New technologies to make their way into vehicles within two to five years

Continuing its leadership in offering seat technologies that provide the ultimate in comfort, Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI - news) ComfortLab(TM) unveiled its Comfort Cools(TM), Comfort Massages(TM) and Comfort Renews(TM) seating technologies at a ride-and-drive event held today on Detroit's Belle Isle raceway. The company expects the technologies to make their way into vehicles within the next two to five years.

"Our consumer research has consistently shown that interior comfort is a top priority among vehicle buyers," said Bob Ellis, vice president of product marketing and brand development for Johnson Controls. "We are confident that these new seating technologies will help differentiate vehicles, affect purchase decisions and strongly influence consumer satisfaction."

Comfort Cools(TM) technology uses two specially designed fans to create a vacuum inside the seat that is capable of drawing a small amount of compartment air through the occupant-to-seat contact surface. The technology removes heat and moisture and comfortably cools the occupant's back and thighs, while keeping clothing dry and preventing wrinkles.

The cooling technology can be operated through a switch located on the side of the seat, vehicle door or instrument panel, which can be incorporated with current seat heat switches.

Comfort Cools technology was jointly developed by Johnson Controls, Fergas AB and its partner AutoControl AB, through extensive research using heated thermal mannequins. The system is compatible with current vehicle seat heating devices. Johnson Controls is integrating the cooling technology through an exclusive agreement. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Comfort Massages(TM) seating by Johnson Controls features a series of electronic vibrating motors positioned in key areas of the seat to create adjustable massage rhythms and intensity. Unlike other massage seats, ComfortMassage focuses on both the back and the legs and allows the driver to select the pattern and intensity that best suits his or her needs.

The technology -- which was created by JB Research, Inc., and integrated by Johnson Controls through an exclusive agreement -- targets fatigue experienced during extended travel by stimulating blood flow to reduce muscle tension and stress.

Comfort Renews(TM) seating by Johnson Controls incorporates a pair of air bladders or cushions under an occupant's buttocks that alternately inflate and deflate to impart a natural walking-type movement. The periodic and subtle movements keep the lower body in motion and can aid in increased blood and sinovial fluid circulation -- which could reduce occupant fatigue, discomfort, aches, numbness, lower back pain and stiffness.

An on-and-off button mounted either on the side of the seat, the vehicle door or on the instrument panel controls the technology.

Comfort Renews technology was developed by a structural engineer from Winnetka, Illinois, to enhance vehicle comfort for his daughter who suffers from cystic fibrosis.

According to Ellis, the human body is a load-bearing structure that is not designed to sit in one position for long periods of time. These technologies will help improve an occupant's physical tolerance to sustained sitting during increased drive time.

The Comfort Cools, Comfort Massages and Comfort Renews technologies have undergone extensive development and testing at Johnson Controls' Comfort Lab(TM). The company launched the 3,200-square-foot Comfort Lab at its Plymouth, Michigan technical center in July 1998. The $3.5 million lab features the most advanced technologies for researching and designing products to optimize vehicle occupant comfort in the interior.

The Plymouth, Michigan-based automotive business of Johnson Controls -- which employs more than 65,000 people at 275 facilities worldwide -- achieved US$12.1 billion in sales for the 1999 fiscal year. In model-year 2000, it will supply interior products for more than 23 million vehicles.

Johnson Controls, Inc. is a global market leader in automotive systems and facility management and control. In the automotive market, it is a major supplier of seating and interior systems, and batteries. For non-residential facilities, Johnson Controls provides building control systems and services, energy management and integrated facility management. Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI), founded in 1885, has headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, (U.S.A.). Its sales for 1999 totaled US$16.1 billion.