Johnson Controls, Milwaukee, Wis., and Japan-based Hitachi Ltd. and Hitachi Appliances, Inc. completed their global joint venture agreement and will immediately commence operations of Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning to provide global customers with a full range of air conditioning products and technology.

Through the agreement, Johnson Controls acquired a 60% ownership stake of the new entity; Hitachi Appliances retains ownership of the remaining 40%.

The joint venture consists of approximately 14,000 employees and 24 global locations dedicated to design, engineering and manufacturing throughout Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Customers worldwide will now have access to a diverse range of air conditioning products, including Hitachi's variable refrigerant flow systems, residential air conditioning solutions, high-efficiency chillers and rotary and scroll compressors, in addition to Johnson Controls' HVAC and building automation solutions.

The joint venture's management team will be led by Franz Cerwinka, chief executive officer, and Shinichi Iizuka, president and COO. Cerwinka has 20 years of experience with Johnson Controls, including four years in Japan as vice president of finance with the company's automotive business. He’s also work with more than 10 joint ventures. Iizuka has been with Hitachi for over 35 years, having spent eight years in India as the president of Hitachi Home & Life Solutions India Ltd. He has led Hitachi's air conditioning business since 2013.

"We are very pleased to start operations, and are anxious to serve our customers with an unmatched global network of channels and technology," says Cerwinka. "Johnson Controls and Hitachi are a perfect match with our complementary product lines, unparalleled brands and rich 100-year histories."

"I have spent my career with Hitachi and know that combining with Johnson Controls will propel us forward to outperform the competition," adds Iizuka. "Just as Hitachi and Johnson Controls have each made innovation the foundation of their separate success, innovation will now be the cornerstone of Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning's success."