A report from the Nikkei suggests that Japanese electronics maker Hitachi Ltd. and American parts supplier Johnson Controls Inc. have teamed up in a big way. The two firms apparently tied the knot (in a secret ceremony, perhaps?) and will assemble their collective might to develop and produce lithium-ion and other advanced battery technologies. The deal reportedly includes work on power electronics and electric vehicle components as well. The tie up could lead to major contracts with automakers and both Hitachi and Johnson Controls are open to the idea of expanding production capacity by adding plants in the U.S., Europe and Asia. The reason for the partnership is to boost sales of advanced automobile and smart grid batteries around the world through lower production costs.

With this move, it appears Hitachi and Johnson Controls are eyeing a full collaborative agreement – including a possible joint venture – on the automotive front, one that could produce a powerful "new" player in the advanced vehicle industry.

[Source: Green Car Congress]

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