Citing increasing global demand for automotive batteries for start-stop technology, Johnson Controls (JCI) is spending US$100m to build a new plant for them in China. The plant will start production in early 2013, supplying global and local automakers in Asia.

JCI plans annual capacity of 2.4m start-stop batteries by 2015 in China alone.

“We project that China will continue to be the fastest growing market for automobiles through the end of this decade. At the same time, interest in the environment and more energy efficient vehicles is driving many of our OE customers to add start-stop vehicles to their fleets,” said sales and marketing head Kim Metcalf-Kupres.

The company is considering several locations for the new plant and expects to make a final decision within months.