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DENSO Partners with Innovation Platform Plug and Play to Advance the Future of Mobility

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (July 17, 2018) – DENSO, one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers of technology and components, is committed to collaborating with outside companies, universities, and research institutions to further the advancement of new and future mobility services. To that end, DENSO today announced its Silicon Valley office’s partnership with Plug and Play, the world’s largest innovation platform. DENSO joins 40 other automotive players, including Ford, Bosch, Nissan, and Toyota Financial Services, as corporate partners in Plug and Play’s Mobility Program.

“While we’ve been more self-sufficient in the past, DENSO is embracing open innovation to bolster our technology portfolio to keep pace with the rapid changes in the automotive industry,” said Bill Foy, senior vice president of Engineering at DENSO’s North American headquarters. “We’re thrilled to join the Plug and Play platform, so we can strategically evaluate new partners and opportunities that allow us to quickly and flexibly develop unique solutions that meet the needs of our customers.”

DENSO looks to partner with startups that provide a necessary automotive solution or innovative technology with potentially significant implications for the future of transportation. Specifically, the company will work with Plug and Play’s network of promising startups to accelerate its business and technology development in four core areas: connectivity, autonomous driving, shared mobility and electrification (CASE).

As a member of the Plug and Play ecosystem, DENSO will also contribute firsthand to the growth and success of the startups and entrepreneurs involved. Last year, Japan-based DENSO Corporation partnered with Plug and Play Japan.

Founded in 2006, Plug and Play now operates in 26 locations worldwide. It runs industry-specific accelerator programs that connect startups to forward-thinking corporations for business development and investment opportunities. Startups that have seen great success with the help of Plug and Play and its corporate partners include PayPal and DropBox.

“Our talented teams in DENSO’s Silicon Valley and Tokyo offices are embracing open innovation and working closely alongside Plug and Play to identify and establish partnerships with already-vetted startups that can accelerate our long-term vision of creating a safe and secure future of mobility for all,” said Foy.

DENSO participated in its first Plug and Play Summit on July 11, 2018, in downtown Detroit. At the all-day event, DENSO executives and other corporate partners met with 20 startups, who presented and demonstrated how their emerging technologies are impacting mobility.

About DENSO in North America

DENSO is a leading global automotive supplier of advanced technology, systems and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electronics and information and safety. With its North American headquarters located in Southfield, Michigan, DENSO employs more than 23,000 people at 28 consolidated subsidiaries and 4 affiliates across the North American region. Of these, 25 are manufacturing facilities located in the United States, Canada and Mexico. In the United States alone, DENSO employs more than 17,000 people in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Iowa, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. DENSO’s North American consolidated sales totaled US$10.9 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018. For more information, go to www.denso.com/us-ca/en. Connect with DENSO on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DENSOinNorthAmerica.

About DENSO Corporation

DENSO Corp., headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan has more than 220 subsidiaries in 35 countries and regions (including Japan) and employs approximately 170,000 people worldwide. Consolidated global sales for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, totaled US$48.1 billion. Last fiscal year, DENSO spent 8.8 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development. DENSO common stock is traded on the Tokyo and Nagoya stock exchanges. For more information, go to www.denso.com, or visit our media website at www.denso.com/global/en/news/media-center/.

About Plug and Play

Plug and Play is a global innovation platform. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we have built accelerator programs, corporate innovation services, and an in-house VC to make technological advancement progress faster than ever before. Since inception in 2006, our programs have expanded worldwide to include a presence in over 20 locations globally giving startups the necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley and beyond. With over 6,000 startups and 220 official corporate partners, we have created the ultimate startup ecosystem in many industries. Companies in our community have raised over $7 billion in funding, with successful portfolio exits including Danger, Dropbox, LendingClub, PayPal, SoundHound, and Zoosk. www.plugandplaytechcenter.com.

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Why DENSO is Spending Big in East Tennessee

Last year, auto supplier Denso Corp. began investing $1 billion in its 3,700-worker plant in Maryville, Tenn. The expansion, which requires 1,000 new jobs, will allow Denso to move production of advanced components for electric and connected vehicles from Japan to the U.S. as its diverse North American customer base shifts to such new-era technology. The Maryville plant, which opened in 1988 with about 100 employees, will make EV inverters, radar components and data control modules.

Bill Foy, Denso International America’s senior vice president of engineering, said the move was prompted by Denso’s philosophy of meeting customer demand through localized production. Automotive News Correspondent Stephanie Hernandez McGavin spoke with Foy, 53, in April about Denso’s expanding U.S. footprint and the lessons it has learned.

Q: For a parts supplier, $1 billion is a substantial plant investment. Why expand on this scale — and why in east Tennessee again?

A: The real meaning of the investment is about the whole industry’s change. It’s related to electrification and to advanced safety products like radar. Denso is completely committed to ensuring we’re keeping up with the trends.

We already have a very strong footprint in Tennessee. What was really important for us is that we have a lot of resources there we can use, versus starting a brand new plant somewhere else. Our Tennessee facility is already producing electrical components. All that infrastructure was already there, so it was natural for us to want to work within that footprint.

Q: What concerns did Denso have before going ahead with an expansion of this size?

A: We already employ a lot of people in that area. One concern was whether we have enough reach to attract the number of new people we need for this. That’s where we worked with local government to ensure that the roads leading into the plant and the access to it were going to improve. They also allowed some support for training of associates.

