The state-of-the-art facility will supply automakers and the aftermarket in China with maintenance-free lead-acid starter batteries and advanced batteries for Start-Stop vehicles.
"This plant demonstrates our long-term commitment to the rapidly growing automotive industry in China," said Alex Molinaroli, president of Johnson Controls Power Solutions. "We are forecasting 25 million in annual new car sales in China by 2015. This plant is a further indication of the strategic importance of this market for Johnson Controls."
Johnson Controls chairman and chief executive officer Steve Roell attended the ceremony along with local government official deputy secretary-general of the CPC Tianjin Municipal Committee He Lifeng and vice president and general manager for Johnson Controls Power Solutions Asia Shu Yang.
"We are now striving to develop new energy and green industries to realize the commitment to sustainability via energy saving and emission reduction," said Lifeng. "Johnson Controls is a global leader in the fields of auto parts and building efficiency. It has diversified technologies and enjoys a high market share. This project will be a great platform to leverage Johnson Controls' leading technologies and expand its investment in China. We will try the best to provide a more investment-friendly environment to fully support the development of companies in Binhai New Area. This is a win-win situation to both of us."
Johnson Controls plans to grow to 30 million in annual battery capacity in China by 2017. The company recently launched production at its Changxing facility and its Chongqing plant is scheduled to launch later this year. The company also has an automotive battery plant in Shanghai that was part of an acquisition in 2005.
"The city of Tianjin offers excellent leadership in industry and economic development that will help us to achieve our long-term investment plan for growth in the China market," said Yang. "With the in-depth and highly collaborative support from local governments, we have built our plants in Changxing and Chongqing, and we look forward to establishing our footprint in the North here in Tianjin."
Tianjin is the largest coastal city in the North and is considered the economic center of the region.