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Johnson Controls

Johnson Control, Inc.
Traded as NYSEJCI
S&P 500 Component
Industry Automotive Interiors
HVAC Equipment and Controls
battery Manufacturing
Founded 1885
Headquarters Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Key people

Stephen A. Roell, Chairman

Alex Molinaroli, CEO
Products Automobile Interior Designs, Car Seats, Batteries, Climate Control, Facility Management
Revenue US$ 42.89 billion (2014)
#redirect Template:If affirmed US$ 1.336 billion (2014)
Number of employees
170,000 (As on Nov 30, 2012)

Johnson Controls, Inc. is an American company globally offering products and services to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings, automotive batteries, electronics and interior systems for automobiles.

It is a Fortune 500, diversified, multi-industrial, multinational conglomerate with 170,000 employees in more than 1,300 locations across six continents. It is listed as 67th in the Fortune 500[1] and 251st in Global 500.[2]


File:Johnson Controls Super-Sensitive Thermometer.jpg
A Johnson Super-Sensitive Thermometer on an air conditioning unit

In 1883, Warren S. Johnson, a professor at the State Normal School in Whitewater, Wisconsin, received a patent for the first electric room thermostat. His invention helped launch the building control industry and was the impetus for a new company.

1885–1911: The Warren Johnson years

Johnson and a group of Milwaukee investors incorporated the Johnson Electric Service Company in 1885 to manufacture, install and service automatic temperature regulation systems for buildings.

Between 1885 and 1911, Professor Johnson delved into many other areas, including electric storage batteries, steam and gas powered automobiles, huge pneumatic clock towers and wireless telegraph communication.

1912–1977: Sole focus on temperature control

After Warren Johnson's death in 1911, the company decided to focus solely on its temperature control business for nonresidential buildings.

Johnson Controls continued to develop new control technologies to help customers better manage their increasingly larger and more complex buildings. By the 1950s, for example, it was common for a large building to have hundreds of thermostats, valves, dampers and other temperature control devices installed throughout the facility, all of which had to be individually checked several times a day. To improve the efficiency of building operations staff, Johnson Controls introduced the Pneumatic Control Center, which allowed for monitoring and operating all the temperature control devices in a facility from a single point.

Johnson Controls has continued to develop new technologies. In 1972, it introduced the JC80, a minicomputer dedicated to building control.

The company was renamed Johnson Controls in 1974.

1978-1989: Expansion and innovation

In 1978, Johnson Controls acquired Globe Union, Inc., a Wisconsin-based manufacturer of automotive batteries for both the replacement and original equipment markets.

In the 1980s, Johnson Controls adopted digital control technology with its JC85, providing faster and more precise control of building systems.

Servicing management systems in commercial buildings is another business area for Johnson Controls. Beginning in the mid-1980s, the company expanded its services to cover mechanical and electrical equipment. The company created Integrated Facilities Management (IFM) to give customers a single source for operations and maintenance of all building systems and functions, and to ensure maximum building efficiency and reliability. Johnson Controls now provides full-time, on-site IFM staff for more than Script error: No such module "convert". of building space around the world.

Johnson Controls entered the automotive seating and plastics machinery industries in 1985 with the acquisition of Michigan-based Hoover Universal, Inc. Hoover started making components for automotive seats in the mid-1960s. At the time, the seating business primarily manufactured individual components, like frames, tracks or cushions, according to the automakers' specifications.


In the 1990s, the company pioneered open communication protocols to allow control devices from various manufacturers to share data directly. Its latest control system is the Metasys Facilities Management System.

Johnson Controls expanded its presence within cars and light trucks in the early 1990s by offering interior components such as headliners and door trim. It strengthened its position in interior systems through the 1996 acquisition of Prince Automotive. Prince introduced the first lighted vanity mirror in a car in 1972. With Prince, Johnson Controls can provide all aspects of a complete car interior, including overhead systems, floor consoles door systems, instrument panels and seat systems.


