Auto supplier Denso: $1B investment in Tennessee plant

Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 10:18 AM
Updated: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 10:16 AM

Automotive supplier Denso announced plans Friday to invest $1 billion and create more than 1,000 new jobs in its main Tennessee facility to meet growing demand for electric vehicle parts.

The investment is aimed at making the Maryville plant the Japanese company's primary manufacturer in North American for electrification and safety systems, the company said.

"This is an investment in the future of Denso, and also the future of transportation," Kenichiro Ito, the chairman of Denso North America, said in a statement. "We are seeing dramatic shifts in the role of transportation in society, and this investment will help position us to meet those changing demands."

The company plans to expand several production lines to produce advanced components for hybrid and electric vehicles. The products are designed to improve fuel efficiency and preserve electric power by recovering and recycling energy. They also will boost efficiency for the entire vehicle by anticipating road conditions through data collected inside and outside the car.

The expansion in Maryville comes atop a $400 million investment that the company announced in 2015 to consolidate its warehouse operations, a move intended at the time to add 500 jobs.

Denso opened the plant in Maryville in 1988 with about 100 employees. U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, then governor, has said the facility in his hometown was a sort of consolation prize after Tennessee lost out to Kentucky for a Toyota assembly plant. Today about 3,200 people work at the Maryville plant, besides another 1,400 employees at another Denso facility in nearby Athens, Tennessee.

The announcement comes as Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam prepares to embark on a trade mission to Asia that will include a pitch seeking to attract a new joint Toyota and Mazda assembly plant to his Southern state.

The Japanese automakers announced in August that they plan to spend $1.6 billion on the new manufacturing plant, creating up to 4,000 jobs. The companies plan to work together on advanced auto technology, such as electric vehicles, safety features and connected cars, as well as products that they could supply each other.

Tennessee is home to assembly plants by Nissan, General Motors and Volkswagen, along with a slew of suppliers. The state has been prepping a sprawling site outside of Memphis in hopes of attracting another auto manufacturing plant.

"We would love to get the Mazda-Toyota plant," Haslam told reporters Thursday. "We think we have leg up in automobile manufacturing because we're so strong in it now, and there is a sense in which there's a real desire to locate near other suppliers."

Trending - Most Read Stories

3 rental car companies cancel discounts for NRA members

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 5:45 AM

Enterprise is one of three companies that will discontinue discounts and deals for NRA members starting next month.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Enterprise is one of three companies that will discontinue discounts and deals for NRA members starting next month.(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Three car rental companies have discontinued discounts and deals for National Rifle Association members, The Dallas Morning News reported.

>> Read more trending news

The moves by Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental, all owned by Enterprise Holdings, were done in the wake of the deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead.

The car rental companies will end their discounts on March 26, the Morning News reported.

>> NRA opposes raising minimum age to buy rifles

The NRA has faced intense criticism following the Feb. 14 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

An NRA spokeswoman referred questions Thursday to the group's licensing department. A phone message left with that office was not immediately returned.

Trending - Most Read Stories

McDonald's manager in Cleveland accused of firing shots at customers

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 5:00 AM

McDonald's drive-thru.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
McDonald's drive-thru.(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A McDonald’s manager in Cleveland allegedly fired shots at three women in a car at the restaurant’s drive-thru, police said.

>> Read more trending news

Cleveland police said they have issued an arrest warrant for the man after the alleged incident Wednesday morning, WJW reported.

According to a police report, the women were buying a smoothie at the drive-thru window. When one of the women opened her water bottle and some of the liquid splashed outside of the car, the McDonald’s employee cursed and then fired two shots, WJW reported.

The driver said one shot went into the car near a back tail light.

According to police, McDonald’s employees denied knowledge of shots being fired.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Indiana man's casket discovered missing from gravesite after wife's death

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 3:17 AM

An Indiana woman was upset to discover that her father's remains were not buried beneath his grave marker.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
An Indiana woman was upset to discover that her father's remains were not buried beneath his grave marker.(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

An Indiana woman is angry after learning her father’s casket is missing from his gravesite, WISH reported.

>> Read more trending news

Mary Helen Samson Bovenschen died Feb. 18 at the age of 88. She was to buried next to her husband, Charles Bovenschen, who died Nov. 4, 2006 at age 80. But the couple’s daughter, Sandi Vasel, was stunned when speaking to a funeral home employee after her mother’s service Wednesday at Lincoln Memory Gardens in Whitestown. The employee told her that cemetery officials had encountered a “technical glitch,” WTHR reported.

“They lost my dad. They don’t know where my dad is. He’s not there. He’s not in the grave,” Vasel told WXIN.

Charles Bovenschen’s casket was not in the family plot because of the glitch, and cemetery officials were at a loss to explain why.

“That’s the term they used,” Vasel said. “I thought the technical glitch was because it was too muddy.”

The cemetery had moved Mary Bovenschen’s service into the mausoleum area of the facility, WISH reported. After the service, Vasel learned that her father’s remains were missing.

“I stood there for a minute and I said, ‘So, what you’re telling me is you don’t know where my dad’s at.’ She (official) said, ‘No, we don’t.’

“I froze. I completely just froze.”

The Bovenschens were married on Aug. 16, 1946, and celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary three months before Charles’ death. 

They bought a plot at Lincoln Memory Gardens, and that was where Charles was supposed to be buried. 

Vasel said that when her father died, the ground was so muddy that there could not be a graveside service. However, the family did see the area where he was supposed to be buried, WTHR reported.

Apparently, he wasn’t buried there.

"I know mistakes get made, but when you're talking about the remains of a loved one, I think you need to be vigilant on putting them where they belong," Vasel said.

The cemetery was sold to Stonemar Partners in 2010. A company spokesman said they have apologized to Vasel and her family and are launching an internal investigation, WTHR reported.

“You're grief-stricken, you're putting your loved one in the ground. You don't think to make sure it's the right hole," Vasel told WTHR.

Mary Bovenschen’s final resting place has been put on hold until cemetery officials can locate her husband’s casket, WTHR reported.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Proposed bill in California would provide a choice in driver's license photos

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 1:22 AM

California drivers soon may have a say in picking the photos for their driver's licenses.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
California drivers soon may have a say in picking the photos for their driver's licenses.(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Have you ever met anyone who liked their driver’s license photo? 

>> Read more trending news

Of course not. 

Photos on driver’s licenses always seem to show a person at his or her worst, but a bill proposed in the California state legislature would give drivers a choice, KABC reported.

The bill would allow drivers to have multiple photos taken, and would allow them to choose a favorite for the license.

While the bill would grant drivers freedom of choice, it would be more expensive for drivers getting their photos taken, KABC reported.

The bill does not specify the exact cost, but notes that additional revenue would go toward driver's education programs in California’s public schools, KABC reported.

Trending - Most Read Stories