Axalta Announces 2020 Global Automotive Color Of The Year

Axalta unveiled its 2020 Global Automotive Colour of the Year, “Sea Glass”, a turquoise blue that is inspired by nature’s waterways and oceans, and glitters in sunlight.

Axalta’s 2019 Global Automotive Colour Popularity Report stated that blue vehicles comprise seven per cent of the global automotive market, ranking fifth overall following white, black, grey and silver. The regions with the highest level of blue vehicles are North America and Europe at 10 per cent.

“The trend toward turquoise blues is growing,” said Nancy Lockhart, Axalta Global Product Manager – Colour. “Sea Glass was designed for all vehicle types, from compact and sport vehicles to medium sedans and large SUVs and trucks. Bright and pearlescent, Sea Glass is designed to be transmissible for radio detection and ranging (RADAR), meeting the colour trends of today for the autonomous vehicles of tomorrow. The transmission properties of Axalta’s Sea Glass, as well as many colours in our expansive colour portfolio, allow vehicle-to-vehicle detection to occur.”

Ford Issues 2020 Global Trend Report

Ford has released its latest Global Trend Report which addresses several important issues in today’s world, focusing most on trust as a dominant global theme that companies are working to earn back from customers.

The report surveys 14 countries across the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East and suggests that people’s ability to trust peers, communities, elected officials and businesses has a large impact on their day-to-day lives.

“The rate of change globally has been on the rise and without the trust in the institutions, brands and peers to rely on, a majority of people are feeling extremely overwhelmed,” said Sheryl Connelly, Global Consumer Trends and Futuring Manager at Ford. “Consumers want to believe that companies are doing the right thing, but companies also need to give them a clear reason to do so. At Ford, we remain deeply focused on improving the lives of consumers and their communities, so we can continue to have a trusted relationship that moves us forward together.”

Ford’s report outlined other consumer trends which include The Green Paradox, Call to Stand, All Alone, Below the Surface, Great Expectations, Identity Matters and The Second Time Around.

The Green Paradox addresses climate change fears and consumers who aren’t changing behaviours due to belief that their behaviour can’t make a difference, while Call to Stand tackles consumer standpoints on product-based mindsets against value-based mindsets.

All Alone talks about loneliness in the younger generation, Below the Surface touches on trust and transparency between customers and companies and its importance, and Great Expectations focuses on customer expectations for brands over time. Identity Matters opens up about sexual identity and how people understand it, while The Second Time Around discusses how used goods are more acceptable to customers than they were some years ago.

To read Ford’s full Global Trend Report, click here.

CIECAst Webinar Announced For January 2020

CIECA has announced its next CIECAst webinar – It’s 2020: Where Are Claims & the Collision Repair Market Heading? The webinar will be held on Tuesday 21 January, 2020 at 11 AM CST, will run for one hour, and will feature Sean Carey, President of SCG Management Consultants.

Carey will talk about where claims and the collision repair market are heading in the future, while also discussing the best way to prepare based on industry segment –  independent shop, MSO, insurer, OEM or supply chain provider. Carey will also give a long-term view of the market.

Carey has over 30 years of experience in the automotive industry. He has worked at Nissan as manager of its London Certified Collision Repair Program, at Fix Auto where he was jointly responsible for CynCast, and established Carter & Carter International. In 2009, Carey established SCG Management Consulting and has since consulted with all sectors of the automotive claims industry. Over the past five years, he has become a regular speaker at industry conferences regarding telematics and the potential impact it will have on the claims and collision market.

To register for the CIECAst, click here.

Attendees will have the opportunity to take a short quiz to earn credit toward a professional designation from the Automotive Management Institute (AMi) after the CIECAst webinar.

AkzoNobel Celebrates 85 Years Of Wanda Refinish

AkzoNobel is celebrating the 85th anniversary of its Wanda vehicle refinishes brand, a product that started locally but grew into a globally used brand.

Wanda was formed in the early 20th century by Roque Montesano, a Brazillian man who wanted to own his own paint factory. Montesano told his wife that if he succeeded, he would name his brand after their daughter, a goal that he achieved.

AkzoNobel says Wanda is available in over 40 countries on five continents and has a global reputation which is built on its colour accuracy, ease of use, quality and value. Wanda Montesano Ferrara, the original inspiration for the name of the brand, has been involved in the anniversary celebrations too.

“I followed in my father’s footsteps to become an entrepreneur and am very proud to look back, see everything that the Wanda brand has achieved and celebrate these 85 years of moments and memories,” said Wanda.

“Our Wanda brand is synonymous with tradition, evolving technology and quality and has become a preferred choice for market professionals around the world,” said Rakshit Punetha, Global Brand Manager for Wanda. “It’s not only a great example of our passion for paint, it also highlights the huge sense of pride we take from continuing to show the same commitment to customers that Roque first demonstrated all those years ago.”

