Johnson Controls (IW 1000/105) will open its second global corporate headquarters in Shanghai in 2017 as it continues its growth in the Asia-Pacific region.
"While we already have the facilities and extensive relationships to serve the automotive market in China, we will continue to add manufacturing capacity and expand our operational footprint across our businesses as market demand grows," said Beda Bolzenius, vice chairman, Asia Pacific, Johnson Controls.
The company is already heavy vested in China. It has a broad manufacturing footprint including 32 joint ventures, 61 manufacturing plants in 30 cities and 22,000 employees.
Additionally the company operates local design studios, global technical centers and engineering offices across China with full testing capabilities, including two industry-leading sled test labs.
Last year saw more activity in China as the company signed an agreement with Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems, Co. Ltd. to form a global automotive interiors joint venture.
Another agreement was signed in July 2014 with Shanghai Yanfeng Industry and Commerce Co., Ltd. and Anhui Yansheng Automotive Trim Co., Ltd. to form a new fabrics joint venture in Huainan City, Anhui Province, China. The joint venture, named Anhui New Nangang Johnson Controls Automotive Trim Co., Ltd., provides Chinese automakers with seating services from fabric design, engineering and manufacturing to trim products. In addition, the joint venture offers the capability of warp knitting and circular knitting, and its product portfolio includes woven fabrics, as well as seat trim covers.
The company is also looking to serve the automotive battery market as well. Its Power Solutions battery business has 14 million units of capacity to serve the China market, with more than 1,000 employees in two plants, one research and development facility, and a China headquarters in Shanghai. In June 2014, Power Solutions opened a plant in Chongqing (western China), adding to its existing operations in Changxing (eastern China).
In May 2014, Johnson Controls announced it had signed a long-term automotive battery supply agreement with SAIC Motor Corp. (SAIC Motor). The company provides its Absorbent Glass Mat batteries to power SAIC Motor's Start-Stop vehicles.
As China drives less dependence on carbon-based energy sources, Johnson Controls' Building Efficiency business is growing its HVAC business. In early 2014, the Building Efficiency business opened a $35 million expansion of its manufacturing and research and development center in Wuxi, China. The campus and its engineering center is now one of Johnson Controls' largest R&D centers in the world for building heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. The center will spearhead continuing heat recovery innovation that turns wasted heat into clean fuel for China homes and businesses.
On of the companies recent innovation, the York Dual Steam Turbine (YDST) heat pump, launched in October 2014, recycles surplus heat from industrial or power plants into higher temperature hot water that can be used to operate large central heating plants. It can reduce coal consumption by up to 30% while supplying the same amount of heat. In November 2014, the company's building technology and consulting expertise helped an 850,000-square-foot office in Changsha City, the Northstar Delta Office Tower, earn two prestigious green building certifications and cut energy consumption by 28%.
China seems to appreciate the company’s investments as it was recently recognized for its capabilities in China with the "Top Employer China" award for the fourth consecutive year.