Denso Corporation (株式会社デンソー, Kabushiki-Gaisha Densō) is a global automotive components manufacturer headquartered in the city of Kariya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan.
After becoming independent from Toyota Motors, Nippon Denso Co. Ltd. (日本電装株式会社, Nippon Densō Kabushiki-Gaisha) was founded in 1949. About 25% of the company is owned by Toyota Motor. Despite being a part of Toyota Group of companies, as of year ended March 2016, sales to Toyota Group accounts for less than 50% of the total revenue (44% of the revenue originate from other car manufacturers in Japan, Germany, U.S. and China). Currently, Denso ranks the fourth largest auto parts supplier.
As of 2013, Denso Corporation consisted of 184 subsidiaries (68 in Japan, 34 in the Americas, 34 in Europe and 48 in Asia/Oceania) with a total of 132,276 employees. The company is further escalating its global production structure by establishing manufacturing complexes in India, Mexico and Indonesia in order to accommodate further global demand for their products. In 2013 Denso was listed at #242 on the Fortune 500 list with a total revenue of $43.1 billion.
The word Denso 電装 (Den-So) is derived from the two Japanese words Den-Ki (Electric) and So-Chi (Equipment).
The company is known for developing and manufacturing various auto-parts including but not limited to: Gasoline/Diesel Engine Components, Hybrid Vehicle Components, Climate Control Systems, Instrument Clusters, Air-Bag Systems, Pre-Crash Radar Systems and Spark Plugs. Moreover, Denso also develops and manufactures non-automotive components such as Household Heating Equipments, Industrial Robots and QR Code. The Denso Industrial Robot gained wide public attention in Japan when it conducted a game of Shogi (Japanese Chess) against professionals players.
In 2014, Denso's global sales were distributed as follows:Thermal Systems 30.4%
Powertrain Control Systems 35.0%
Electronic Systems 15.3%
Electric Systems 9.4%
Electric Motors 7.0%
Other Automotive Products 1.4%
Industrial Systems, Consumer Products 1.1%
Other Non-Automotive Products 0.4%
Denso is conducting various Motorsport activities around the world including the FIA World Endurance Championship, Formula Nippon and Japan Super GT 500/300.
Toyota TS030 Hybrid which use a Denso Kinetic Energy Recovery System (which consists of: Motor Generator Unit (MGU), Electric Motor and Inverter) finished second in the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Denso Wave is a subsidiary that produces automatic identification products (bar-code readers and related products), industrial robots and programmable logic controllers. They are noted for creating the two dimensional QR code, are a member of the Japan Robot Association and support the ORiN standard.
Denso International America is the American subsidiary of Denso Corporation.
In 1970, Denso Corporation decided to expand overseas from Kariya, Japan to North America. In March 1971 Denso Sales California, Inc. was founded in Hawthorne, California. The company was staffed with only 12 associates, four of them were Americans. The objective of Denso Sales California was to promote their air conditioner systems to be options in Japanese-made vehicles.
In May 1975 Denso Corporation opened a sales division, Denso Sales, in Southfield, Michigan.
In September 1975 Denso International America opened a service center in Cedar Falls, Iowa. This was opened due to an agricultural parts contract with John Deere including starter motors and meters.
Denso International America employs over 17,000 people at 38 locations between North, Central, and South America. At year end, on March 31, 2008, combined sales totaled $8.3 billion for all American locations.
On January 30, 2012, the US Justice Department announced after two years of investigation that it had discovered part of a massive price fixing scheme in which Denso and Yazaki played a significant role. The conspiracy, which fixed prices and allocated components to such car manufacturers as Toyota and Honda, extended from Michigan to Japan, where it was also under investigation. Denso agreed to pay a fine of 78 million dollars.