No spherical measurement, DIAM (DENSO International America) does encompass the North American operations of Japanese auto parts maker DENSO. The company oversees more than 30 joint ventures and affiliate businesses -- mostly in the US, but also in Mexico and Canada. In addition to manufacturing everything from automotive radiators and fuel injectors to alternators and air conditioners, DIAM manages research and development of electronic components that improve vehicle fuel efficiency, emissions reduction, safety, and comfort. The company's customers include Toyota, General Motors, Ford Motor, Honda of America, Cummins, Deere & Company, Volvo Trucks, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, and Harley-Davidson.
In addition to a broad customer base, DIAM's equally broad product portfolio includes components for hybrid vehicles. Its entry into the hybrid market began about a decade ago with supplying a battery electronic control unit for Toyota's Prius. DIAM's lineup of battery monitoring technologies are used in high-voltage batteries (such as lithium-ion) to regulate fluctuating voltages. Other green products developed by DIAM range from a plant-derived resin radiator tank to DC-DC converter, an integrated starter generator, and an electric compressor. Toyota remains a key customer for its hybrid vehicle products; the Japanese carmaker owns more than 20% of DENSO.
During 2009 and 2010 the Americas' segment accounted for slightly less than 20% of DENSO's worldwide sales. Hurt by the automotive industry's downturn, the segment's sales to OEMs, which reached a record high in 2008, tumbled by more than 30% in 2009, and by about 5% in 2010 from the previous year -- its lowest contribution to corporate coffers in five years. DIAM was rumored in 2009 to have suffered its first loss in the US. Nonetheless, benefiting from reduced fixed costs tied to cuts to production, the Americas' operating income rallied by more than 150% in 2010 over 2009, representing almost 10% of DENSO's consolidated operating income.
The parent company expanded into North America in 1965. DENSO's first sale in the US was a starter generator for a chainsaw product; its success paved the way for establishing DIAM's manufacturing and sales activities in 1985. – less