Denso says it will expand its plant in Apodaca, Mexico, to increase production of transmission components in the North American region.

The expansion represents an investment of JPY5.38bn (US$53.8m), which will add 8,200sq m of space and 500 jobs by 2018. The plant will begin production in December next year.

In addition, Denso has established a new facility in Salinas Victoria City, Mexico, to produce solenoids for engine and airflow control units for North and South American customers.

The new operation, Hamaden Mexico, represents an investment of JPY35.8bn and will employ around 340 people when full production starts in 2018.

Construction is scheduled to begin in January 2015, with production beginning in stages from August, 2016. It is the third overseas establishment of Hamanako Denso, which also has facilities in Indonesia and Vietnam.

"Mexico is an important and essential market for the automotive industry and for the Denso Group," said Denso system control components business unit, executive director, Hiroaki Okuchi.

"By establishing new companies and expanding conventional production bases, we will strive to better meet our customers' needs."