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DENSO manufacturing to add 320 new jobs to Athens plant

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320 new jobs are coming to Athens, Tennessee as part of a $190 million expansion by DENSO manufacturing.

Officials from DENSO and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam made the announcement Wednesday morning.

DENSO’s Athens facility manufactures fuel injectors, fuel pumps, oxygen sensors, ignition coils, monolithic carriers and spark plugs.

DENSO says its investment will add four production lines in Athens, increasing the company’s ability to produce and deliver key parts for automakers across North America. The Athens investment will create 320 jobs across production, facility operations, engineering, administration and other skilled-traded positions. DENSO will introduce a new Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) production line, one low-pressure fuel pump line and two high-pressure fuel pump lines.

The company says this is the latest in a series of strategic investments in North America and part of the company’s commitment to make Tennessee a primary manufacturing center. In 2017, DENSO announced a $1 billion investment in its Maryville facility, creating 1,000 jobs focused on electrification and safety systems.

“DENSO is one of Tennessee’s largest employers and has been a valuable part of our state for 30 years,” Haslam said. “The expansion in Athens demonstrates the confidence that employers have in our workforce and economy. DENSO’s continued investment in our state provides one more example of how Tennessee will lead in the creation of high quality jobs.”

“For years, DENSO has been the linchpin of McMinn County’s economy and today the company employs approximately 1,375 people, more than any business in the county,” Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe said. “The new investment and job creation from DENSO in Athens underscore the robust business environment that Tennessee offers global automotive companies. I want to thank DENSO for its continued commitment to Tennessee and the major impact these new jobs will have for the residents of McMinn County.”

“Increasing our capacity to manufacture products closer to customers in North America will continue to power DENSO’s growth in the region,” Hugh Cantrell, director of Administrative Services for DENSO Manufacturing Athens Tennessee, said. “This investment strengthens one of our key production centers. Athens has played a major role producing and supplying our customers with key components in fuel delivery, ignition, and exhaust gas systems.”

With its global headquarters in Japan, DENSO has had a presence in Tennessee for three decades. The company has three locations in the state – Maryville, Athens and Jackson – and employs roughly 4,500 people in Tennessee.

Prior to this week's expansion, DENSO has invested approximately $3 billion in Tennessee.

"McMinn County is extremely proud of the fact that DENSO in Athens continues to thrive,” McMinn County Mayor John M. Gentry said. “The faith DENSO exhibits in this community is incredibly humbling. This expansion will improve the quality of life for several hundred McMinn County families. The positive effects will have a resounding and lasting impact on the local economy."

“The City of Athens is focused on expanding economic opportunities for our citizens that in turn build long lasting and substantial prosperity for the betterment of our entire community,” City of Athens Mayor Chuck Burris said. “Today's announcement by DENSO exemplifies the success of our development strategies to help existing Athens companies grow here. DENSO has long been a standard bearer for corporate citizenry in Athens, and with this expansion, our growing partnership will create a greater quality of life for our most important asset, our people.”

Those interested in a career at DENSO in Athens can apply here.

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