Luxembourg, 3-3-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — Johnson Controls, a global multi-industrial company with established core businesses in the automotive, building and energy storage industries, is strengthening its research and development in the field of eco-friendly automotive equipment. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is therefore making a EUR 220m loan available to the company, and an agreement to that effect has now been signed by both parties in Luxembourg.
Johnson Controls is a technological and market leader in the development of car seats and complete seating systems in particular. The loan now being provided by the EIB will help Johnson Controls to advance its R&D activities. One of the areas that the company is addressing is reducing the weight of seats by using lighter materials and thus to further decrease the overall weight of vehicles. Lighter vehicles will in turn help reduce harmful emissions. The aim is to help automakers to comply with the increasingly stringent environmental standards. However, safety aspects also play a role. The seats, together with other car interior components, are intended to be both reliable and durable, as well as to be produced in a cost-effective manner.
The project will also make an important contribution to the vocational training of adolescents and young adults, as part of the loan is to be used for vocational training programmes in the company’s production plants in Germany. Around 240 apprentices will benefit from these programmes throughout the duration of the project. In this way the project will help to safeguard jobs and increase know-how.
“Johnson Controls is one of the industrial enterprises whose commitment to research and development is well above-average. It thus makes a crucial contribution to Europe’s innovative capability and competitive strengths. Furthermore, a knowledge-based economy is dependent on a skilled and competent workforce. The vocational training aspect is therefore another important element of the funding that has now been made available”, said EIB Vice-President Wilhelm Molterer, whose responsibilities include the Bank’s activities in Germany.
“Johnson Controls highly appreciates this loan from the EIB. It will enable us to further strengthen our research and development activities in the field of eco-friendly automotive seating solutions”, said Jean-Philippe De Waele, Treasurer Europe, Middle East and Africa for Johnson Controls.
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