Johnson Controls

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Johnson Controls, Inc.
Traded as NYSEJCI
S&P 500 Component
Industry Automotive Interiors
HVAC Equipment and Controls
battery Manufacturing
Founded 1885
Headquarters Glendale, Wisconsin. (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
Key people
Alex Molinaroli, Chairman and CEO
Products Automobile Interior Designs, Car Seats, Batteries, Climate Control, Facility Management
Revenue US$ 42.89 billion (2014)
US$ 1.336 billion (2014)
Number of employees
170,000 (As on Nov 30, 2012)

Johnson Controls, Inc. is a multinational conglomerate producing automotive parts such as batteries and HVAC equipment, to optimize efficiencies of buildings, automotive batteries, electronics and interior systems for automobiles.

It is a Fortune 500, diversified, multi-industrial,company with 170,000 employees in more than 1,300 locations across six continents. As of 2012 it was listed as 67th in the Fortune 500[1] and 251st in Global 500.[2]

On January 25, 2016, Johnson announced a tax inversion merger with Tyco International to form "Johnson Controls plc" which will then be an Irish company operating globally.[3][4]


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[edit]

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, Johnson explored 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[edit]

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

Johnson Controls continued to develop new control technologies for buildings. It introduced the Pneumatic Control Center, which allowed for monitoring and operating all the temperature control devices in a facility from a single point, reducing the need for thermostats, valves, dampers, and other temperature control devices throughout a facility. 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[edit]

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.

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. Johnson Controls now provides full-time, on-site IFM staff for more than 600,000,000 square feet (56,000,000 m2) 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., a manufacturer of components for automotive seats.


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

Johnson Controls expanded its presence in the automotive sector in the early 1990s by offering interior components such as headliners and door trim. It acquired Prince Automotive in 1996. With that acquisition, Johnson Controls can provide 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.[5]


The Johnson Controls plant in Lakeshore, Ontario closed in late March 2010 and the property was sold.[6]

In 2013 Stephen Roell retired and Alex Molinaroli took his position as CEO and chairman of the board.[7]

Merger with Tyco[edit]

In January 2016, Johnson Controls announced plans to merge with Tyco International to create a company based in Ireland. The merger will save the company about $150-million per year in taxes. The new company will be called Johnson Controls Plc.[8]

Hillary Clinton condemned the company for wanting to escape U.S. taxes through the merger after having "begged" the government for financial help in 2008.[9] The Johnson deal, termed "outrageous" by Fortune magazine, qualifies as a "super inversion" because Tyco shareholders will own 44% of the company, thus avoiding penalties that the United States Department of the Treasury has imposed on other inversion deals.[4]

Women's work rights[edit]

In 1982, Johnson Controls enacted what they called a "fetal protection policy", which denied women the right to work on the battery production line because of the potential harm to a fetus they might conceive. Women were allowed to work on the production line only 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. The case was argued before the Supreme Court on October 10, 1990 and was decided on March 20, 1991. The Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. This 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."[10]

Business units[edit]

The company’s operations are segmented into four business units: Building Efficiency, Global WorkPlace Solutions, Power Solutions and Automotive Experience.

Building Efficiency[edit]

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.[11] This unit also works with organizations to reduce the energy consumption and operating costs of their buildings.[11][12] This includes retrofitting existing buildings such as the Empire State Building[13] and working on maximizing efficiency in new construction such as the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.[14] Building Efficiency is the company’s longest-running business unit, dating to 1885 when Johnson founded the Johnson Electric Service Company[15] after patenting the electric thermostat in 1883.[16] As of 2012, the business unit operated from 700 branch offices in more than 150 countries.[11]

Johnson Controls was one of the defendants in a multimillion-dollar federal court lawsuit in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 97 people perished and over 200 were injured in a fire that spread through the San Juan DuPont Plaza Hotel and its casino on New Year’s Eve, 1986.[17] The plaintiffs claimed that Johnson Controls sold and installed an energy management system that failed to give early warning of the fire.[18] After nine months of trial, the company and its energy management system were absolved of blame when the court issued a directed verdict.[19][20] 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.[21]

Global WorkPlace Solutions[edit]

The Global WorkPlace Solutions business unit provides outsourced facilities management services globally.[22] 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.[23] As of 2012, the business unit operated in 75 countries worldwide.[11]

Power Solutions[edit]

The Power Solutions business unit designs and manufactures automotive batteries for passenger cars, heavy and light duty trucks, utility vehicles, motorcycles, golf carts and boats.[11][24][25][26][27] It supplies more than one third of the world’s lead-acid batteries[28] to automakers and aftermarket retailers including Wal-Mart, Sears and BMW.[29][30][31] Lead acid battery brands produced under this business unit include OPTIMA, Heliar, LTH, and VARTA automotive batteries.[11] 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[32] and Daimler’s S-Class 400.[33] 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.[11][28][34][35][36][37][38][39] As of 2012, the business unit operated from 60 locations worldwide.[11]

Automotive Experience[edit]

The Automotive Experience business unit supplies automotive seating, interiors and electronics to automakers.[11][28] It is one of the largest suppliers of car interiors in the world.[40] The seating division designs and manufactures automotive seats and supplies them 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.[41] A separate interiors division produces overhead systems, headliners, door panels, instrument panels, and overhead and floor consoles for automotive interiors.[11] Additionally, an electronics division designs and manufactures analog and digital instrument clusters, infotainment systems and hands free electronics.[11][42] Brands produced under this business unit include RECARO automotive seats and Keiper.[40] As of 2012, the business unit operated from 240 locations worldwide.[11] On January 12, 2016 Johnson Controls announced that its remaining Automotive Experience holdings will spin off and become Adient. This will be finalized on October 1, 2016, and begin to be publicly traded on the NYSE as ticker symbol ADNT on October 3, 2016.[citation needed]

