JCI plans further AGM expansion in China
US giant Johnson Controls confirmed in October another expansion of its AGM battery production, this time in China, where its existing plant at Changxing, Zhejiang Province, will double its annual production to more than three million units a year by 2017, bringing the total annual capacity of the plant to around 10 million batteries.
The AGM expansion will make the plant Johnson’s largest battery manufacturing plant in China.
The company said it would invest $780 million over the next five years to grow its global production capacity for stop-start vehicle batteries in response to surging market demand.
It predicted that by 2020, half of new vehicles a year — some 15 million — would be equipped with stop-start technology.
The expansion in Changxing is the latest by Johnson Controls, which had already earmarked $245 million for six AGM battery production lines in the US and Mexico between 2016 and 2020.
In February 2016, Johnson Controls expanded its battery plant in Hanover, Germany, spending more than 100 million euros to develop the site into a central production site for AGM batteries.
Two years ago, the company also expanded its German plant in Zwickau with an investment of $112 million, making it the world’s largest production site for AGM batteries.
“Johnson Controls is the world’s leading provider of batteries for start-stop vehicles and we plan to stay that way,” says Lisa Bahash, group vice president and general manager original equipment, Johnson Controls Power Solutions.
“To ensure we will continue to meet the rising demand of car manufacturers and aftermarket retailers for this technology, we consider it a business priority to invest in increasing our production worldwide.”