Our history

A story of powering progress

Clarios has been setting the standard for energy storage solutions for over 130 years.

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Rich history, new beginning

Clarios, formerly Johnson Controls, began in 1885 with the founding of the Johnson Electric Service Company, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


In 1978, Johnson Controls acquired Globe Union – a company universally recognized for breakthroughs in battery design – to become the leader in the United States automotive battery production.

In 2019, Johnson Controls sold its Power Solutions division to Brookfield Business Partners, launching Clarios — a new beginning for an already established world leader in advanced energy storage solutions.

Strategic acquisitions leading the way for growth

Over the next 100 years, the following leading brands were formed, ultimately becoming part of the Clarios family of brands. Explore our combined legacy.

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1887 - VARTA

Adolf Muller launches his company in Hagen, Germany that will pave the way for VARTA and in 1904 the VARTA name is born. Clarios, formerly Johnson Controls, invests for the future, acquiring VARTA in November 2002.

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1928 - LTH

The leading battery brand in Mexico was born out of an experimental business started by Don Luis Terrazas Hernandez. Clarios, formerly Johnson Controls Power Solutions, acquired LTH in 2004.

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1931 - Heliar

Born in 1931, Heliar was the first lead-acid battery for electric motor vehicles in Brazil.

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1964 - MAC

Ernesto Antonio and his brother Jose started Mejia Amaya y CIA LTDA in Colombia, and in 1968 they officially launched the MAC battery brand. In 2003, they signed a contract to become a Johnson Controls supplier, paving the way for its future as part of the Clarios family.

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1972 - OPTIMA

Two men working for the R&D department at Gates Rubber Company of Denver, Colorado, filed a patent for the world’s first AGM maintenance free lead-acid battery. It wasn’t until 1990 that Gates officially incorporated its successful battery business, creating OPTIMA. Clarios, formerly Johnson Controls Power Solutions, acquired OPTIMA in early 2000.

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1985 - DELKOR

Delkor Co. Ltd was established as a joint venture with GM, the biggest automotive company in the US. In 2010, Delkor joined Clarios, formerly Johnson Controls Power Solutions, to become part of the world’s largest automotive battery enterprise.

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Our long history of innovation

Clarios has a 130+ year tradition of innovation and growth.

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Developing the PowerFrame technology

In 2002 we introduced the PowerFrame grid-making process, an innovation that offers increased performance through better electrical flow and greater durability.
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The first AGM battery

In 2003, VARTA batteries are the first-ever AGM batteries for OE manufacturers of luxury vehicles; by 2012 more than 80% of European vehicles of start-stop technology would be fitted with this brand of battery technology.
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Driving sustainability forward

In 2012, Clarios invested more than $150 million to bring a state-of-the-art recycling facility to Florence, South Carolina. At its launch, the facility was equipped to recycle the equivalent of more than 14 million automotive batteries per year, advancing our leading closed loop system. 

A clear vision for the road ahead

Today, we are the industry leader in smart energy storage solutions. Experts in battery applications and the systems that rely on them. And pioneer of the most efficient circular economy that exists. Tomorrow, we’ll evolve with our customers, in a marketplace that’s expanding. We are Clarios, and the road ahead is clear.

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