NASHVILLE -- Denso International America will increase its investment in East Tennessee parts manufacturing, spending $190 million to boost U.S. production of fuel pumps and gasoline injectors.
The investment will put four new production lines into Denso's Athens, Tenn., production site, requiring the company to hire 320 additional workers there.
The move comes on the heels of Denso's announcement last September that it will invest $1 billion and hire 1,000 additional workers at a separate manufacturing site in Maryville, Tenn., 50 miles away.
The Maryville project will localize production of three emerging vehicle technologies that Denso currently makes in Japan -- inverters for electric vehicles, radar components and data control modules to enable connectivity in upcoming North American vehicles.
The Toyota-affiliated supplier said today that it additionally will build four more U.S. production lines in Athens: one for gasoline direct-injection components; one for low-pressure fuel pumps; and two for high-pressure fuel pumps.
The increase in jobs will include production, engineering and administrative positions, the company said.
In a statement released by Denso, Hugh Cantrell, administrative services director at the Athens operation, said that "increasing our capacity to manufacture products closer to customers in North America will continue to power Denso's growth in the region.
"This investment strengthens one of our key production centers," he said.
Denso reported North American consolidated sales of $9.6 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017. In addition to the Tennessee plants, Denso manufactures vehicle parts in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Iowa, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas.
Denso ranks No. 4 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers, with estimated worldwide sales to automakers of $36.2 billion during the 2016 fiscal year.