In keeping with its plan to grow to 30 million in annual battery capacity in China by 2017, Johnson Controls (IW 100/117) on June 6 announced it would build a $200 million automotive battery plant in Tianjin, China. The facility will supply automakers and the aftermarket in China with maintenance-free lead-acid starter batteries and advanced batteries for Start-Stop vehicles.
The company recently launched production at its Changxing facility and its Chongqing plant is scheduled to launch later this year. The company also has an automotive battery plant in Shanghai that was part of an acquisition in 2005.
"This plant demonstrates our long-term commitment to the rapidly growing automotive industry in China," said Alex Molinaroli, president, Johnson Controls Power Solutions. "We are forecasting 25 million in annual new car sales in China by 2015.
Johnson Controls Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steve Roell attended the ceremony along with local government official Deputy Secretary-General of the CPC Tianjin Municipal Committee He Lifeng and Vice President and General Manager for Johnson Controls Power Solutions Asia Shu Yang.
Construction for the Tianjin plant will begin between 2012 and the first half of 2013 with production expected to start in late 2014. The Tianjin Plant will produce more than 6 million batteries annually at full capacity.
Tianjin is the largest coastal city in the North and is considered the economic center of the region. As part of China's strategic development plan, Tianjin Binhai New Area has become another engine for regional economic growth after Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and Pudong New Area. "We are now striving to develop new energy and green industries to realize the commitment to sustainability via energy saving and emission reduction," said Deputy Secretary-General of the CPC Tianjin Municipal Committee He Lifeng. "Johnson Controls is a global leader in the fields of auto parts and building efficiency. It has diversified technologies and enjoys a high market share. We will try the best to provide a more investment-friendly environment to fully support the development of companies in Binhai New Area."
Tianjin, which has a population of 13 million, has a growth rate of 17.4% and a GDP of US$174.6 billion in 2011, pushing the growth rate to 16.5%.
"The city of Tianjin offers excellent leadership in industry and economic development that will help us to achieve our long-term investment plan for growth in the China market," said Yang. "With the in-depth and highly collaborative support from local governments, we have built our plants in Changxing and Chongqing, and we look forward to establishing our footprint in the North here in Tianjin."
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