MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Johnson Controls Inc. said Wednesday that it will invest $100 million to build a plant in China that will produce vehicle batteries with start-stop technology.
The plant will supply global and local automakers in Asia and is expected to begin production in early 2013. It's part of Johnson Controls' plans to expand its production in China and produce an annual capacity of 2.4 million start-stop batteries by 2015.
Start-stop systems reduce fuel consumption and emissions by automatically shutting off a standard gas-powered engine when it idles and restarting it when the driver engages the clutch or releases the brake pedal.
The Milwaukee company said it's looking at several potential locations for the new plant and expects to choose one in the coming months.
Johnson Controls said it expects the market for start-stop vehicles to grow to 35 million globally by 2015. As a result, it's investing $520 million worldwide over the next four years in additional production capacity for the batteries including $280 million in Germany, $140 million in the United States and $100 million in China.
Johnson Controls' plants in Germany currently produce 11 million start-stop batteries each year. The company is also adding 6.8 million units of capacity in the United States.
Its shares slipped 13 cents to $28.61 in morning trading Wednesday.
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