The lithium-ion cells and modules will be manufactured at the Johnson Controls-Saft production plant in Nersac, France. The facility, which is also the world’s first production plant making lithium-ion batteries for hybrid electric vehicles, opened in January this year and can be upgraded to expand production as demand increases.
“Johnson Controls-Saft is delighted to announce this contract with BMW for our lithium-ion technology. This contract consolidates our leading position in lithium-ion batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles,” said Mary Ann Wright, vice-president and general manager of Johnson Controls' hybrid battery operations and who is also leading the joint venture between the two companies.
We should note that Johnson Controls-Saft is also a joint venture that has brought together Johnson Controls - the world’s leading supplier of automotive batteries - with Saft, which is a world leader in high technology batteries with extensive Li-ion battery expertise. In other words, the contract depicted in today's news almost became a “tri-venture.”
Officials from the company also said that the agreement with BMW is the second lithium-ion production contract for Johnson Controls-Saft, though without mentioning who beat BMW to it (another German premium car brand does come to mind, doesn't it?).