Denso, previously Nippondenso, was established in Japan in 1949 as a Toyota family company which operated primarily as a manufacturer of starters, generators and radiators for the Toyota Motor Company.
Nippon Denso Australia was the first company outside of Japan to establish a manufacturing plant, in Altona, Melbourne, in 1972.
The automotive product range manufactured in Australia grew over the years. Denso in Australia progressively expanded into a wider group of companies and manufactured products from multiple sites. These included radiators, condensers, air cleaners, carbon cannisters, Instrument clusters, caravan air-conditioning and a/c tubing. These included several non-thermal products like instrumentation, emission control devices, air cleaners, windscreen wiper assemblies. A variety of thermal and non-thermal products were also developed and supplied for the local market which included engine/transmission oil coolers, cigar lighters, windscreen washer pumps, miscellaneous automotive injection moulded components and electrical switch assemblies to name a few.
Dr Kilsby was tasked to write a ‘potted’ history of Denso Australia’s first fifty years, from its humble beginnings to becoming the largest Tier 1 manufacturer and distributor to the largest motor vehicle manufacturers. With the closure of Altona, the consolidation of Denso Australia companies, and through the demise of the motor vehicle manufacturing industry in Australia by 2017, the history describes the evolution of the company to a lean sales and R&D division. Today, Denso Automotive Australia remains a valuable part of Denso Corporation’s global footprint across in 35 countries.