Wanda is now manufactured in Europe, Asia and at AkzoNobel’s plant in São Paulo, and can be purchased in the US, Spain, Russia, India, Italy, Australia, Poland, China and New Zealand. Wanda is compatible with a range of AkzoNobel’s advanced colour search tools, such as MIXIT, ColorPro and Automatchic Vision.

Ford And McDonald’s Collaborate To Create Car Parts

Ford Motor Company and McDonald’s USA will soon work together by using the discarded skins of roasted coffee beans in vehicle parts such as headlamp housings.

The companies found that coffee chaff, the dried skin of the bean that naturally comes off during the roasting process, can be converted into a durable material to reinforce certain vehicle parts. The chaff is heated to high temperatures under low oxygen, mixed in with plastic and other additives, and turned into pellets which can then be formed into various shapes.

The chaff composite meets quality specifications for parts such as headlamp housings and other interior and engine bay components. The resulting items are around 20 per cent lighter and require up to 25 per cent less energy during the moulding process. Ford said the heat properties of the chaff component are significantly better than the currently used material and is the first time the company has used bean skins to convert into select vehicle parts.

“McDonald’s commitment to innovation was impressive to us and matched our own forward-thinking vision and action for sustainability,” said Debbie Mielewski, Ford Senior Technical Leader. “This has been a priority for Ford for over 20 years, and this is an example of jump starting the closed-loop economy, where different industries work together and exchange materials that otherwise would be side or waste products.”

McDonald’s is expected to give a significant portion of its coffee chaff in North America to Ford to be incorporated into vehicle parts.

“Like McDonald’s, Ford is committed to minimising waste and we’re always looking for innovative ways to further that goal,” said Ian Olson, Senior Director, Global Sustainability, McDonald’s. “By finding a way to use coffee chaff as a resource, we are elevating how companies together can increase participation in the closed-loop economy.”

The project also involves Varroc Lighting Systems, which supplies the headlamps, and Competitive Green Technologies, the processor of the coffee chaff. Ford says its goal is using recycled and renewable plastics in vehicles globally and increasing the range of sustainable materials.

McDonald’s says it is on its way to sourcing all its guest packaging from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025, and helping develop a recyclable and/or compostable cup through the NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge. Both efforts are part of McDonald’s Scale for Good initiative, a global commitment to use its size and scale to drive meaningful change.

Hyundai To Build Its First Indonesian Factory

Hyundai Motor Company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Indonesian government to build its first manufacturing plant in the country.

The plant will be built on a 77.6-hectare site in Kota Deltamas, a district in the eastern outskirts of Jakarta. Hyundai said its decision to invest in Indonesia was made to support its growth into new ASEAN markets, which it expects will help it withstand slowing demand in the global automotive market.

“The establishment of Hyundai Motor’s manufacturing plant in Indonesia has been made possible thanks to the continuous cooperation and support from the Indonesian government,” said Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group. “Hyundai will continue to listen actively and respond to the Indonesian government’s expectations and policies regarding eco-friendly vehicles, while continuously contributing to the ASEAN community.”

Hyundai will invest approximately US$1.55 billion in the plant until 2030, including product development and operation costs, with construction to begin in December this year. The company expects to begin producing vehicles in the second half of 2021 with an annual capacity of 150,000 units, but the plant will eventually be able to build around 250,000 vehicles annually when it reaches full capacity.

The company plans to produce compact SUV, compact MPV, and sedan models specifically designed for customers in South-East Asia at the new plant, which will incorporate facilities for stamping, welding, painting and assembly. Hyundai believes that more than 23,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created at the factory, and will explore production of ASEAN-specific electric vehicles there too.

Vehicles produced at the new facility will be on a build-to-order basis and, as commercial production commences, will also implement a new integrated ‘online-offline-mobile’ retail channel with local businesses to optimise sales and customer experience in Indonesia.

NTSB Blames Uber Oversights For Deadly Self-Driving Crash

The USA’s National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released the results of its investigation into the 2018 fatal Uber crash in Tempe, Arizona, which was widely believed to be the world’s first death by a self-driving car.

During a board meeting held to determine the probable cause of the 18 March crash, the NTSB said an Uber Technologies division’s “inadequate safety culture” contributed to the night-time fatal collision between an Uber automated test vehicle and a pedestrian. The vehicle operator was uninjured in the crash, while the pedestrian, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg who was walking her bike across the street, died.

Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group had modified the striking vehicle, a 2017 Volvo XC90, with a proprietary developmental automated driving system. The vehicle’s factory-installed forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems were deactivated during the operation of the automated system. An Uber ATG operator was in the driver’s seat, but the automated system was controlling the vehicle when it struck the pedestrian at 39 MPH (62 km/h).

