Battery/ Tech Acquisitions for Growth

Johnson Controls acquires HOPPECKE automotive battery business

October 1, 2001 (PD: 201711)

Johnson Controls completed its acquisition of automotive battery manufacturer HOPPECKE Automotive GmbH & Co. KG (HOPPECKE) of Brilon, Germany from Accumulatorenwerke HOPPECKE Carl Zoellner & Sohn GmbH on October 1, 2001.

The privately-held HOPPECKE, which had manufacturing sites in Germany and sales and distribution offices in the U. K. and France, had annual sales of more than $100 million in 2001.  HOPPECKE’s major customers included DaimlerChrysler, Ford, MAN, Peugeot, and Volkswagen.

With the HOPPECKE acquisition, Johnson Controls gained HOPPECKE’s vlies.tec® absorbent glass mat (AGM) automotive battery technology.  Typical lead-acid automotive batteries have free-flowing electrolyte, whereas vlies.tec® batteries used AGM to hold the electrolyte, thereby preventing spilling or leaking, even when the battery case was ruptured.  Thus, vlies.tec® technology gave automakers the flexibility to safely move the batteries outside of the engine compartment and away from its life-shortening heat.

Vlies.tec® technology also provided more power and longer life than traditional batteries and was a core technology for the emerging 42-volt vehicle electrical systems.  In 2000, Johnson Controls had acquired Gylling Optima Batteries AB of Sweden with their OPTIMA spiral-wound AGM battery technology.

Keith Wandell, president of the Johnson Controls battery business, remarked, “With the vlies.tec prismatic flat plate and OPTIMA spiral wound batteries, Johnson Controls AGM technology is anticipated to cover the broadest range of cycling requirements for high voltage automobiles.”