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DENSO History Stories

December 2024 will mark DENSO's 75th anniversary. 
 
Leading up to and after the milestone, we are sharing stories from every corner of the company that highlight the impact our team members, products and culture have had on society over the last 75 years. 
 
This rich legacy is a reminder of how our teams continually strive to contribute to a better world, no matter the challenge, and inspires us to carry it on well into the future.

  • Ground Breaking

Personal Reflections: The Start of DENSO International America

The opening of DENSO's North America headquarters made a significant impact on the company and individuals who worked there. They share their personal stories and reflections on being a part of DENSO International America's start. 

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  • Employees celebrate new logo

Hello. My Name is DENSO.

On July 1, 1996, Nippondenso companies in North America became “DENSO” companies as part of a worldwide company name change. Nippondenso Co., Ltd., our worldwide headquarters in Kariya, Japan, would later change its corporate name to DENSO Corporation on October 1, 1996.

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  • DLMI First Shipment photo

Getting the Right Parts on the Right Trucks: DENSO’s North America Logistics Centers

Established in 2007, DENSO's North America Logistic Centers are responsible for processing more than 40 commodities for a variety of products and customers. They are critical to ensuring DENSO meets customer demands and deadlines for an uninterrupted production process. 

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  • DENSO Race Car

23 Years of Giving: The DENSO North America Foundation

Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”   

These are words that DENSO, with its mission of making the world a better place, has lived by for decades. But in 2001, the company set out to “do more” and became the first Japan-based automotive supplier in North America to establish a charitable foundation here.  

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  • DENSO Chicago Office

A Mission in Motion: DENSO in North America

As a small but industrious team of DENSO employees prepared to set up shop in the United States in the mid-1960s, a gregarious American businessman was knocking on DENSO’s door in Japan seeking a starter for his U.S.-manufactured outboard motor.  

Norm Owen, from the McCulloch Co., had seen a magazine story about a button-controlled starter and surprised DENSO’s Tokyo office with a visit to learn more. DENSO leadership, recognizing the sharp knock of opportunity, soon dispatched Akira “Andy” Kataoka, who had helped design the part, to Los Angeles to manage the McCulloch business and begin building business relationships.  

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  • Akira "Andy" Kataoka Pouring Coffee

Our First Years – How DENSO Started in North America

By all accounts, Akira “Andy” Kataoka was “all over the map” when he first came to the United States. But DENSO’s first North American employee wasn’t wandering aimlessly or indiscriminate in his destinations, as the idiom suggests.  

Instead, he carefully plotted and planned across the country on a Greyhound bus with a suitcase full of starter generators and the bold dream of establishing DENSO in the American automotive market.

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