Johnson Controls to Build Third Battery Plant in China

Company's objective is to have annual capacity of 30 million batteries in China.

Milwaukee-based diversified manufacturer Johnson Controls Inc. said it is investing $118 million to build its third automotive battery plant in China.

The 30,000-square-meter facility, to be located in Fuling, Chongqing, will produce automotive lead-acid batteries. The plant, which will have an annual capacity of 6 million batteries, will begin production 2012, subject to receipt of the necessary regulatory approvals, according to the company.

Johnson Controls already has facilities in Shanghai and Changxing.

"Our recent investments in China are an indication of the importance of this market for Johnson Controls," said Alex Molinaroli, president of Johnson Controls Power Solutions. "In three years we will be growing from a single plant to three plants that will produce more than 18 million automotive batteries annually. These plants support our plan to install capacity for 30 million batteries annually in China by 2015."

Located in the central part of Chongqing, Fuling has a population of 1.1 million people and a strong logistics infrastructure, with three major highways, three railways and two main ports, according to the company.

"Motorcycles and cars have become Chongqing's leading industry, with 21 automakers located there alone," said Shu Yang, vice president and general manager for Johnson Controls Power Solutions in Asia Pacific. "There is also a rich environment for innovation and research and development. The city is home to 50 universities, 400 technological schools and 100 academies, which adds up to well over 1 million students and more than 400,000 college graduates every year."

Groundbreaking for the plant will take place in January 2011, with production slated to ramp up beginning in January 2012.

Johnson Controls' previously announced Changxing automotive battery plant, which will begin production in early 2011, will have an expected annual capacity of 8 million batteries.

Johnson Controls plans to add a fourth plant in China, in the northern region of the country. The plan will have a capacity of 6 million batteries, according to the company.

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