Gov. Rick Snyder seeks new investment, jobs for Michigan during Japan mission

MSF supports DENSO International investment in Southfield

Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder spent his first day in Japan meeting with leaders from Japanese companies with Michigan ties, including Toyota, DENSO Corporation, Toyoda Gosei and Aisin. The governor’s meetings focused on growing Michigan’s skilled workforce and further elevating the state’s leadership role in next generation automotive research.

While meeting with DENSO, Snyder thanked the company for its recent announcement that it was investing in its North American headquarters in Southfield, a project that is expected to generate a total capital investment of $75 million and create 120 jobs related to autonomous vehicle design, wireless technologies and advanced electric vehicles.

The Michigan Strategic Fund announced today it is supporting the project with a $950,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in California and Japan for the expansion.

“The decision by DENSO to invest in its headquarters and focus on advanced mobility solutions in Michigan demonstrates how leading-edge, global companies are looking to Michigan to grow in the autonomous vehicle space,” Snyder said. “We applaud DENSO’s commitment to Michigan and look forward to working with the company as it continues to develop advanced mobility vehicles and technologies.”

DENSO International’s investment at its Southfield headquarters will expand and renovate R&D facilities to develop the future of mobility, focusing on automotive safety, cybersecurity and autonomous vehicles. Among the renovations, DENSO will expand its testing facilities and add new test equipment. In the past five years, DENSO has expanded its Southfield footprint by 44 percent with the purchase of two additional buildings and a vehicle test strip to support sales and engineering R&D activities.

“This is the first in a line of investments to create the future of mobility by bringing in top talent and fostering our culture of innovation,” said Kenichiro Ito, chairman of DENSO's North America Board of Directors and chief executive officer of Denso International. “Expanding our team and resources now will help us make a future of autonomous cars and advanced electric vehicles possible.”

Michigan Works! will provide workforce training and development valued at $680,000, and the city of Southfield has offered wellness center memberships for the employees.

“DENSO’s expansion in Michigan rather than other locations means excellent, well-paying jobs for Michigan residents and underscores the strength of the talent in the state’s mobility and technology sectors,” said Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Other missions led by Snyder and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley include France, Japan, South Korea, Canada, the Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, Chile, Columbia, India, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Ireland and Great Britain. The missions have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of investments in Michigan by foreign companies adding thousands of jobs to Michigan’s workforce.