On November 21, 2005, Johnson Controls Inc. said it must restate financial results for fiscal years 2003 and 2004 and the first three quarters of fiscal 2005. The changes would have no impact on net income, earnings per share or the financial position as previously reported.[3]


It was confirmed on January 22, 2010, that the Johnson Controls plant in Lakeshore, Ontario would close in late March 2010 and the property sold.[4]

In July 2013 it was announced that Stephen Roell would retire from the company as of Dec 31, 2013 and that Alex Molinaroli would take his position as CEO and chairman of the board.[5]

Fetal protection policy

In 1982, Johnson Controls enacted a fetal protection policy. This policy denied women the right to work on the battery production line because of the potential harm to a fetus they may conceive. Women were only allowed to work on the production line if they could prove that "...their inability to bear children had been medically documented." In April 1984, the United Auto Workers sued Johnson Controls on behalf of three employees. These employees were Mary Craig, who had chosen to be sterilized to avoid losing her job, Elsie Nason, a 50-year-old divorcee, who had suffered a loss of compensation when she was transferred from a high paying job that exposed her to lead, and Donald Penney, who had been denied a request for a leave of absence for the purpose of lowering his blood lead levels because he intended to become a father. This case was argued before the Supreme Court on October 10, 1990 and was decided on March 20, 1991. Justice Blackmun wrote the opinion for the court and Justices Marshall, Stevens, O'Connor, and Souter joined. Justice White filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment, in which Justices Rehnquist and Kennedy joined. Justice Scalia filed an opinion concurring in the judgment. The Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. This ruling was a landmark ruling because it affirmed that " is no more important for the courts than it is for individual employers to decide whether a woman's reproductive role is more important to herself and her family than her economic role."[6]


Early years

  • 1885 Johnson Electric Service Company founded
  • 1887 Company pays first dividend
  • 1902 Name changed to Johnson Service Co.
  • 1903 Johnson humidostat specified by Willis Carrier for one of the world's first air conditioning installations—a printing plant in Pennsylvania
  • 1910 Opened first European sales offices
  • 1940 Johnson Service Co. securities first listed on what is today the NASDAQ exchange
  • 1956 Introduced Pneumatic Control Center, enabling centralized monitoring of building conditions for the first time


  • 1965 Johnson Service Co. securities listed on the New York Stock Exchange
  • 1966 Sales exceed $100 million
  • 1968 Acquired Penn Controls which produces refrigeration and gas heating controls
  • 1968 Became a Fortune 500 company
  • 1972 Introduced JC80, the first mini-computer built to control building systems
  • 1974 Company renamed Johnson Controls, Inc.
  • 1978 Acquired Globe Union, Inc. and entered automotive battery business
  • 1985 Acquired Hoover Universal, the source of its automotive seating and plastics machinery businesses
  • 1989 Acquired Pan Am World Services and entered facilities management business; $659 million in sales


  • 1990 Introduced Metasys Facilities Management System
  • 1991 Supreme Court Decision Against Johnson Controls
  • 1992 $5.2 billion in sales
  • 1995 Opened 150th manufacturing plant
  • 1996 Made seats for more than eight million new automobiles
  • 1996 Selected for Industry Week Magazine's "100 Best Managed Companies in The World" list
  • 1996 Acquired Prince Automotive and greatly expanded its automotive interior systems business
  • 1996 Sales exceed $10 billion
  • 1998 Largest seating supplier in South America
  • 1998 Installed 10,000th Metasys facilities management system
  • 1998 Acquired Becker Group, European automotive interior supplier
  • 1998 Acquired Cardkey integrated security solutions
  • 1999 Named GM "Corporation of the Year" out of 30,000 suppliers
  • 1999 U.S. EPA Energy Star buildings "Ally of the Year"
  • 1999 Winner of Mandela International Award for Good Diversity Practices


