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some text Staff walk through the Athens, Tenn., Denso Manufacturing plant in this file photo.

ATHENS, Tenn. — Japanese automotive supplier Denso Manufacturing today unfurled an $85 million expansion to its plant here with plans to hire 400 more workers.

Company officials said the supplier will add 200,000 square feet to its Athens facility to produce a high pressure pump.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, who toured the plant that already employs more than 1,200 employees making auto parts, said the company's announcement is the third expansion at its McMinn County facility since 2012.

"This is a company that has exceeded everything they've ever told us," he said.

Ike Yamashita, the Denso plant president, said it has seen a lot of growth in the past 18 months due to higher sales of its products. He noted the factory has added 300 jobs since 2013.

Denso already makes spark plugs, oxygen sensors, ignition coils, and monolithic carriers in Athens.

See more in Thursday's Times Free Press.

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