Japanese automotive powerhouse Denso opens Seattle R&D office near Amazon HQ

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Denso is the latest global power to plant its flag in Seattle.

The Japanese automotive company, which makes components and technology for vehicles of all kinds, opened a research and development office at 2033 Sixth Ave. in Seattle, across the street from Amazon’s campus. The company said it will team up with the region’s tech companies and universities to develop cloud computing technology, autonomous driving capabilities and mobility software.

“Our Seattle Innovation Lab will play a key role in shaping Denso’s technology for current and new customers, regionally and around the globe,” Kenichiro Ito, CEO of Denso’s North American headquarters said in a statement. “As we continue to innovate in emerging fields, we are changing what is possible for the future of transportation and mobility, and setting the course for how we achieve it.”

So far, Denso has nine people working out of the 3,287-square-foot Seattle office. The company doesn’t have any open positions in Seattle listed on its jobs site.

Earlier this year, Denso teamed up with Toyota and SoftBank Vision Fund to invest $1 billion in Uber’s autonomous driving unit.

Denso said it has 211 facilities across 35 countries that employ more than 170,000 people. Its U.S. headquarters is located in Southfield Mich., near Detroit, and it has more than 23,000 employees across 31 facilities in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to Seattle, Denso has North American RD hubs in San Francisco and Montreal.

Denso brought in $48.3 billion in revenue for the year ending March 31 and $2.8 billion in operating profits. The company said it spent roughly 9.3 percent of global sales on RD, or roughly $4.5 billion.

The Puget Sound Business Journal first spotted the new Denso Seattle office, which opened in July.



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