(WBIR) Hundreds of new jobs are expected over the next three years in McMinn County.
On Wednesday, Gov. Bill Haslam, along with state and company officials, announced that DENSO Manufacturing in Athens (DMAT) would expand production of its gasoline direct injection (GDI) capability in Athens. They will build a new 224,000 square foot facility at its existing location and create 400 new jobs.
DENSO supplies advanced technology and components to the auto industry.
This $85 million dollar investment is the company's third big expansion announcement in the the last 18 months.
"This was just a monumental day for Athens," said Ann Davis, mayor of Athens.
She went on to say, "There's stiff competition, as we all know, for new industry and for expansions. And we were just very grateful they decided to do that one here instead of at another sister plant."
"We want to thank DENSO for its third big investment in the last year and a half, creating 400 new jobs in McMinn County," Haslam said. "In Tennessee, we're focused on a business environment that not only makes companies confident to locate here but also gives them the support to grow and expand. Today's announcement is great news for Athens and brings us another step closer toward our goal to make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs."
Production at the new facility will begin in July 2016.
"I'm pleased to see the progress DENSO has made in Athens and the jobs that have been created from the company's third major announcement in less than two years," Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd said. "Tennessee's automotive strength is reinforced by companies, like DENSO, that make quality products for suppliers throughout the United States. I appreciate DENSO for the new jobs that will be offered to McMinn County's skilled workforce and look forward to seeing the company's continued growth and success."
"This project is critical to support the growing need of gasoline direct injection in North America as automakers are turning to this technology to help meet fuel-efficiency and emissions regulations," Brian Nolen, General Manager of DMAT's Gasoline Products Manufacturing Division, said. "The localization of gasoline direct injection technology is resulting in new jobs, new production lines, new approaches to training and new growth among our supply partners in North America."
DENSO currently employs more than 1,450 people.
If you are interested in applying for a job, you can submit your resume online at www.densocareers.com.