Q: Did the tough talk out of Washington on imports influence Denso’s decision to bring production here?

A: No. I don’t think there’s any political aspect. Denso’s philosophy is to localize products and produce where our customers are. So what we’re doing fits our basic philosophy that we’ve had for a long time. When you look at an inverter, for example, it’s very heavy. The closer we can get it to our customer, the lower the cost we can create for them, and we want to bring value to our customer. It’s very important for us to be local — it’s the natural DNA of Denso.

Q: Did you consider building on undeveloped land?

A: We did consider all options from the beginning. But as we explored it, we really led ourselves to this decision.

Q: Can you share the thought process? Why would expanding Maryville be better than building a new site elsewhere?

A: Infrastructure that’s already in place is a strong factor for hiring and training. But we also already have knowledge and capabilities there that we can lean on, including a lot of equipment that’s automated and very high tech. For the people who do the maintenance for that equipment, that expertise is also there already. That’s been a very big lesson learned for us — that it’s very important to have that type of expertise.

Q: Denso has been producing in North America for a long time. Are there plans for new U.S. sites in the future?

A: I think we’re happy with the footprint we have now, and we have localized almost all of the products that we produce. What it’s really about now is looking toward the future and changing over to new products. When you go to a connected, autonomous, shared, electrified vehicle, that means different products will be needed as time moves on. But without the volume of North America growing, I don’t see us really moving into greenfield areas.

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DENSO Foundation Awards Nearly $1 Million in STEM Education Grants to 25 North American Colleges and Universities

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (June 10, 2018) – DENSO, one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers of technology and components, constantly searches for ways to increase young people’s access to technical education and help develop tomorrow’s workforce. Aiding this effort, the company’s philanthropic arm – DENSO North America Foundation (DNAF)  – today announced it will donate nearly $1 million in overall funding to 25 institutions of higher learning across North America to support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) educational programming. These grants help achieve DENSO’s goal of exposing students to the rewarding careers available in manufacturing and advance the industry forward by enhancing programs that will produce the next wave of highly-skilled problem solvers. The DNAF board confirmed its 2018 North American college and university grants on June 13.

DNAF funds will be delivered to programs focused on design, materials management, mechanical and electrical engineering principles, thermodynamics, robotics and more – all intended to help cultivate and encourage a new generation of engineers and skilled workers.

“As a global technology and automotive leader, it’s vital for DENSO to advance young people’s education in engineering, technology and other related programs,” said Doug Patton, president of the DENSO North America Foundation and executive vice president of Engineering at DENSO International America, Inc. “To remain competitive in this ever-evolving, hi-tech landscape, it calls for a workforce that is skilled, well-trained and able to adapt quickly. We feel great responsibility to prepare students for what’s next – for the health of our industry and their future careers.”

“Manufacturing and automotive companies need technically-minded associates now more than ever,” said David Cole, DENSO North American Foundation board member. “By supporting programs that emphasize STEM learning experiences in real-world settings, we hope to help students explore their passions, find a worthwhile and fulfilling career path, and help our communities prosper.”

DNAF has supported STEM education through grants at colleges and universities since 2001, enabling students to access tools, technology and experiences that better prepare them for technical careers after graduation. DENSO education grant proposals are invite only and evaluated based on technical merit, student experience and alignment with industry needs.

This year’s grant recipients, which play key roles in training the future automotive workforce, include:

  • Arkansas State University – Jonesboro
  • California State University Long Beach
  • California State Polytechnic – Pomona
    • Cleveland State Community College
  • CONALEP; Technician National Education
  • Conestoga College
  • East Tennessee State University
  • FIME; Mechanical and Electrical Engineer College
  • Kettering University
  • Lawrence Tech University
  • Michigan State University
  • Michigan Tech University
  • North Carolina State
  • Northeast State Community College
  • Oakland University
  • Ohio State University
  • Pellissippi State Community College
  • Tennessee Tech University
  • University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
  • University of Guelph
  • University of Michigan Dearborn
  • University of Tennessee Chattanooga
  • University of Tennessee Knoxville
  • West Virginia University
  • Western Michigan University

DENSO is looking to hire new talent across North America as it continues its pursuit to shape and improve future mobility solutions for all. Positions are available in a variety of roles, business units and locations. Those interested can apply at www.densocareers.com.

About DENSO in North America

DENSO is a leading global automotive supplier of advanced technology, systems and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electronics and information and safety. With its North American headquarters located in Southfield, Michigan, DENSO employs more than 23,000 people at 28 consolidated subsidiaries and 4 affiliates across the North American region. Of these, 25 are manufacturing facilities located in the United States, Canada and Mexico. In the United States alone, DENSO employs more than 17,000 people in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Iowa, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. DENSO’s North American consolidated sales totaled US$10.9 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018. For more information, go to www.denso.com/us-ca/en. Connect with DENSO on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DENSOinNorthAmerica.

About DENSO Corporation

DENSO Corp., headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan has more than 220 subsidiaries in 35 countries and regions (including Japan) and employs approximately 170,000 people worldwide. Consolidated global sales for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, totaled US$48.1 billion. Last fiscal year, DENSO spent 8.8 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development. DENSO common stock is traded on the Tokyo and Nagoya stock exchanges. For more information, go to www.denso.com, or visit our media website at www.denso.com/global/en/news/media-center/.

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