One of China’s largest lead-acid battery manufacturers has opened a factory to make start-stop batteries that it will supply directly to OEM firms such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen.
The factory, in Baoding in the Hebei province, China, has an annual capacity of five million batteries.
Fengfan, a subsidiary of the Baoding-based Sail state-owned company, which deputy general manager Wang Jiangxin claims will generate sales of US$157 million.
“This is new technology in China and we are the number one in producing stop-start batteries for the medium to high-profile products,” he said.
Fengfan’s batteries were used in every tank and missile launcher that marched on Tian’anmen Square on September 3, when China marked the 70th anniversary of the ending of the second World War.
In April, Johnson Controls Power Solutions China announced it would make its first batch of advanced lead-acid batteries for local and global start-stop vehicles.
It predicted the global market for stop-start vehicles would reach 49 million by 2020.
Wood Mackenzie principal analyst Farid Ahmed said the number of lead-acid battery manufacturers in China had been slashed from 3,000 to just 300 in recent years under a batch of new government regulations, although he was confident demand would remain stable.