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Johnson Controls To Build $200M Plant In China

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 2:09pm
The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Auto parts and building equipment maker Johnson Controls Inc. plans on building a $200 million automotive battery plant in China as it looks to get a better foothold in the growing market.

The company said Wednesday that the Tianjin plant will supply automakers and the Chinese aftermarket with lead-acid starter batteries and advanced batteries. Once the facility is at full capacity, it will produce more than 6 million batteries a year.

Johnson Controls plans to have an annual battery capacity of 30 million in China by 2017. It recently launched production at its Changxing facility, and its Chongqing plant is expected to start running later this year. An automotive battery plant in Shanghai was part of a 2005 acquisition.

Alex Molinaroli, president of Johnson Controls Power Solutions, said in a statement that the Milwaukee company realizes how important the China market is, as the company anticipates there will be 25 million in annual new car sales in China by 2015.

Johnson Controls expects to start building the Tianjin plant between 2012 and the first half of next year. The project is targeted to start in late 2014.

Shares of Johnson Controls added 84 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $29.52 in afternoon trading. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $24.29 to $42.92.

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