Global automotive supplier DENSO will invest $190 million to expand its operations in Athens, TN, creating 320 jobs at the McMinn County facility.
“Increasing our capacity to manufacture products closer to customers in North America will continue to power DENSO’s growth in the region,” said Hugh Cantrell, director of Administrative Services for DENSO Manufacturing Athens Tennessee. “This investment strengthens one of our key production centers. Athens has played a major role producing and supplying our customers with key components in fuel delivery, ignition, and exhaust gas systems.”
DENSO’s investment will add four production lines in Athens, increasing the company’s ability to produce and deliver key parts for automakers across North America. DENSO’s Athens facility manufactures fuel injectors, fuel pumps, oxygen sensors, ignition coils, monolithic carriers and spark plugs.
This is the latest in a series of strategic investments by DENSO in North America and part of the company’s commitment to make Tennessee a primary manufacturing center. In 2017, DENSO announced a $1 billion investment in its Maryville facility, creating 1,000 jobs focused on electrification and safety systems.
With its global headquarters in Japan, DENSO has had a presence in Tennessee for three decades. The company has three locations in the state – Maryville, Athens and Jackson – and employs roughly 4,500 people in Tennessee. The Athens investment will create 320 jobs across production, facility operations, engineering, administration and other skilled-traded positions. DENSO will introduce a new Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) production line, one low-pressure fuel pump line and two high-pressure fuel pump lines.
Prior to today’s expansion, DENSO has invested approximately $3 billion in Tennessee. Japan is the leading source of foreign direct investment in Tennessee over the last 30 years. In total, Japanese businesses have investment more than $19 billion in Tennessee and employ more than 51,000 in the state.
“DENSO is one of Tennessee’s largest employers and has been a valuable part of our state for 30 years,” said Gov. Bill Haslam. “The expansion in Athens demonstrates the confidence that employers have in our workforce and economy. DENSO’s continued investment in our state provides one more example of how Tennessee will lead in the creation of high quality jobs.”
“For years, DENSO has been the linchpin of McMinn County’s economy and today the company employs approximately 1,375 people, more than any business in the county,” said Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe. “The new investment and job creation from DENSO in Athens underscore the robust business environment that Tennessee offers global automotive companies. I want to thank DENSO for its continued commitment to Tennessee and the major impact these new jobs will have for the residents of McMinn County.”
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