Glendale-based Johnson Controls Inc. announced today that it plans to build a new $200 million automotive battery manufacturing facility in northeastern China. The state-of-the-art plant, located in the city of Shenyang, will have the capacity to produce 6 million automotive batteries a year.
Construction of the new plant is expected to begin early next year with production starting in 2018. Batteries for Start-Stop vehicles, which can help automakers meet increasingly strict fuel economy and emission regulations, will be a primary focus of the new facility.
Detailed planning, including the plant footprint, is currently underway, according to František Šašek, a Johnson Controls Power Solutions spokesman.
“We have a long-term commitment to China, and the new plant will play a strategic role in our plans to meet the increasing expectations of quality products and services from customers and consumers in the country, which is one of our most important markets in the world,” said Joe Walicki, president of Johnson Controls Power Solutions.
Johnson Controls and leaders from the local Shenyang government came together to sign the investment agreement.
“We welcome the decision of Johnson Controls to establish its new plant in Shenyang, and we believe the company can bring its world-class manufacturing and sustainability experiences and its advanced technologies to the city for local economic development,” said Pan Liguo, mayor of Shenyang City.
Located in the core area of the Circum-Bohai-Sea Region, Shenyang has been an important industrial base for China since the 1930s, according to Johnson Controls. “It has developed a solid and diversified industrial foundation with a convenient transportation network and a trained workforce,” the company said.
Johnson Controls entered the Chinese automotive battery supply market in 2005, and has set up two battery manufacturing plants in Chongqing in western China and in Zhejiang Province in eastern China. It also has a research and development center for automotive batteries in Shanghai.
Šašek said China is the most important emerging market for Johnson Controls because it is the largest automobile market in the world.
“China plays a strategic role in the growth and development of the company, and we have a long commitment to lead our business in a sustainable and successful way there,” he said. “Major automakers like BMW and SGM have already established assembly plants in Shenyang, and our north plant will enable us to better serve our local customers with quality products and efficient services.”