Exide Technologies Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Fort Smith, Arkansas Facility Operations

November 19, 2015

Milton, Georgia (November 19, 2015) – In 1975, gasoline cost 44 cents per gallon, the Pittsburgh Steelers won Super Bowl IX, and in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Western Electric opened a new manufacturing facility to produce network power backup batteries for AT&T and Bell Telephone systems. Backup power was essential to the growth of the telecom industry by enabling telephones to work when the power was out.

With its acquisition of GNB Technologies in September of 2000, the Fort Smith facility became part of Exide Technologies. Over the past 40 years, the capabilities of the Fort Smith operation have rapidly expanded to include the production of products including backup power for vast networks of wireless telecommunications systems, uninterruptible power systems (UPS) that support nuclear, fossil fuel and hydroelectric power plants, railroad signaling systems and submarines, and motive power batteries for the materials handling industry. The products for these energy storage systems and applications are made in Fort Smith and marketed by the Company’s Industrial Power Division under the GNB brands: Absolyte®, one of the world's best-selling large valve-regulated (VRLA) batteries for network power, railroad and military applications; GNB® Flooded Classic®, flooded flat plate network power batteries; and Element®, VRLA batteries for light retail and medium warehouse material handling applications. All are made at Fort Smith by the approximately 200 team members who work at the Company’s 224,000 square foot facility and who have been instrumental to the Company’s success in these markets.

“This 40th anniversary at the Fort Smith facility gives Exide employees the opportunity to look at our history with pride while we look toward our future with optimism,” said Vic Koelsch, President and Chief Executive Officer of Exide Technologies. “For 40 years, this plant and its people have been a core part of Exide’s success. As Exide evolves, the passion and commitment of the people at Fort Smith will be an essential element in our success. I thank all of them for the contributions they have made thus far and look forward to the future.”

The Fort Smith facility commemorated its 40th anniversary on November 19 with a celebration of success and community partnership. Facility employees and Vic Koelsch were joined by Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders, Arkansas Senator Jake Files, (Republican-District 8), and Arkansas Representative Mat Pitsch, (Republican, District 76). 

“Our employees should take great pride in their work and contributions to their community. We are committed to being an employer and supplier of choice—both here in Fort Smith and in our national and international markets,” said Koelsch.

About Exide Technologies

Exide Technologies (www.exide.com) is a global provider of stored electrical energy solutions—batteries and associated equipment and services for transportation and industrial markets. With 127 years of industry experience and operating in more than 80 countries, Exide produces and recycles a broad range of products that keep customers and their businesses powering forward. Leading car, truck and lift truck manufacturers trust Exide as an original equipment supplier, and Exide serves the transportation and industrial aftermarket through a comprehensive portfolio of products and services. The Company’s extensive sales, distribution and service network provides flexibility and quality for an exceptional customer experience.

The Exide Transportation business manufactures and markets starting, deep-cycle, and micro-hybrid batteries for automotive, light and heavy-duty truck, agricultural, marine, military, powersport, and other specialty applications. Exide serves the global transportation marketplace with successful and well-known product offerings and brands, along with battery diagnostic equipment and charging systems.

Exide serves the Industrial Power markets with its GNB®-branded efficient energy storage systems for both Motive Power and Network Power customers. Motive Power applications include materials handling (power for lift trucks, airside assistance vehicles, and automatic guided vehicles); cleaning machines; railroads; military and mining vehicles; and other commercial electric vehicles. Network Power installations include standby power for electric utilities; telecommunications systems; alarm/security systems; renewable energy systems; railway systems; uninterruptible power supply (UPS); and defense industry equipment.

Exide’s innovative technologies and advanced /premium products include Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) and Enhanced Flooded Batteries (EFB) for start-stop and energy recuperation in automotive applications, along with flooded and VRLA (AGM and GEL) products, market leading motive power tubular products and smart charging systems for industrial applications.   

At Exide Technologies, It All Starts Now. History and scale, combined with a start-up mentality, make Exide the faster, more nimble, more innovative, more digital, and more responsive alternative for customers who want more than simply a battery supplier. Exide is “the 127 Year Old Start-Up”, and the Company is moving forward—bringing the energy of the “new Exide” to customers around the world.