  • 2000 Acquired Ikeda Bussan, auto seat supplier (Japan)
  • 2000 Introduced new products including Auto Vision, in-vehicle video system
  • 2001 Acquisition of Sagem (France), maker of automotive interior electronics
  • 2001 Acquisition of Hoppecke, German automotive battery manufacturer
  • 2002 Acquired Varta automotive battery division (Germany)
  • 2002 Sales exceed $20 billion
  • 2003 Acquired Borg Instruments, Germany
  • 2003 Exceeded $1 billion in purchases from diverse suppliers; named to Billion Dollar Roundtable
  • 2004 Increased dividend for 30th consecutive year
  • 2004 Received the World Environment Center's Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development
  • 2004 Granted a contract for lithium-ion battery development for the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC)
  • 2005 Acquired Cal-Air, a California based mechanical contractor
  • 2005 Acquired York International, a global supplier of heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment and services
  • 2005 Acquired Delphi's global automotive battery business
  • 2005 Named to Dow Jones Sustainability World Index
  • 2005 Formed temporary joint venture with SAFT of France to accelerate lithium ion battery progress
  • 2006 Hosted President George W. Bush for corporate tour and major energy speech at Building Efficiency headquarters in Milwaukee
  • 2006 Sales exceed $30 billion
  • 2007 New branding is introduced; "Ingenuity Welcome" becomes the company slogan
  • 2007 Steve Roell is named CEO, the company's ninth in 122 years
  • 2008 ASME designates the company's 1895 automatic temperature control system as a historical mechanical engineering landmark
  • 2009 Was awarded $299.5 million in federal grants to manufacture batteries and other components for electric vehicles in Michigan
  • 2009 The worlds highest tower (Burj Khalifa tower) finished by the Johnson Controls team
  • 2010 The world's biggest hospital (Kalifa Hospital) started by Johnson Controls team
  • 2013 Alex Molinaroli is named CEO, the company's tenth in 128 years


  • 1968 - Penn Controls (refrigeration and gas heating controls)
  • 1978 - Globe Union, Inc. (automotive batteries)
  • 1985 - Hoover Universal (automotive seating and plastics machinery)
  • 1989 - Pan Am World Services (facilities management)
  • 1996 - Prince Corporation (automotive interiors and electronics)
  • 2000 - Gylling Optima Batteries AB of Sweden (spiral-wound battery technology)[7]
  • 2002 - Varta AG (Automotive Battery Division)
  • 2003 - Borg Instruments AG (automotive electronics)
  • 2005 - USI Real Estate (office real estate)
  • 2005 - York International (air conditioning, heating and refrigerating), $3.2 billion
  • 2006 - Environmental Technologies (air conditioning, heating and refrigerating)
  • 2007 - Skymark International (air conditioning, heating and refrigerating)
  • 2008 - Plastech (injection-molded components and assemblies)
  • 2008 - PWI Energy (energy management consulting and software services)
  • 2008 - Gridlogix (building automation integration)
  • 2010 - National Energy Services, Inc. (lighting services)
  • 2010 - Michel Thierry Group (Fabrics and Lamination)
  • 2011 - C. Rob. Hammerstein GmbH (CRH Group), (automotive seat adjuster manufacturer), To be completed in Feb 2011
  • 2011 - Keiper automotive seating from Keiper Recaro group
  • 2011 - EnergyConnect Inc. (Demand Response Aggregator)
  • 2012 - Mitch Speechley (Tillsonburg Hub)

Business Units

The operational structure of Johnson Controls has evolved over time as it has grown into new areas of business. As of 2013, the company’s operations are segmented into four business units: Building Efficiency, Global WorkPlace Solutions, Power Solutions and Automotive Experience.

Building Efficiency

The Building Efficiency business unit designs, produces, installs and services heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, industrial refrigeration, building management systems, fire and security systems and mechanical equipment for commercial and residential buildings. The brands produced under this business unit are York, Metasys, Panoptix, Frick and Sabroe.[8] This business unit also works with organizations to reduce the energy consumption and operating costs of their buildings.[8][9] This includes retrofitting existing buildings such as the Empire State Building[10] and working on maximizing efficiency in new construction such as the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.[11] Building Efficiency is the company’s longest-running business unit, dating back to 1885 when Professor Warren Johnson founded the Johnson Electric Service Company[12] after patenting the electric thermostat in 1883.[13] As of 2012, the business unit operates from 700 branch offices in more than 150 countries.[8]

Johnson Controls was one of the Defendants in a federal court lawsuit in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 97 people perished and over 200 were injured in a fire which spread through the San Juan DuPont Plaza Hotel and its casino on New Year’s Eve, 1986.[14] Plaintiffs, in the multimillion dollar suit claimed that Johnson Controls sold and installed an energy management system which failed to give early warning of the fire.[15] The company and its energy management system were absolved of blame when, after nine months of trial, its counsel won a directed verdict at the close of Plaintiffs’ case.[16] When this trial was completed the Plaintiffs had accumulated approximately $220,908,549.00 in damages as a result of various settlements and a jury verdict against some other Defendants.[17]

Global WorkPlace Solutions

The Global WorkPlace Solutions business unit provides outsourced facilities management services globally.[18] It also manages corporate real estate on behalf of its customers including acquiring and disposing of property, administering leases and managing building related projects such as equipment replacements.[19] As of 2012, the business unit operated in 75 countries worldwide.[8]

