Obama Visits Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Battery Center

Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI), a global diversified company in the building and automotive industries, today hosted President Barack Obama for a tour of the new Johnson Controls-Saft advanced battery center, the first facility in the United States to produce complete lithium-ion battery cells and systems for hybrid and electric vehicles.

In his remarks to approximately 400 dignitaries and Johnson Controls employees, the President highlighted the key role innovative technologies will play in helping automakers achieve the new fuel economy standards, establishing U.S. leadership in advanced vehicle manufacturing, spurring economic growth, and creating high-quality domestic jobs in cutting edge industries across America.

In remarks made before the President spoke, Johnson Controls Chairman and CEO Stephen A. Roell said Johnson Controls is at the forefront of creating an advanced battery industry.

"Through innovation and investment in technology and people, Johnson Controls is a leader in the energy storage industry. We are investing more than $460 million in our advanced battery business for manufacturing and technical facilities here in Michigan and the U.S. These investments will lead to over 700 new jobs, retention of another 400 and approximately 1,000 construction jobs," Roell said.

Roell pointed to several previously announced projects in which Johnson Controls is investing:

Start-Stop Vehicle Technology, near Toledo, Ohio – Johnson Controls is investing $138.5 million to convert and expand an existing plant to produce batteries for Start-Stop vehicles, which have been successful in the European market and will be introduced next year in the U.S. These batteries help reduce fuel consumption and emissions by 5-12% for internal combustion engine vehicles with little added cost for the consumer. This investment will retain 400 jobs, and create 50 new positions and 800 construction jobs.

Battery Technology and Test Center, Milwaukee, Wisc. – Johnson Controls recently opened its newly renovated Battery Technology and Testing Center in Milwaukee. It is the largest energy storage R&D center in the country with 60 new jobs.

Meadowbrook Li-ion Battery Production Facility, Holland, Mich. – This new facility will be the first in the U.S. to produce complete lithium-ion battery cells and systems for hybrid and electric vehicles, producing battery systems for U.S. based automakers, such as Ford’s Transit Connect. The facility was supported in part by a $299.2 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) matching grant and more than $168 million in incentives from the state of Michigan. Johnson Controls invested $299.2 million to match the ARRA grant and more. Employment at this facility will be 320 at full capacity. Johnson Controls has committed to building a second facility in U.S. Once a location is identified and the facility constructed, it would add nearly 300 additional jobs when at full capacity.

"These projects are great examples of public-private partnerships that use innovation and technology to produce products that reduce fuel consumption and create jobs. We are grateful for the outstanding support we have received from the White House, the U.S. Department of Energy, the state of Michigan and the city of Holland for their vision in building an advanced battery industry for vehicles in the U.S. and for the financial incentives that were provided," Roell said.

"We want to express our appreciation to President Obama for his leadership on improving the energy efficiency of buildings and his support of the auto industry. We are honored that he has selected to tour our facility."

Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries. The company’s 154,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles.

Johnson Controls’ commitment to sustainability dates back to its roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. Through its growth strategies and by increasing market share we are committed to delivering value to shareholders and making our customers successful. In 2011, Corporate Responsibility Magazine recognized Johnson Controls as the #1 company in its annual "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list.