Johnson Controls and Hitachi announce global air conditioning joint venture
December 17, 2013 - Johnson Controls and Hitachi have announced a global air conditioning joint venture, in which Johnson Controls will obtain a 60% ownership stake in Hitachi Appliances’ global air conditioning business, with products such as variable refrigerant flow (VRF) and inverter technologies supporting both commercial and residential markets.
By Alyssa Dalton
“Technology leadership derived from its ongoing investments in research and development have established Hitachi as a key contributor to the global HVAC industry,” said Alex Molinaroli, president and CEO, Johnson Controls. “The addition of these capabilities adds key technologies to our product portfolio. Combined with our existing $15 billion building technologies and services business, this investment positions Johnson Controls as the world’s largest commercial air conditioning provider.”
The proposed joint venture comes at a time when the worldwide air conditioning market is rapidly changing, said Johnson Controls, adding that customers are increasingly demanding air conditioning options with better energy efficiency in response to an increase in energy-saving and environmentally-protective regulations.
“Both companies have a long and proud history of innovation and growth in the industry with similar values and cultures,” said Hiroaki Nakanishi, president of Hitachi. “As the worldwide air conditioning business environment continues to evolve, we believe Johnson Controls and Hitachi’s partnership can supply integrated solutions to fulfill the needs of customers around the world.”
“This is great news for our customers who will benefit from the full range of solutions, equipment and service that Johnson Controls and Hitachi can offer them on a global scale,” added Molinaroli.
The joint venture—which excludes sales and service operations in Japan and certain other assets—is expected to begin operations in 2014.