Shanghai Johnson Controls Factory

Johnson Controls’ joint venture with Shanghai Thermostat

January 14, 1993 (PD: 201401)

Johnson Controls’ Briefing newsletter from January 14, 1993 reported that the Controls Group (today’s Building Efficiency Business Unit) had recently signed a joint venture agreement with Shanghai Thermostat in China to manufacture basic refrigeration and temperature controls. The joint venture, called Shanghai Johnson Controls Factory Ltd., was to be based in Shanghai.

Prior to 1993, the company served the Chinese market through direct sales from the Hong Kong office.  However, an in-country manufacturing capability was desired to take better advantage of the market opportunities created by the rapidly growing Chinese economy.

According to Robert Netolicka, Johnson Controls president and general manager of Systems Products worldwide, the goal of the joint venture was to “get ahead of our competition and establish ourselves in the large control product market in China.”

Shanghai Thermostat JV

Shanghai Johnson Controls Factory Ltd. building and one of the switches manufactured there (1995 Annual Report)

Initial manufacturing occurred in an existing Shanghai Thermostat plant.  By September 1995, Johnson Controls had opened a newly-built manufacturing plant in Shanghai to produce two product lines: a temperature control switch for commercial refrigeration units and a pressure switch.  Many of the Chinese workers in the new factory had been sent for training to a company plant in Mexico which produced these products.

In addition to the factory, a new branch office was opened in Shanghai in 1995.