2006-10-26, Skopje, Macedonia -- Johnson Controls, a leader in automotive interior experience, lays the foundation stone of a new automotive electronics plant in Eastern Europe on 5 October. The ground breaking ceremony takes place in the presence of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, along with John Barth, Chairman and CEO, John Fiori, Executive Vice President and President Johnson Controls International and other representatives of Johnson Controls. The new plant is part of Johnson Controls’ strategy for Eastern Europe and production is due to start at the end of 2007. It is anticipated that by the end of 2008, around 150 new employees will have been hired to assemble printed circuit boards in a total workspace of around 6,000 square meters.
“This foundation stone signifies an important and exciting achievement for Skopje and Johnson Controls,” said company Chairman and CEO John Barth. “The Macedonian government has been extremely committed and I would like to thank its officials for their work in supporting this effort. I have no doubt that our partnership will yield excellent results for both Johnson Controls and the Skopje community.”
The new plant is part of Johnson Controls’ long-term strategic objective to position itself in the growth markets of Eastern Europe. Primarily Slovakia is to be supplied from here. The company is investing around USD$20 million in the new plant being built in Bunardzik, a free economic zone located a few kilometers from Skopje. Over the next few years, the capacity of the new plant will be successively adjusted to the order volume. The new location will enable some very good synergies to be leveraged with the development center of the company located only 200 kilometers away in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Social commitment as a corporate objective
“We are always conscious of our social responsibility and here in Macedonia we are making an investment in the future,” explained John Fiori. This investment by the company is not only in the construction of the plant but also in technology, people and the community. For instance, Johnson Controls has a scholarship program at the university in Skopje, where the company provides financial support to 35 students for a maximum of four years.
From these students 20 are already in their second year and 15 are new to the program. These scholarships are set up to ensure that the very high educational standard required by the automotive industry is maintained.
The Macedonia scholarship program is just one example of Johnson Controls’ global commitment to corporate citizenship. Another example is the company’s global sustainability initiative, which focuses on people and the environment – to the benefit of the communities where it does business. “We believe one of the reasons we have been very successful for the past 120 years is that we have strong corporate values,” said Barth. “These values – integrity, customer satisfaction, our employees, improvement and innovation, and safety and the environment – are the foundation of how we do business all over the world.”
Johnson Controls is a global leader in interior experience, building efficiency and power solutions with 136,000 employees in more than 1,000 locations serving customers in 125 countries. The company provides innovative automotive interiors that help make driving more comfortable, safe and enjoyable. For buildings, it offers products and services that optimize energy use and improve comfort and security. Johnson Controls’ automotive product portfolio also includes seating systems, instrument panels/cockpits, door and overhead systems, interior electronics and electrical energy management. The company provides batteries for automobiles and hybrid electric vehicles, along with systems engineering and service expertise. Founded in 1885, Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The European headquarters is in Burscheid, Germany. Please visit www.johnsoncontrols.com for additional information.
Source: Johnson Controls