Johnson Control Power Solutions battery division announced Wednesday that the St. Joseph plant will manufacture a portion of batteries destined for use by two major commercial vehicle firms.
The company has been awarded contracts to supply absorbent glass mat and flooded batteries to Illinois-based Navistar and MAN Truck and Bus of Germany. Officials said the contracts are designed to meet increasing electrical demands on heavy-duty trucks and buses around the world.
“The (St. Joseph) plant will manufacture some of the batteries for this Navistar contract,” said Kari Pfisterer, a spokeswoman for the company’s Power Solutions business in Milwaukee.
Johnson Controls will supply the batteries under the Fleetrite brand to Navistar’s three North American original equipment production plants and to the aftermarket through its more than 700 truck and bus dealerships. Johnson Controls’ batteries are now standard for Navistar’s original equipment International truck models.
The company also will supply absorbent glass mat truck batteries to the European original equipment production plants and aftermarket service centers of MAN Truck and Bus. Johnson Controls is investing in new manufacturing capabilities at its Hannover, Germany, plant. The St. Joseph portion of the contract is only with Navistar.
Several recent trends in fleet operations, including new in-vehicle technologies and regulations, are increasing the electrical demands on commercial fleets throughout the industry, requiring more capable batteries.
“Johnson Controls will continue to invest in our operations to support this growing industry,” said Petar Oklobdzija, group vice president and general manager of Original Equipment, Johnson Controls Power Solutions.
The global commercial truck battery market is expected to grow nearly 7 percent by 2020, to an anticipated volume of approximately 95 million batteries.