73 years of success: the history of DENSO

From our founding in Japan, to our growth into sites across the world, DENSO has a rich history and heritage in the automotive market. From our first establishment, DENSO has set out to make a difference in the automotive world, including in the aftermarket. To celebrate our commitment to automotive innovation and customer service across our seven decades in the industry, we’ve put together a timeline of the key parts of our history.
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NIPPON ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENTS CO. LTD split from Toyota Motor Co. Ltd and established itself as a separate entity. This company later changed its name to NIPPONDENSO CO. LTD. which would eventually turn into the corporation we know toda

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From the very beginning of our business, we wanted to establish local centres of expertise. 1954 saw the start of this with the establishment of our regional service plants and Technical Training Center.

This was the beginning of our Assigned Service Station System, a global network that works to improve the service for our end users in different regions of the world. These centers also helped us to establish our ruling principle of "Monozukuri is Hitozukuri (our performance relies on our people)" and "engineering and technique, hand in hand" which we’re still following today.

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To ensure the spirit of our founding stayed in our corporation for future generations, we established our mission statement. These are still the principles that rule everything we do today.

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Developing quality products has always been a key focus of our business. This high standard was recognised in this year when we received the Deming Prize, one of the most prestigious awards for quality control. This was just the beginning of our ‘Quality First’ culture.

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The US market has been a key part of our business ever since the sixties. In 1966, we established a sales office in Chicago and branch offices in Los Angeles. This opened up our products, networks and innovations to the rest of the world.

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DENSO, we’re constantly innovating to stay ahead of our competitors and develop high-quality products that made a real difference to the automotive industry. Establishing the Integrated Circuits (IC) Research Center was our first step in this culture of innovation.

Having this focus on in-house research and development meant we could develop electronic controls for automotive components ahead of our competitors. These electronic components are still in our main product offering today.

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Following the establishment of our first overseas sales company in Los Angeles in 1971, our first manufacturing companies located outside of Japan were established a year later. NIPPONDENSO (AUSTRALIA) PTY. LTD and NIPPONDENSO THAILAND CO. LTD. improved our ability to supply the worldwide automotive market and helped us to listen to the needs of our customers in these regions more closely.

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Developing the skills of our team to meet the needs of our customers has always been a key focus for us. This was recognised by our first WorldSkills Competition Gold Medal in 1977. Since then, we’ve earned more than 60 WorldSkills medals in recognition of our work in developing the skills of our engineers.

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To test the quality of our products and ensure they met the needs of our customers, we opened our test course at Nukata Proving Ground. This was a first in the industry and a move that hadn’t been previously taken by a parts manufacturer.

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Over the last 30 years, our research and development has led to the creation of technologies and innovations that have changed the face of the automotive industry. We opened our research laboratories in the early nineties to look into a range of new technologies, from semiconductor materials to microalgae that produces oil.


Our values were formalised into the DENSO Philosophy in this year. Based on our original mission statement, our commitment to contributing to the world through our technologies and products was set out into our new corporate philosophy.

One such world-changing technology was also developed in this year. QR codes made high-speed reading possible, leading to a range of innovations in production sites and across a wide range of products.

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To reflect our worldwide presence, we removed ‘Nippon’ (the Japanese word for Japan) from our company name to become DENSO CORPORATION.

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We continued our commitment to training our team with the establishment of our DENSO Training Academy Thailand. Our first overseas regional training center, it is uniquely designed to deliver high quality education to engineers and technicians at a regional level.

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Sustainability is a key concern within the mobility industry, which is why we developed our DENSO ECO VISION 2025. This is our action plan to tackle issues such as environment and energy usage within the automotive sector.

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Based on the DENSO Philosophy, we established our new brand slogan ‘Crafting the Core’. This encompasses our vision and aims for the future, including our DENSO Group Long-term Policy 2030. This aims to ‘bring hope for the future for our planet, society and all people’ by making changes that will future-proof our whole DENSO business, including in the aftermarket.