CHICAGO Denso International America Inc. plans to spend nearly $1 billion on projects across North Americahalf in the United Statesto increase its manufacturing capacity.
"Just a couple years ago, we were seeing capacity taken out of North America. But there is a revitalization of manufacturing happening and capacity is now coming back. Automakers and suppliers are both increasing production," Terry Helgesen, senior vice president of industry relations at Southfield, Mich.-based Denso, said during a news conference Jan. 15 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The expansion effort by the companya subsidiary of Kariya, Japan-based Denso Corp. that makes such automotive systems as heating, ventilation and air conditioners, radiators, fuel pumps and electronic fuel injection productswill create more than 2,000 new jobs in North America.
"Much of this investmentmore than $750 million and 1,200 jobsare right here in the United States," Helgesen said, estimating spending at $150 million in Michigan; $120 million each in North Carolina, California and Iowa; and $50 million in Athens, Tenn. The company is also considering additional investment in Maryville, Tenn., and plans to spend another $150 million in Canada and Mexico.
The capital projects are being driven by higher vehicle output, expanding business with existing customers, new product launches and Densos effort to localize products for regional customers, he said.