Johnson Controls expands global production of Start-Stop batteries to meet rising automaker demand

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- Investment of $555 million in three key markets

FRANKFURT, Germany, Sept. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- By 2020, it will be difficult to buy a new vehicle that runs while idling. Start-Stop technology continues to gain in popularity as tightening government fuel economy and carbon emission reduction targets put additional challenges on car makers from around the world. In anticipation of increasing demand, Johnson Controls, the world's largest automotive battery manufacturer, is adding Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery production capacity. AGM is the technology at the heart of a Start-Stop system, which delivers consumers 5 percent fuel savings every time they fill up their gas tank.

With $555 million in investments between 2011 and 2020, the company is implementing plans to expand AGM production capacity in Germany, the United States and China. "Johnson Controls is currently the world's leading provider of batteries for Start-Stop vehicles and we plan to stay that way," says Lisa Bahash, group vice president and general manager Original Equipment, Johnson Controls Power Solutions. "To ensure we will continue to meet rising demand of car manufacturers and aftermarket retailers for this technology, we consider it a business priority to invest in increasing our production worldwide."

The market for new vehicle and aftermarket Start-Stop batteries could rise to 56 million worldwide by 2020, compared to 22 million today. In this time frame, 85 percent of all new vehicles in Europe and 40 percent in the U.S. and China are expected to be powered with Start-Stop batteries. "We are expecting strong growth for Start-Stop technology, and with good reason.  It requires minimal changes to the vehicle and costs significantly less than battery systems in hybrid or electric vehicles," says Bahash. "Start-Stop is the best solution to help automakers meet upcoming environmental regulations."

In Europe, Johnson Controls has invested more than $112 million in its facility in Hannover, Germany to increase production of fuel-efficient AGM batteries by 65 percent since 2011. Two years ago, the company also expanded its Zwickau plant with an investment of more than $112 million, making it the world's largest production site for AGM batteries. In August, Johnson Controls announced additional capacity at its U.S. plant in Toledo, Ohio, bringing the overall investment to $130 million since the start of AGM production at this site in 2012. Johnson Controls is also planning to build a new automotive battery manufacturing facility in Shenyang, China. The $200 million state-of-the-art plant will have the capacity to produce 6 million automotive batteries a year, including both SLI and AGM. "Not only will we be making more Start-Stop batteries, this is also a signal to our customers that wherever they are in the world, they can expect the same high-quality, high-performing Johnson Controls products," says Bahash.

Start-Stop technology automatically shuts off the engine when the car is idle and restarts it when the driver's foot leaves the brake pedal. During this time, the vehicle's electrical systems – from entertainment to lights – use energy from an advanced lead-acid battery (AGM) rather than the gas-powered engine, thus saving fuel.

The company will showcase its AGM batteries, along with its latest technological advancement, a 12V Lithium-ion battery for Advanced Start-Stop vehicles, at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany. The show runs from September 17 to 27. With the addition of a 12V Lithium-ion battery, automakers can increase fuel economy efficiency by up to 8 percent.

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For more information please contact:
Johnson Controls Power Solutions EMEA
Anja Buschatzky
Am Leineufer 51
30419 Hannover
Tel.: +49 511 975-1032

About Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries. Our 170,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and seating components and systems for automobiles. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. Through our growth strategies and by increasing market share we are committed to delivering value to shareholders and making our customers successful. In 2015, Corporate Responsibility Magazine recognized Johnson Controls as the #14 company in its annual "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list. For additional information, please visit or follow us @johnsoncontrols on Twitter.

About Johnson Controls Power Solutions

Johnson Controls Power Solutions is the world's largest manufacturer of automotive batteries, supplying approximately 140 million every year to automakers and aftermarket retailers. The company's full range of lead acid and Lithium-ion battery technology powers nearly every type of vehicle for our customers- including conventional, Start-Stop, Micro Hybrid, hybrid and electric. Johnson Controls' recycling system has helped make automotive batteries the most recycled consumer product in the world. Globally, 15,000 employees develop, manufacture, distribute and recycle batteries at more than 50 locations. For more information, please visit or follow @JCI_BatteryBeat on Twitter.


SOURCE Johnson Controls

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