Johnson Controls plans to build new battery plant in China

Glendale-based Johnson Controls Inc. will invest $100 million to build a start-stop vehicle battery plant in China, a move the automobile battery producer said reflects increasing global demand for environmentally-friendly technology.
"We project that China will continue to be the fastest growing market for automobiles through the end of this decade," Kim Metcalf-Kupres, a Johnson Controls sales and marketing executive, told MarketWatch.com.
Metcalf-Kupres said interests in the environment and more energy-efficient vehicles are driving many of the company’s original equipment customers to add start-stop vehicles to their fleets.
Start-Stop technology helps improve a vehicle’s fuel economy and reduce emissions by shutting off the engine when the driver stops for a red light or hits heavy traffic. The engine restarts when the driver puts the car back into gear.
The technology has enormous growth potential, according to Johnson controls. In 2007, nearly 3 million new cars built in Europe had start-stop technology, a figure Johnson Controls expects to rise to more than 35 million globally by 2015.
Johnson Controls is investing $520 million worldwide over the next four years to add production capacity for start-stop batteries, with investments planned in the United States, Germany and China.
Johnson Controls said it is exploring several potential locations for the new China plant and expects to make a final decision in the coming months.

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