Denso Manufacturing to expand Athens TN plant, add 130 jobs

Denso Manufacturing to expand Athens TN plant, add 130 jobs

January 14th, 2014 by Dave Flessner in Local - Breaking News

Mitch Isbill prepares fuel injectors for final inspection at Denso Manufacturing in Athens, Tenn. in this file photo.

Photo by Tim Barber/Times Free Press.

Denso Manufacturing in Athens, Tenn., is investing another $55 million and adding more than 130 new manufacturing jobs to boost production of its gasoline direct injectors.

The Japanese-based automotive supplier announced today that it will expand its Athens complex again this year, in addition to the $50 million expansion that added 130 jobs last year. Denso currently employs more than 1,000 employees in McMinn County, where the automotive supplier has produced fuel injectors since 1998 for the North American auto market.

"These are very exciting times at Denso," Hugh Cantrell, general manager for Denso's operations in Athens, said in a statement today. "We look forward to continued partnerships as we launch this expansion and compete to bring future products to Athens."

Denso Manufacturing in Athens, one of more than 200 subsidiaries of the Japanese-based Denso Corp., produces oxygen sensors, ignition coils, monolithic carriers and spark plugs in Athens. The company began tooling, staffing and training in June 2013 for mass production of gasoline direct injectors in 2014. Denso first mass produced GDI components in 1996, and started production of its third generation of GDI technology in 2012. Denso's latest generation technology is geared to deliver more power and lower emissions while being more compact.

Depending on engine size, Denso's GDI system can help automakers achieve up to 20 percent fuel economy while also helping reduce CO2 emissions of up to 15 percent. For consumers, it means more mileage for the money and an overall savings at the gas pump.