Power Solutions

The Power Solutions business unit designs and manufactures automotive batteries to passenger cars, heavy and light duty trucks, utility vehicles, motorcycles, golf carts and boats.[8][20][21][22][23] It supplies more than one third of the world’s lead-acid batteries[24] to automakers and aftermarket retailers including Wal-Mart, Sears and BMW.[25][26][27] Lead acid battery brands produced under this business unit include OPTIMA, Heliar, LTH, and VARTA automotive batteries.[8] This part of the company also manufactures Lithium-ion cells and complete battery systems to power hybrid and electric vehicles such as the Ford Fusion[28] and Daimler’s S-Class 400.[29] Additionally, it manufactures Absorbent Glass Matt (AGM) and Enhanced Flooded Batteries (EFB) batteries to power Start-Stop vehicles such as the Chevy Malibu and Ford Fusion.[8][24][30][31][32][33][34][35] As of 2012, the business unit operated from 60 locations worldwide.[8]

Automotive Experience

The Automotive Experience business unit supplies automotive seating, interiors and electronics to the world’s largest automakers.[8][24] It is one of the largest suppliers of car interiors in the world.[36] The seating division designs and manufactures complete automotive seats supplies them to its customers´ production lines on a just-in-time schedule. It also designs and manufactures seating components including mechanisms, tracks, structures foams, fabrics and trim, making Johnson Controls the largest automotive seat supplier in the world.[37] A separate interiors division produces overhead systems, headliners, door panels, instrument panels, and overhead and floor consoles for automotive interiors.[8] Additionally, an electronics division designs and manufactures analog and digital instrument clusters, infotainment systems and hands free electronics.[8][38] Brands produced under this business unit include RECARO automotive seats and Keiper.[36] As of 2012, the business unit operated from 240 locations worldwide.[8]

Joint ventures

Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions

Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions (JCS) was a joint venture between Johnson Controls and French battery company Saft Groupe S.A..[39] It was officially launched in January 2006.[40]

Varta established a JCS development centre at its German HQ, following the setting-up of Varta-SAFT joint venture.[40]

Johnson Controls is exhibiting a plug-in hybrid concept called the re3. Johnson Controls produced cells for lithium-ion hybrid vehicle batteries in France under the joint venture with Saft. Battery assemblies were developed and produced in Hannover(Germany) and Milwaukee(USA)[41]

Despite some signs of promise, Johnson Controls was increasingly dissatisfied with the restrictions of the agreement and also sought a more important ally.[42][43] In May 2011, the American company request the dissolution of Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions LLC to the Delaware Court of Chancery.[42][43] The two companies agreed the separation and Johnson Controls paid Saft 145 million dollars for its shares in the joint venture as well as for the right to use certain technology developed by it. Johnson Controls retained the Michigan facility built by the partnership. The French joint facility was transferred to Saft.[44][45][46]


  • Brookfield Johnson Controls is a joint venture with Brookfield Properties to provide commercial property management services in Canada. It was established in 1992 and known as Brookfield LePage Johnson Controls or BLJC until March 2013. In 2013, a similar joint venture was formed in Australia and New Zealand between Johnson Controls and Brookfield Asset Management.[47]
  • Major SKT - MSKT is a joint venture with Diniz Holding in Turkey building automotive seats for major OEMs.
  • Amaron: Amara Raja Batteries of India signed a joint venture with Johnson Controls in December 1997 to manufacture automotive batteries in India, under the brand name "Amaron".[48]

