DENSO is the world's leading supplier of many components that are crucial to automobiles. And that power is in more than just marketing made-in-Japan parts overseas. We are a global company that is at home in markets around the world. Our products go into vehicles from most of the world's automakers. And we are currently expanding our influence.

When we started our first overseas operation in Los Angeles 25 years ago, we sold mostly replacement parts for Japanese cars. Now we are making and developing products in the markets where we sell them. And we ship products from out-of-Japan factories to third-country markets worldwide.

Eastern Expansion

Our new plant in Thailand is producing starters (above) and alternators (top) for vehicles in that growing market.

Asia has become the hotspot for growth in the world automobile market. Plants in the five automobile-producing members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will produce more than two million cars a year by the year 2000.

Our long-time customers, Japanese automakers, continue to open new plants in Asia. Now, tariff reductions under the ASEAN Industrial Cooperation (AICO) scheme are supporting regionwide economies of scale. AICO will enable us to concentrate production capacity for different items in different nations, which will allow us to raise overall efficiency.

In the past year, we have greatly increased our presence in Asia. Our new Bangpakong Plant in Thailand officially opened in November. The new plant is producing electrical components for automakers in Thailand. And under the AICO scheme, DENSO will export those parts to neighboring countries.

A new DENSO plant also went to full operation in Malaysia in November. It added electronic control units (ECUs) for engines to its product line. As Southeast Asia introduces exhaust and fuel economy regulations, those ECUs will play a big role in keeping the atmosphere clean.


The new Zenmyo Plant will produce the latest in fuel injection systems.

Customer demand and tighter environmental regulations are keeping us busy coming up with fuel systems that help keep the air clean. To meet the demand for advanced diesel systems, we started construction of a new Japanese plant in November.

The 62,000 square meter Zenmyo Plant will produce the V4, an electronic fuel injection system for light trucks. Systems from the new plant will go into trucks in Japan and also in Europe.

Safe Plants Everywhere

Fish swimming in water from our plants are living proof of clean outputs.

As a worldwide manufacturer, we meet local regulations on water effluent and air emissions. And in many cases, our operations are much cleaner than the law requires. In Japan, we keep outputs below one-half of legal restrictions. And for chrome and several other substances, lower than one-fifth.

Much of our efforts in environmental safety often go unnoticed. But many operations also give visible proof that they are friendly to the environment. Waste water is one example. Some of the same water that we release into local sewer systems also flows through fish tanks at our plants. The fish become living examples that DENSO water is free from harmful substances.

The best way to safeguard the environment is to eliminate, or at least minimize factory output of waste. In the year 2000, our Japanese plants will be putting out less than half the waste they did in 1990. And we do our best to listen to employees' ideas about ways to conserve resources. In the United Kingdom, two employees came up with an idea for getting more motors into packages shipped from Japan. Adding more than 100 extra motors in a box saved not only transportation costs, but cut down the number of empty boxes we had to dispose of.

Our products, too, are becoming more environmentally friendly. Lighter, aluminum radiators are becoming a standard at DENSO. By cutting weight, cars get better gas mileage and put out less carbon dioxide. We have also developed alternatives to lead-based solder that we will introduce in our manufacturing processes. And in many nations we are rebuilding used starters and alternators for use as replacement parts.

Worldwide Business

Representatives from DENSO in the United States and Japan and other guests were on hand to celebrate 25 years of operations in Los Angeles.

DENSO's first overseas operation started in Los Angeles in 1971. Last year, DENSO Sales California celebrated its 25th anniversary. But the event was more than just a single subsidiary's celebration. It was the commemoration of the start of a worldwide network.

As our customers started localizing production, we started making products locally for them in places with names like Battle Creek, Samutprakarn, and Barcelona. And our overseas operations are becoming increasingly self-reliant and specialized, introducing technologies we used to think were only viable in Japan.

We started business overseas 25 years ago supplying Japanese automakers. But today, our local production capacity lets us supply any automaker in just about anyplace in the world. Sales to the U.S. Big Three and European manufacturers make up a significant amount of DENSO revenues in the 1990s. And we anticipate even more as we approach the new millennium.