Axalta has broken ground on a new phase of its Jiading plant in Shanghai, which the company feels represents an important new investment in environmentally responsible waterborne coatings by Axalta in China.
Axalta expects the plant will be operational by early 2021 and will position it to meet rising demand for sustainable coatings from automotive and industrial customers across southern and eastern China.
“This investment into waterborne coatings production is vital to the current and future growth of Axalta,” said Steven Markevich, Executive Vice President and President, Transportation Coatings and Greater China, Axalta. “Maintaining a leading position in the global waterborne coatings market is critical for Axalta and one that we intend to invest in for our long-term success.
“As the Chinese market for automobiles and industrial goods continues to grow, evolve and mature, we believe this investment will place us in an ideal position to meet growing demand among our customers for sustainable products and innovative applications across southern and eastern China. This new milestone will enable us to stay at the forefront of delivering the latest generation of waterborne coating products and positions us for future technology advances and customer requirements.”
China has the world’s largest automotive market and second-largest car parc, with a total vehicle population of 348 million at the end of 2019. The company says car ownership per thousand people in China has surpassed global averages, demonstrating ample potential for future growth in China’s automotive industry. Axalta believes China’s coatings market is being advanced by the government and the industry, which envisions a future where only businesses with environmentally responsible products and production can survive and grow.
“As the industry continues upgrading to sustainable products, the waterborne coatings market will likewise continue to grow in China,” said Willie Wu, President of Axalta Greater China. “The next generation of world-leading waterborne coatings technology that will be produced at our expanded facility is designed to benefit the industry and environment by creating superior appearance, lowering energy consumption, and reducing carbon dioxide and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.
“Our investment in waterborne coatings production will embody the principles of sustainable manufacturing, while ensuring we continue to meet both our efficiency and profitability goals. This win-win scenario will be a long-term competitive edge that will benefit our company and our customers.”
Axalta said the plant will combine its best practices with China’s local R&D advantages and implement a unique design process. It will include automated production technology to maximise productivity, reduce energy consumption and minimise environmental impacts.
“China’s automotive and industrial coatings industries are rapidly upgrading their manufacturing processes to continue delivering high-quality products, while becoming more sustainable,” said Sun Lianying, Chairman of the China National Coating Industry Association. “With its Jiading waterborne plant, Axalta set the gold standard in the industry in 2015, and this expansion is further proof of its commitment to the sustainable development of the Chinese market and the industries it serves.”