Denso’s push in Europe is centered on three product areas: air conditioning, where it is developing environmentally friendly CO2-based systems; diesel injectors, including its 1800-bar common-rail technology; and navigation systems.
Denso is the world’s No. 1 provider of air conditioning systems. It also has benefited from the boom in European diesel demand through its investment in high-pressure common-rail diesel technology.
Denso has invested heavily in Europe, establishing 32 subsidiaries in the region including 17 manufacturing sites and six engineering centers.
Among Denso’s efforts to build its European operations since 2001:
“The [Aachen] engineering facility can help us meet that demand through application designs as well as performance evaluations,” he said. “In the future, the facility will engineer powertrain components.”
Denso said it will continue expanding European engineering facilities “to quickly meet customer needs.”
The global-warming potential of the CO2 in Denso’s innovative air conditioning system is only 0.08 percent of conventional HFC-134a refrigerant.
“Many European and Japanese manufacturers are interested in CO2 air conditioning systems,” says a company spokesman, who declined to name individual customers.
Denso claims that engines using its 1800-bar diesel injection system can achieve Euro 4 emissions performance without particulate filters. In the most recent fiscal year, Denso sold 1.1 million common-rail systems worldwide. This year, it expects to sell 1.8 million systems.
In Europe, Denso supplies the system to the Mazda6; Toyota Avensis and Corolla Verso; Nissan Primera, Almera, Tino and X-Trail; and certain Opel Corsa and Combo models. Outside Europe, Denso sells it to Isuzu, heavy truckmakers Hino, a Toyota subsidiary, and Nissan Diesel, and tractor maker John Deere.
Denso also sees gasoline and diesel engine management systems as a key business area.
The company expects global sales to grow 5.4 percent in the financial year ending March 2006.
But it projects a rise in net income of only 1 percent because of increasing competitiveness in the component supply market. Denso declined to make forecasts by region.
“Nevertheless,” said an official at its Japanese head office, “we expect to be profitable in Europe in the year ending March 2006.”