Denso Corp. is placing a $1 billion bet that the U.S. auto industry's future is electric.
The Japanese parts supplier for both the automotive and RV industries, told Automotive News on Friday it will invest that much to expand its factory in Maryville, Tenn., to make components for electrified, connected and self-driving cars. The factory’s customers include the Detroit 3 and Japan-based carmakers, said Bill Foy, senior vice president of engineering for Denso International America.
The expanded facility will become one of the largest automotive component factories in North America at a time when EVs with autonomous and connected features are entering high-volume output for the first time. Parts to be made on the expanded production lines will include things like radar sensors for self-driving and data control modules that connect moving vehicles to the Internet, allowing manufacturers to send over-the-air software updates -- modern new additions that are seen becoming standard features in the near future.