Family gathering

Denso Manufacturing Tennessee celebrates 20 years in Blount

About 4,000 Denso associates and their family and friends dropped by the company campus recently in Maryville to celebrate 20 years serving their customers and their community.

Mike Brackett, vice president and treasurer, was pleased with the turnout during the May 15 company picnic. “From our best estimates, we had approximately 4,000 people in attendance, which included our associates, family, contractors and their invited guests,” he said. “Associates took special pride in showing family members where they work during our open house.”

A Safety City area was situated on campus and entire families seemed to enjoy demonstrations, giveaways and information provided by the Maryville Fire Department, Police Department, SWAT Team, Red Cross, National Park Service and the Blount Memorial Business Health nurses, Brackett said.

“This day was equally significant to the company’s leaders, who had the opportunity to personally say ‘thank you’ to associates and their families,” he said. “Family members give associates so much support and are integral partners in our achieving success.”

Anne Klebenow with the Denso Manufacturing Tennessee communications and public relations division said everyone enjoyed reconnecting with co-workers. “The beauty of this event was you see people you don’t get to see all the time because they work in the building across the street,” she said. “It was a real treat to get to re-establish those friendships.”

Denso Manufacturing Tennessee is a major supplier of high-end technological components and systems to automotive manufacturers and also one of Blount County’s largest manufacturers.

Several activities at the picnic kept associates and their families busy as there was a lunch, family tours of work areas and other activities.

Established in 1988, Denso Manufacturing Tennessee began production in 1990, holding its grand opening the same year. The company began as Nippondenso Tennessee. In 1996, the parent company in Kariya, Japan, dropped “Nippon” (meaning “Japan”) from the name to signify the global company it had become. The word “Denso” refers to electric devices.

The company’s first 18 years represented steady expansion. Beginning in 2008, Denso shared the difficulties experienced by many companies during the economic slowdown, but company officials said Denso was able to remain stable through cost reductions and other internal measures.

“The past year has not been easy on our associates, and we could not be more proud or more appreciative of how they rose to the challenges we faced and helped the company,” said Denso Manufacturing Tennessee President Van Saka.

Through its first two decades, DMTN has generated more than $5 million in community donations, prioritizing education, United Way agencies and the environment. During that same timeframe, the quality of its products has generated 120 major awards from the automotive industry and the company’s customer base.

With more than 1.8 million square feet under roof, the company produces starters, alternators, instrument clusters and numerous electronic products.

Major customers include Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, Honda America Manufacturing, Chrysler, General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Subaru of Indiana Automotive, and Harley-Davidson.

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