Koichi Fukaya was named CEO of Denso Corp. on July 1, after rising through the supplier's global heating and air conditioning business.
Denso, the world's fourth largest supplier, is looking to the North American market for its growth. North America accounted for $4.5 billion of Denso's $19.4 billion in worldwide sales last year.
Fukaya knows Denso must continue building new sales with customers such as DaimlerChrysler and General Motors. But he also knows that Denso's biggest customer and part owner, Toyota Motor Corp., also is bent on growth in North America.
Fukaya's first visit to the United States as CEO was last month to break ground on a $35 million plant for heating and air conditioner systems in Osceola, Ark., about 55 miles north of Memphis, Tenn.
The 500-employee plant is poised to serve "many U.S. customers," Fukaya explains, but chief among them is Toyota.
He spoke with Staff Reporter Lindsay Chappell about Denso's growth outlook.