Gov. Rick Snyder promotes Michigan opportunities to Japanese auto industry leaders

Available talent, automotive experience make state ideal location for investment

Friday, Sept. 11, 2015

Governor Rick Snyder today toured the global headquarters of Denso Corporation in Kariya-shi, Japan.  In Michigan, Denso employs more than 1,100 people and has its North American headquarters based in Southfield. 

TOYOTA CITY, Japan – Gov. Rick Snyder told leaders from Japanese auto companies that Michigan is – and will continue to be -- the global leader in the automotive industry and is an ideal place for companies to invest and grow.

Snyder and a delegation from Michigan met with leaders from three leading Japanese companies with Michigan ties -- Toyota, DENSO and Aisin -- talking about the state’s growing skilled workforce and economic comeback.

Snyder toured Ecoful Town, a model future city that harnesses the latest advances in mobility, environmental considerations, safety and convenience that is located in Toyota City.

“The automobile industry was born in Michigan and we’re working to ensure that our state will always be the leader in this dynamic and essential field,” Snyder said. “It’s been said that vehicles will change more in the next decade than in the last 100 years, and Michigan will be at the center of these changes. Toyota and its sister companies will play a vital role in these innovative changes, and it is fascinating already to see the vision of the city of tomorrow.” 

Michigan and Toyota City have long been connected, with Detroit and the city celebrating their 55th anniversary of their Sister City relationship. Mayor Mike Duggan visited Toyota City in July to celebrate this partnership.

Toyota, the largest-selling auto company in the world in 2014, has operated in the United States since 1957 and has campuses in Ann Arbor and York Township. The Michigan facilities are engaged in engineering, design, engine unit design, prototype development, vehicle evaluation, evaluation & design of parts and materials, regulatory affairs, emission certification, advance research and collaborative research activities.

The company employs 1,300 people in Michigan and announced in January that it will invest $141.7 million to expand in the state, creating 250 jobs.

Snyder also met with leader from DENSO Corporation, headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan, The company is a leading global automotive supplier of advanced technology, systems and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electronics and information and safety.

DENSO’s North American headquarters has been in Southfield, with about 1,100 employees covering engineering, sales, and administration. The company has almost 3,000 employees at manufacturing facilities in Battle Creek – where it is the city’s largest employer. DENSO in July announced plans to expand in Battle Creek, investing $53.6 million and creating 100 jobs.

The delegation also met with leaders from Aisin Group, the world’s fifth largest Tier One automotive supplier. The company develops and produces auto components including brakes, transmissions, navigation systems, drivetrain, chassis, body, engine-related parts, electronics and intelligent transportation systems. The company’s Aisin Technical Center of America headquarters is in Northville and its FT-Techno of America is a 950-acre test track and proving ground in Fowlerville. Aisin has invested nearly $250 million and employs 700 people in Michigan since 1984.

Snyder is leading the mission to Japan and Germany to strengthen relationships with global automotive leaders and attract new investments to Michigan. Since Snyder took office in 2011, Michigan has attracted $1.064 billion in new investments from Japanese companies and $1.136 billion from Germany.

Other missions led by Snyder or Lt. Gov. Brian Calley have included China, South Korea, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, Chile, and Columbia.