Japanese auto parts supplier Denso said Tuesday it will expand North America operations with a nearly billion-dollar investment that will lead to 2,000 new jobs, the bulk of which will be in the United States.

Denso (IW 1000/109) said the investment -- of which $750 million and 1,200 will go to U.S. operations -- comes as automakers are looking to their suppliers for help meeting tough new fuel economy standards and will allow Denso to expand its customer base.

"Last year, we announced that Denso will drastically localize product in the regions in which we operate," Terry Helgesen, head of industry relations at Denso International America, said in a press release.

"Not only are we making products in North America, but we're also localizing critical tooling."

Denso said it plans to expand existing product lines, create new ones and expand research and development.

"In the future, Denso plans to make all of its critical manufacturing equipment in North America," Denso said in the statement.

“At Maryville Tenn., we have dedicated a building to the production of proprietary equipment and dies. We plan to make all of our critical manufacturing equipment and dies here in the region,” said Helgesen in his prepared remarks.