Johnson Controls-Saft Announces Plan to Build Lithium-ion Hybrid Battery Plant in Michigan

Apr 14, 2009, 13:00 ET from Johnson Controls

LANSING, Mich., April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Johnson Controls-Saft today announced plans to build its first U.S. cell manufacturing facility for lithium-ion hybrid batteries. Subject to final State and local incentives, the company will use an existing Johnson Controls facility at its Meadowbrook 48th Street site in Holland, Michigan.


"Battery technology is strategically important to the future of the U.S. automotive industry and the economy at large," said Alex Molinaroli, president of Power Solutions for Johnson Controls. "Our first U.S. plant will bring about 500 jobs to Michigan, and many additional jobs through suppliers and the businesses these employees will support. It is a key element of our broader strategy and commitment to the hybrid vehicle industry in North America."

Johnson Controls-Saft is a leading global provider of hybrid battery systems. The company opened the world's first lithium-ion manufacturing facility for hybrid electric vehicles in 2008 in Nersac, France, where it is currently in production for the Mercedes S-Class hybrid, which will be available to consumers later this year. Additionally, Johnson Controls-Saft will supply the lithium-ion hybrid battery system for the BMW 7 Series ActiveHybrid available in 2010, Azure Dynamic's Balance(TM) Hybrid Electric for commercial vehicles available in 2010, and Ford's first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle available in 2012.

"This Michigan facility will allow us to serve our strategic global customers, and specifically the production contracts we have with Ford and Azure Dynamics. It will also allow us to serve other important customers as the hybrid and electric vehicle industry continues to gain a foothold in the United States," said Mary Ann Wright, who leads the Johnson Controls-Saft joint venture and is vice president and general manager of Johnson Controls hybrid business.

"Ford is pleased that Johnson Controls-Saft has been selected by the State of Michigan to receive incentives," said Susan Cischke, group vice president Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering for Ford Motor Company. "They are well positioned to become a key manufacturer of advanced lithium-ion batteries for electrified vehicles. We have partnered with Johnson Controls-Saft to supply the lithium-ion batteries for our plug-in electric vehicle coming in 2012, as part of our overall electrification strategy. We see this as an important step to building a domestic advanced battery industry."

The cost to renovate the Holland, Mich., facility for lithium-ion automotive battery production is approximately $220 million. It will have an initial capacity of 15 million lithium-ion cells.

Johnson Controls-Saft will receive a combination of tax credits and incentives from the state of Michigan totaling $148.5 million as part of the state's strategy to become the "advanced battery capital of the world." Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that the Michigan Economic Growth Authority has awarded Johnson Controls-Saft a package in support of cell manufacturing.

"Johnson Controls is an important Michigan employer with a successful long-term relationship with the automakers," Governor Jennifer M. Granholm said. "Their new hybrid battery plant will bring valuable jobs to the state as well as boost our strategy to make Michigan the advanced-battery capital of the world."

Added Molinaroli, "Johnson Controls has a long and proud history of manufacturing in Michigan. This plant is a demonstration of our commitment to our strong customer relationships there as well as our nearly 10,000 dedicated employees."

The Michigan facility is an important step in Johnson Controls' continuing commitment to build a manufacturing infrastructure for hybrid and electric vehicles in the United States. With its demonstrated track record and the endorsement from strategic customers such as Ford and Azure Dynamics the company will also apply for a grant through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in May.

About Johnson Controls-Saft

Johnson Controls-Saft is a joint venture that has brought together Johnson Controls -- the world's leading supplier of automotive batteries and a company deeply experienced in integrated automotive systems solutions -- with Saft, an advanced energy storage solutions provider with extensive Li-ion battery expertise.

About Saft

Saft (Euronext: Saft) is a world specialist in the design and manufacture of high-tech batteries for industry. Saft batteries are used in high performance applications such as industrial infrastructure and processes, transportation, space and defense. Saft is the world's leading manufacturer of nickel-cadmium batteries for industrial applications and of primary lithium batteries for a wide range of end markets. The group is also the European leader for specialized advanced technologies for the defense and space industries. With approximately 4,000 employees worldwide, Saft is present in 18 countries. Its 15 manufacturing sites and extensive sales network enable the group to serve its customers worldwide. Saft is listed in Paris' Stock Market. The stock is mentioned in SBF 120 index. For more information, visit Saft at

About Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) is the global leader that brings ingenuity to the places where people live, work and travel. By integrating technologies, products and services, we create smart environments that redefine the relationships between people and their surroundings. Our team of 140,000 employees creates a more comfortable, safe and sustainable world through our products and services for more than 200 million vehicles, 12 million homes and one million commercial buildings. Our commitment to sustainability drives our environmental stewardship, good corporate citizenship in our workplaces and communities, and the products and services we provide to customers. For additional information, please visit

SOURCE Johnson Controls