Japanese auto supplier Denso is considering a plan to hire 400 new workers at its plant in Battle Creek and at its U.S. headquarters in Southfield.
The $150 million investment is part of a four-year, $1 billion investment plan in North America. According to Terry Helgesen, senior vice president of industry relations at Denso International America, the Michigan expansion depends on the result of negotiation of tax incentives with the Michigan Economic Development and local municipalities.
“There’s a revitalization happening in manufacturing here in North America,” Helgesen was quoted as saying by the Detroit Free Press. The adding of manufacturing lines in Michigan is needed to produce more efficient radiators and HVAC units, said Jack Helmboldt, Denso Corporation executive vice president.
The company sees as encouraging the auto industry’s return to stability in the United States, where auto sales are expected to reach up to 15.5 million units in 2013. Denso is also benefiting from an increase in demand for lighter products. Denso’s next generation radiator is 30 percent to 40 percent lighter than current versions, which is in line with automakers’ drive to reduce overall weight of their vehicles to meet ever stricter fuel economy regulations.
Denso plans to add more than 2,000 jobs in North America, including more than 1,200 as part of a $750 million investment in the U.S. The company is considering investments in Michigan, Tennesse, Iowa, North Carolina and California.