Joint ventures[edit]

Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions[edit]

Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions (JCS) was a joint venture between Johnson Controls and French battery company Saft Groupe S.A..[43] It was officially launched in January 2006.[44]

Varta established a JCS development centre at its German HQ, following the setting-up of Varta-SAFT joint venture.[44]

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)[45]

Despite some signs of promise, Johnson Controls was increasingly dissatisfied with the restrictions of the agreement and also sought a more important ally.[46][47] In May 2011, the American company request the dissolution of Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions LLC to the Delaware Court of Chancery.[46][47] 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.[48][49][50]


  • Brookfield Johnson Controls is a joint venture with Brookfield Properties to provide commercial property management services in Canada. Established in 1992, it was 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.[51]
  • Diniz Johnson Controls is a joint venture with Diniz Holding in Turkey building complete 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".[52]
  • On June 6, 2015, It exits from automotive seating business to concentrate on core business of building ventilation and automotive batteries.[53]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Johnson Controls - Fortune 500 - JCI
  2. ^ Johnson Controls - JCI - Fortune Global 500 Top Companies
  3. ^ Johnson Controls and Tyco to Merge PR Newswire. January 2016
  4. ^ a b Stephen Gandell. "You Won't Believe How Much Johnson Controls' CEO Is Making on the Tyco Deal". Fortune 25 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Johnson Controls to restate results". 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Johnson Controls and Tyco to merge, to be based in low-tax Ireland". Globe and Mail, 25 January 2016.
  9. ^ Craig Gilbert "Hillary Clinton slams Johnson Controls-Tyco deal". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 27 January 2016.
  10. ^ 499 U.S. 187, 111 S.Ct. 1196
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ "Turn that light off!". The Economist. 28 May 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  13. ^ Ivanova, Irina (24 June 2013). "Empire State Bldg's energy savings beat forecast". Crains. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  14. ^ Hope, Gerhard (26 May 2010). "Johnson Controls secures Burj Khalifa contract". Arabian Industry. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  15. ^ Adler, Roger (18 June 2012). "In Control" (PDF). The National Law Journal. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  16. ^ 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. 
  17. ^ New York Times, February 4, 1986.
  18. ^ Arnstein & Lehr, The First 120 Years. pp. 110-113. ISBN 978-0-615-89503-1
  19. ^ Chicago Tribune, May 15, 1990
  20. ^ Mervills Illinois Legal Times, July 1, 1990, as corrected on November 5, 1990.
  21. ^ In re San Juan DuPont Plz. Hotel, 768 F. Supp. 912, 936 (Puerto Rico U.S. Dist. 1991)
  22. ^ Content, Thomas (5 October 2010). "Johnson Controls to provide real estate services for Verizon". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  23. ^ "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. 
  24. ^ "Club Car Awards Johnson Controls as a Top Supplier". Small Vehicle Resource. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  25. ^ Content, Thomas (28 February 2013). "Johnson Controls' modified hybrid car batteries will power electric boat motor". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  26. ^ "Johnson Controls modifies automotive PHEV Li-ion batteries for marine application; Torqeedo Deep Blue". Green Car Congress. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  27. ^ Houlahan, Mark (September 2013). "Optima's Digital 400 - Charge It Right". Mustang Monthly. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  28. ^ a b c Rosevear, John (20 November 2012). "Under the Hood of Johnson Controls". The Motley Fool. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  29. ^ Team, Trefis (14 June 2013). "Johnson Controls Shores Up Its Market Share As Exide Files For Bankruptcy". Forbes. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  30. ^ 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. 
  31. ^ GOPWANI, JEWEL (10 April 2010). "Battery hub takes root in state". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  32. ^ Schwartz, Ariel (4 February 2009). "Johnson Controls Awarded Battery Contract for Ford's First Hybrid Plug-In Vehicle". Greenbiz. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  33. ^ 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. 
  34. ^ Engel, Jeff (14 January 2013). "Johnson Controls supplies start-stop battery for 2013 Ford Fusion". Milwaukee Business Journal. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  35. ^ Content, Thomas (19 April 2013). "Johnson Controls to supply start-stop batteries for Chery Jaguar Land Rovers". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  36. ^ 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. 
  37. ^ Moran, Tim (15 January 2013). "Johnson Controls Offers Start-Stop Battery System". New York Times. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  38. ^ 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. 
  39. ^ CHAVEZ, JON (7 August 2013). "Local Johnson Controls facility to make batteries for Chevy Eco". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  40. ^ a b CAMERON, DOUG (31 December 2010). "Johnson Controls in Big Parts Deal". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  41. ^ Marsh, Peter (28 December 2011). August 2013 "Car seat maker eyes new mattress spring" Check |url= value (help). Financial Times. 
  42. ^ Clothier, Mark (11 August 2011). "Magna, Lear May Lead Global Consolidation of Automotive-Interior Suppliers". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  43. ^ Healey, James R. (March 23, 2008). "Mercedes sees electric-car progress". 
  44. ^ a b
  45. ^
  46. ^ a b Pentland, William (19 May 2011). "Battery Battle Brews for Johnson Controls, Saft". Forbes. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  47. ^ a b Fehrenbacher, Katie (19 May 2011). "Report: Johnson Controls Divorcing Saft Over Grid Battery Market". Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  48. ^ King, Danny (7 September 2011). "Johnson Controls Buys Out Saft Joint Venture". Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  49. ^ Warburton, Simon (5 September 2011). "US: Johnson Controls and Saft finish battery joint venture". Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  50. ^ Barrett, Rick (2 September 2011). "Johnson Controls, Saft agree to end joint venture". Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^

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