BATTLE CREEK — One large Tier I automotive supplier with a major presence in Battle Creek plans to get even larger.
As part of the $1 billion North American investment announced at the North American International Auto Show in January, Denso Manufacturing Michigan Inc. will add 266 new positions and invest $105 million in its Battle Creek manufacturing plant by 2015.
Those new jobs include 220 manufacturing jobs and 46 skilled trade and professional jobs at its 1.29 million-square-foot facility. This investment will add new manufacturing capabilities to the Fort Custer Industrial Park location, including new lines of condenser and radiator products.
The expansion is largely driven by a bounce-back in the automotive industry, said Bridgette LaRose, senior communications specialist at Denso Corp.
“Our customers are increasing their production and because of that, we need to increase our production to match,” LaRose said.
Additionally, the Kariya, Japan-headquartered manufacturer is taking advantage of the rising fuel economy standards to develop and market high-efficiency products to American auto manufacturers. Denso’s current product offerings include advanced components for powertrain, electronics, heating and information systems.
This expansion in Michigan continues the company’s growth trend, albeit at an accelerated rate. In 2012, Denso added 150 jobs in Michigan. Of its 28 facilities, five are located in Michigan, including the Fort Custer Industrial Park facility, the Battle Creek area’s single largest employer.
The company also announced plans to invest in research and development at its DENSO International America Inc. facility in Southfield, Mich., where it plans to hire 176 new positions.