Added Functions Planned for HomeLink(R) Universal Transceiver, a Major Success Story for Johnson Controls' Brand-name Strategy
5 January 1998Added Functions Planned for HomeLink(R) Universal Transceiver, a Major Success Story for Johnson Controls' Brand-name Strategy
Popularity of Vehicle-Integrated Communications Device Reflects Consumer Demand for Enhanced Auto Interiors PLYMOUTH, Mich., Jan. 4 -- A small electronic device in your vehicle's overhead console or sun visor will enable you to check your tire pressure, record and store "reminder" messages, automatically pay for gasoline purchases and summon your kids with short-range paging messages. Those are just some of the features that will be added in the coming years to the HomeLink(R) Universal Transceiver, one of Johnson Controls' most successful brand-name electronic products. Approximately 3.5 million cars, trucks and vans worldwide currently have HomeLink products on board -- devices that can be used to remotely open garage doors, operate door locks, and activate other home lighting, safety and convenience systems. With its unique and user-friendly functions, HomeLink has achieved growing popularity among the people who buy cars, and those who build them. To date, HomeLink has been featured as an option on more than 70 vehicle platforms. HomeLink was introduced in 1995 by Prince, a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson Controls located in Holland, Michigan. Johnson Controls is the world's largest supplier of automotive seating and interior systems. "No matter what kind of vehicle they're buying, people today expect a lot more out of its interior -- in terms of function, performance and the 'bells and whistles' that make life easier," said Mike Suman, vice president of advanced sales and marketing for Prince. "The tremendous market success of HomeLink says that added interior capabilities sell." In its first year on the market, HomeLink was installed as an option on 300,000 vehicles. In the 1998 model year, more than 1.3 million vehicles will feature HomeLink devices. Within the next few years, the product will be included in models produced by Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Honda, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Lexus, Lincoln, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Oldsmobile and Toyota. The current-generation HomeLink Universal Transceiver replaces up to four remote controls in one compact unit. The product makes use of advanced radio frequency technology. As a result, engineers at Johnson Controls and Prince will be able to add more functions to future versions of HomeLink with relative ease. "HomeLink is among the first of many brand-name interior products we'll supply in large volume to add value, differentiate vehicles and surprise and delight consumers," said Suman. In expanding the market for HomeLink, Prince has created strategic partnerships to ensure that the device is compatible with garage door openers, power locks, light systems and security products supplied by a wide range of manufacturers. The company has partnerships with Chamberlain, Overhead Door/Genie, Lift-Master, Sears Craftsman, Stanley/Whistler and Wayne Dalton for garage door openers; Weiser Lock for home entry door power-bolt locks; Radio Shack and X-10 for lighting kits; Overhead Door/Genie and Stanley/Whistler for estate gates; and Ademco, ITI and Protection One for home security systems. "The partnerships we've developed have enabled us to add a growing list of functions to HomeLink, an approach we'll continue to pursue," said Suman. "Our goal is to reinforce the consumer's view that the HomeLink brand name is synonymous with performance, convenience and value. "Johnson Controls, Inc., with headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a global market leader in automotive systems and building controls. Through its Automotive System Group, it designs and produces seating and interior systems for automakers worldwide, and batteries for the original equipment and replacement markets. The Controls Group serves the non-residential buildings market with controls systems and services, and integrated facility management. Founded in 1885, Johnson Controls operates in more than 500 locations around the world. Johnson Controls securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with the trading symbol "JCI." The Plymouth, Michigan-based Automotive Systems Group of Johnson Controls is the world's largest supplier of vehicle seating and interior systems, and is a major supplier of batteries. In 1997, the company's worldwide operations supplied products for more than 20 million vehicles. The Automotive Systems Group employs more than 45,000 people at 157 facilities worldwide and achieved $8 billion in sales for the 1997 fiscal year. During the same period, Johnson Controls, Inc. (all divisions) recorded sales of $11.1 billion. Prince -- a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson Controls located in Holland, Michigan -- is aleading provider of automotive interior systems and electronics. For access to other Johnson Controls news releases and additional company information, visit the company's site on the World Wide Web at http://www.johnsoncontrols.com. CONTACT: Jeff Steiner of Johnson Controls, 734-254-5932 Company News On-Call: http://www.prnewswire.com or fax, 800-758-5804, ext. 473547/ SOURCE Johnson Controls, Inc.