MARYVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and officials from global automotive supplier DENSO announced Friday that the company will expand its operations in Maryville.
DENSO will create approximately 1,000 jobs in Maryville and invest $1 billion to make its Blount County facility a primary manufacturing center in North America for electrification and safety systems.
“We want to thank DENSO for choosing to expand in Maryville, creating 1,000 new jobs and investing $1 billion in Blount County,” Haslam said. “This is a huge win for the state of Tennessee and Maryville. DENSO has been a part of Tennessee for over 30 years and continues to be a great part of our state. I appreciate DENSO for continually investing in Tennessee and helping us become one step closer to our goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”
“Tennessee is No. 1 for growth in automotive employment in the Southeast since 2011, adding over 22,000 jobs, and it is because of companies like DENSO that the automotive sector continues to have momentum in our state,” Rolfe said. “I want to thank DENSO for choosing to expand in Maryville, creating over 1,000 new jobs and investing $1 billion. DENSO is a great partner to Tennessee and I look forward to seeing its continued success in our state.”
With its global headquarters in Japan, DENSO has had a presence in Tennessee for nearly three decades. The company has two locations in the state – Maryville and Athens – and employs roughly 4,500 people. The Maryville campus, which is DENSO’s largest US manufacturing facility, consists of four manufacturing plants on 194 acres and is Blount County’s largest employer.
“This is an investment in the future of DENSO, and also the future of transportation. We are seeing dramatic shifts in the role of transportation in society, and this investment will help position us to meet those changing demands,” said Kenichiro Ito, chairman of DENSO’s North America Board of Directors and chief executive officer of DENSO International America.
DENSO produces starters, alternators, instrument clusters, safety products and a wide range of electronic components and systems for the automotive industry at its operations in Maryville. Globally, DENSO is a leading developer of electrification systems for environmentally-friendly automobiles, sophisticated functions involved in vehicle safety and security, products that connect vehicles and society and thermal systems to cool the cabin and under-the-hood components.
“Since setting roots here, DENSO has played a major role in helping Tennessee transform into an automotive production leader,” said Jack Helmboldt, president of DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee. “This investment enables us to provide new opportunities for top talent to advance the next generation of vehicles.”
With this expansion, DENSO will expand multiple production lines to produce advanced safety, connectivity and electrification products for hybrid and electric vehicles. These new products will radically improve fuel efficiency and preserve electric power by recovering and recycling energy, and by connecting all systems and products inside the vehicles.
Prior to this expansion, DENSO had invested approximately $2 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 $17 billion in Tennessee and employ more than 50,000.
Local officials thanked DENSO for its investment and new jobs in Blount County.
“We are thankful for DENSO’s commitment to this community,” Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell said. “Having the county’s largest manufacturing employer continue to add to its ranks and expand its operations here really shows the kind of workforce we have and the bright vision DENSO sees for the future of its organization. The economic impact of this move across all business sectors throughout Blount County cannot be underestimated.”
“It’s always great to see a local company expanding its operations,” Maryville Mayor Tom Taylor said. “Nearly 30 years ago, we made a commitment to DENSO and we are seeing the fruits of that now as it has steadily grown into one of the major economic influencers for our economy. We welcome new families to our community and look forward to the next 30 years with DENSO.”
“There’s nothing I enjoy more than seeing a company that we have worked closely with make such an impression on its worldwide leadership that it decides to expand its operations here,” Alcoa City Mayor Don Mull said. “We thank DENSO for its diligence in being an active member of this community and appreciate the impact it will have on expanding here for our future workforce.”
“Attracting and retaining good companies with above average wages is one of our tenets. We applaud DENSO’s loyalty to Blount County and will do all we can to make sure it has the workforce it needs to be competitive in this worldwide economy,” Blount County Industrial Development Board Chair Fred Lawson said. “This advancement shows the commitment the Blount Partnership, the State of Tennessee economic development office, and Governor Bill Haslam have in making this area and our state one of the nation’s leaders in economic development.”
“TVA and Maryville Electric Department congratulate DENSO on its latest plans to expand and create over a thousand new job opportunities in Blount County,” TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley said. “It’s always an exciting day when an existing company is committed to continuing growth in our community and we are pleased to partner with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and the Blount Partnership to celebrate this announcement.”