Johnson Controls increasing investment in U.S. battery production

Additional $50 million to boost production by 10 million batteries

Johnson Controls International plc plans to accelerate $450 million of investments in existing U.S. battery facilities, including an additional $50 million announced Thursday.

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The newly announced investment will go towards increasing capacity at eight plants by 10 million batteries this year.

“Power demands on batteries are increasing as vehicles add more safety and convenience features, and the number of vehicles in operation continues to grow, creating more replacement opportunities,” said Joe Walicki, Johnson Controls Power Solutions president.

The accelerated investment is intended to help the company grow its aftermarket service and supply capabilities. In fiscal 2016, the aftermarket business accounted for 75 percent of sales in JCI’s power solutions segment. The remainder was from automotive OEMs.

The company had previously announced a $245 million investment for additional capacity in its absorbent glass mat facilities, $100 million to double AGM production at its Toledo, Ohio facility and $50 million for its Middletown, Delaware facility.

Johnson Controls has repeatedly highlighted the role AGM batteries play in fuel-efficient start-stop technology. The company says almost half of all new vehicles will be equipped with the start-stop by 2020.

“By accelerating these investments, we further increase our manufacturing capacity to serve our customers’ needs now and into the future,” Walicki said.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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