buildings in Battle Creek in the Fort Custer Industrial Park, which increases DENSO’s footprint to include more than 1.3 million square feet of space for manufacturing, warehousing, product testing and other support functions.
The investment began in late 2014 and will continue throughout 2015.
DENSO’s Battle Creek operation makes automotive air conditioning and engine cooling components and systems.
The subsidiary supplies a range of customers: Toyota, Honda, General Motors, Chrysler, Ford, Fiat, Subaru, Hyundai, John Deere, CNH Global and Cummins.
The operation is the hub for all of DENSO's thermal production in North America.
The investment allows DENSO to develop new manufacturing lines for advanced thermal systems, add additional labs for new product testing and validation and expand logistics and packaging operations.
One building will support warehousing parts and packaging, as well as shipping and receiving for some customers.
The other building will be dedicated to new product testing, engineering process changes and other product reliability testing for its Battle Creek, Arkansas, Canada and Mexico thermal plant locations.
"This investment allows us to expand our next-generation manufacturing and testing capabilities, while also creating space to lead our training and leadership programs as we develop our employee's next-generation job skills,” said Shingo Kuwamura, president of DENSO Manufacturing Michigan and CEO of DENSO Thermal Systems North American Center.
$1B across continent
The expansion by DENSO Manufacturing Michigan is part of DENSO's expansion plans, which were announced in January 2013, to invest nearly $1 billion in North America — more than $750 million in the U.S. — to strengthen and expand its product development and manufacturing capabilities across the continent.
Worldwide, the DENSO has more than 200 subsidiaries and affiliates in 38 countries and regions and employs nearly 140,000 people.
DENSO’s consolidated global sales for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014 totaled $39.8 billion.
In the U.S., DENSO employs more than 14,000 people in California, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, Alabama and Arkansas.
DENSO's North America consolidated sales totaled $7.9 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014.