Companies in this industry manufacture primary (disposable) batteries and storage (rechargeable) batteries for consumer, automotive, and industrial use. Major US companies include East Penn Manufacturing, Energizer, EnerSys, Exide Technologies, Duracell, and Spectrum Brands (Rayovac); leading companies based outside the US include Taiwan's Cheng Uei Precision Industry (known as Foxlink), GP Batteries (Singapore), GS Yuasa (Japan), Johnson Controls (Ireland), and SAFT (France).
Demand depends primarily on the level of activity in the automotive and electronic sectors of the economy. Personal income drives new battery purchases in consumer goods, and consumer usage levels drive demand for replacement batteries. Large companies have economies of scale in purchasing. Smaller producers compete by focusing on specialized products and customer service. The US industry is highly concentrated: the eight largest companies account for about 75% of revenue.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Major product categories are storage batteries (about 65% of industry revenue) and primary batteries (about 35%). Storage batteries (also called secondary batteries) are rechargeable; primary batteries are discarded after the initial stored energy is consumed. Examples of storage batteries are automotive and laptop computer batteries. Primary batteries include standard dry cell batteries (AA, AAA, C, D, and 9-volt) used in flashlights, radios, remote controls, and a variety of specialty applications, such as hearing aids and implantable medical devices.