See also


  1. ^ Johnson Controls - Fortune 500 - JCI
  2. ^ Johnson Controls - JCI - Fortune Global 500 Top Companies
  3. ^ "Johnson Controls to restate results". 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ 499 U.S. 187, 111 S.Ct. 1196
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Johnson Controls Form 10-K 2012" (PDF). Johnson Controls Inc. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Turn that light off!". The Economist. 28 May 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  10. ^ Ivanova, Irina (24 June 2013). "Empire State Bldg's energy savings beat forecast". Crains. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  11. ^ Hope, Gerhard (26 May 2010). "Johnson Controls secures Burj Khalifa contract". Arabian Industry. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  12. ^ Adler, Roger (18 June 2012). "In Control" (PDF). The National Law Journal. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  13. ^ Zwaniecki, Andrzej. "Thermostat Maker Deploys Climate Control Against Climate Change - Johnson Controls persuades building owners to go energy-efficient". IIP Digital. US Embassy. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  14. ^ New York Time, February 4, 1986
  15. ^ Arnstein & Lehr, The First 120 Years (Louis Lehr) ISBN 978-0-615-89503-1, pp 110-113
  16. ^ Chicago Tribune, May 15, 1990; Mervills Illinois Legal Time, July 1, 1990, as corrected on November 5, 1990
  17. ^ In re San Juan DuPont Plz. Hotel, 768 F. Supp. 912, 936 (Puerto Rico U.S. Dist. 1991)
  18. ^ Content, Thomas (5 October 2010). "Johnson Controls to provide real estate services for Verizon". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  19. ^ "Brookfield Asset Management and Johnson Controls have agreed to merge their Australian and New Zealand property and FM operations.". FM World. 4 December 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  20. ^ "Club Car Awards Johnson Controls as a Top Supplier". Small Vehicle Resource. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  21. ^ Content, Thomas (28 February 2013). "Johnson Controls' modified hybrid car batteries will power electric boat motor". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  22. ^ "Johnson Controls modifies automotive PHEV Li-ion batteries for marine application; Torqeedo Deep Blue". Green Car Congress. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  23. ^ Houlahan, Mark (September 2013). "Optima's Digital 400 - Charge It Right". Mustang Monthly. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  24. ^ a b c Rosevear, John (20 November 2012). "Under the Hood of Johnson Controls". The Motley Fool. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  25. ^ Team, Trefis (14 June 2013). "Johnson Controls Shores Up Its Market Share As Exide Files For Bankruptcy". Forbes. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  26. ^ Content, Thomas (18 July 2013). "European automotive business rebounds; HomeLink business to be sold to Gentex Corp. for $700 million". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  27. ^ GOPWANI, JEWEL (10 April 2010). "Battery hub takes root in state". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  28. ^ Schwartz, Ariel (4 February 2009). "Johnson Controls Awarded Battery Contract for Ford's First Hybrid Plug-In Vehicle". Greenbiz. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  29. ^ Fareed, Zakaria (20 February 2009). "To Pack a Real Punch - Everything hangs on the race to build tomorrow's battery". Newsweek. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  30. ^ Engel, Jeff (14 January 2013). "Johnson Controls supplies start-stop battery for 2013 Ford Fusion". Milwaukee Business Journal. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  31. ^ Content, Thomas (19 April 2013). "Johnson Controls to supply start-stop batteries for Chery Jaguar Land Rovers". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  32. ^ Content, Thomas (14 January 2013). "Johnson Controls to supply batteries for Ford Fusion with better mileageJohnson Controls to supply batteries for Ford Fusion with better mileage". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  33. ^ Moran, Tim (15 January 2013). "Johnson Controls Offers Start-Stop Battery System". New York Times. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  34. ^ Motavalli, Jim (18 January 2010). "Detroit Auto Show: Johnson Controls is a Big Battery Player with a Low Profile". CBS News. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  35. ^ CHAVEZ, JON (7 August 2013). "Local Johnson Controls facility to make batteries for Chevy Eco". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  36. ^ a b CAMERON, DOUG (31 December 2010). "Johnson Controls in Big Parts Deal". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  37. ^ Marsh, Peter (28 December 2011). August 2013 "Car seat maker eyes new mattress spring". Financial Times. 
  38. ^ Clothier, Mark (11 August 2011). "Magna, Lear May Lead Global Consolidation of Automotive-Interior Suppliers". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  39. ^ Healey, James R. (March 23, 2008). "Mercedes sees electric-car progress". 
  40. ^ a b
  41. ^
  42. ^ a b Pentland, William (19 May 2011). "Battery Battle Brews for Johnson Controls, Saft". Forbes. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  43. ^ a b Fehrenbacher, Katie (19 May 2011). "Report: Johnson Controls Divorcing Saft Over Grid Battery Market". Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  44. ^ King, Danny (7 September 2011). "Johnson Controls Buys Out Saft Joint Venture". Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  45. ^ Warburton, Simon (5 September 2011). "US: Johnson Controls and Saft finish battery joint venture". Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  46. ^ Barrett, Rick (2 September 2011). "Johnson Controls, Saft agree to end joint venture". Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  47. ^
  48. ^

External links