Denso, a Japanese automotive manufacturer based in Kariya, Japan, will invest $63m (Y9.29bn) in its thermal manufacturing facility in Battle Creek, Michigan, according to a statement released by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
The investment will retool production lines, helping in turn with the future electrification of vehicles at the plant. Denso currently employs more than 3,500 workers at several locations across Michigan, of which almost two-thirds are based at the thermal facility in Battle Creek.
“We are excited to announce a $63m investment in Battle Creek, building on Denso’s footprint in Michigan and continuing our economic momentum,” Whitmer said. “This investment mission has given us the opportunity to connect with leadership at companies like Denso and tell Michigan’s story. Together, we are bringing critical supply chains and investments back home, proving that anyone can ‘make it’ in Michigan. Thanks to announcements [such as this], Michigan will remain a global leader in the future of mobility and electrification.”
Overall, more than 1,400 foreign companies have opened subsidiaries across Michigan, which in recent years has seen its automotive, metals and energy industries grow as a result of more than $13.1bn in foreign direct investment received between 2018 and 2022.
Denso is the largest employer in Battle Creek, a city known for its 1,200-hectare industrial park, which is home to over 80 companies – including 25 international businesses – and more than 13,000 employees.
The Japanese company is not the only automaker to recently announce investments in the region. In June, Toyota advanced plans to build a new battery lab to evaluate batteries for electric and electrified vehicles at its research and development headquarters in York Township, Michigan. Operations at the plant are expected to begin in 2025 and are part of Toyota’s $8bn spending spree across its US-based facilities over the past two years.
Speaking about Denso’s plans in Battle Creek, Andy Clemence, senior vice-president at the company and leader of the Green Business Group, said: “We are grateful for the governor’s commitment to strengthening Michigan’s position as an advanced mobility leader.
“While our locations across the globe and North America are vital to our mission of contributing to a better world, we are proud of the impact that our Michigan teams have in designing, developing, testing and producing Denso products. The investment will help our team build upon our rich legacy in the state and propel us toward a greener, safer future.”