Economic Development, Human Resources, and Manufacturing

Auto supplier invests $37M in operation

July 13, 2016
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Auto completes $53.6M expansion
DENSO Manufacturing Michigan, Inc. in Battle Creek makes automotive air conditioning and engine cooling components and systems. Courtesy DENSO

An auto supplier is planning to invest $37 million at its manufacturing operation in the region and create 125 jobs.

DENSO Corp., headquartered in Kariya, Japan, said today that it will make the investment at its DENSO Manufacturing Michigan, Inc., or DMMI, site in Battle Creek.

The investment will allow the company to purchase equipment to expand automation at the campus.

The investment supports the company's localization of component manufacturing for several customers.

DMMI is planning to hire 125 employees as part of its manufacturing investment and a training initiative.

A job fair to fill more than 60 open direct hire manufacturing and skilled trades positions will be held on July 30 at DENSO’s Battle Creek site, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.


DMMI has received a Michigan Strategic Fund performance-based grant for up to $687,500 to train current and future employees preparing for “higher-skilled” jobs.

The grant will also provide funds for English as a second language, or ESL, training with a manufacturing focus that DMMI will create and share with the community.

Andris Staltmanis, DMMI president, said the company is “excited to develop and share ESL training designed for manufacturing careers.”

"Helping our ESL employees be more successful on the job will open pathways for them to move up in the company and realize their potential,” he said.

The manufacturing-focused ESL curriculum will benefit the community through partnerships with local cultural and educational institutions that will be invited to use and adapt the materials.

"A more educated community reaps benefits beyond where the employee works," Staltmanis said.

DMMI also said it has created 300 lead associate positions, which are new, skills-based production jobs designed to support “next-generation” product manufacturing.

Lead associates receive more than 130 hours of formal instruction in addition to extensive on-the-job training.

Michigan Strategic Fund funding, combined with a $125,000 training and relocation incentive from Battle Creek Unlimited, will support both on-site training classes and formal instruction at Kellogg Community College for the lead associate positions.


DMMI is the lead production site for DENSO's Thermal Systems North American Center.

DMMI makes automotive air conditioning and engine cooling components and systems, including condensers, radiators and CRFMs — or condenser, radiator and fan modules — as well as heater cores, evaporators and HVAC units.

The Battle Creek DMMI campus comprises more than 1,380,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehouse and administrative floor space in six buildings on more than 100 acres of land and is the largest operation in Fort Custer Industrial Park.

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