The NTSB determined that the immediate cause of the collision was the failure of the Uber ATG operator to closely monitor the road and the operation of the automated driving system because the operator was visually distracted throughout the trip by a personal mobile phone. Contributing to the crash was Uber ATG’s inadequate safety risk assessment procedures, ineffective oversight of the vehicle operators and a lack of adequate mechanisms for addressing operators’ automation complacency – all consequences of the division’s inadequate safety culture.

“Safety starts at the top,” said Robert L. Sumwalt, NTSB Chairman. “The collision was the last link of a long chain of actions and decisions made by an organisation that unfortunately did not make safety the top priority.”

The NTSB recommended that the NHTSA require entities wishing to test a developmental automated driving system on public roads to submit safety self-assessment plans before being allowed to begin or continue testing, and that the NHTSA should review the plans to ensure they include appropriate safeguards.

Robert L. Sumwalt.

Standox Releases 2020 Colours Of Europe Calendar

The 2020 UEFA European Football Championship (Euro 2020) will take place next year with Ireland to host some of the final games alongside other European countries. The Standox 2020 calendar is embracing the tournament, while highlighting certain cars.

Anatol Kotte, a German photographer, has captured Europe’s fascination with football in the Standox 2020 calendar – The Colours of Europe. Kotte captures the flair of 12 European countries in very individual ways, using subtle hints through shop signs, road markings or the colour of a licence plate.

Standox said the calendar’s images show people engrossed in what they do and aims to illustrate that football is more than a European championship, but rather has its roots in people’s playfulness. The calendar also shows some unique and rare vehicles, such as the Spyker C8 (which used to be manufactured near Amsterdam), a Lamborghini Aventador and a GAZ-14 Chaika from Russia.

“We have been working with well-known photographers to design our Standox wall calendar for over 30 years,” says Olaf Adamek, Brand Manager for Standox in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “It is not commercially available, but goes exclusively to customers, partners and friends of the brand. We wish all participating countries the best of luck for all their matches and look forward to a fair and exciting Euro 2020.”

The calendar images can be downloaded online at www.standox.com/europe2020.

Tradiebot Develops VR Spray Painting Simulator

Tradiebot has announced a virtual reality (VR) spray painting training simulator called SprayVIS, developed and manufactured in Australia. The software, developed over 18 months, is aimed at next generation tradespeople to hone their skills without needing to be on-site.

SprayVIS was made with video games, portable computing and VR in mind to appeal to the younger generation to promote trades while stimulating their interests. Users are placed in realistic virtual environments and exposed to simulated training scenarios, while receiving real-time feedback and ongoing progress tracking. Tradiebot says that its software is one of the most technologically advanced, cost-effective and compact systems on the market in the spray painting industry, providing a new perspective in delivering training using immersive virtual environments. The company added that SprayVIS also delivers sponsorship opportunities for businesses in the industry to promote spray painting as a career choice for the next generation.

The simulator is housed in a compact travel case and comes with a specialised spray gun controller, which replicates the feel, weight and ergonomics of a real spray gun. It also uses an industry standard air hose and is fitted with adjustable weights which simulate the mass of virtual paint.

“What an exciting training tool SprayVIS is, providing a new perspective on how early training can be delivered to the next generation of spray painters and enable us to stimulate interest in the spray painting field like never before,” said Dr Kristan Marlow, Tradiebot Director of Engineering and Operational Technology. “The SprayVIS system is the most competitive VR training solution on the market, priced at US$10,000. It is an all-in-one early training solution for the spray painting industry.

“SprayVIS has been a huge success with the students during our testing periods at career events and industry expos, with participant lines reaching up to 30 kids, waiting to try their hand at the skill of spray painting. Previously, this would not have been possible – those who wanted to try spray painting as a trade would have been required to visit a designated site that had a spray booth, utilise protective gear, have a trainer on-site and use real paint in order to experience the skill and determine if it is the career path for them. This would be an expensive and time-consuming exercise with limited reach and exposure. With SprayVIS, any location can become a virtual training centre. A win-win for all.”

Fix Auto Expands Into Mexico

Fix Network World celebrated bringing the Fix Auto brand to Mexico at the Hacienda de los Morales gala event in Mexico City. The event took place on 24 October and marked the entrance of the global Fix Auto brand to the Mexican collision repair market.

Fix Network World said the Fix Auto franchise model provides repairers with the ability to run a successful business while uniting them with quality brand standards, superb customer service and the predictable consistency of repairs which is highly sought after by both insurance partners and customers. Fix Network World added that it has secured many partnerships with leading industry suppliers, giving their franchisees a genuine competitive advantage.

“We are delighted to bring our brand and concept to Mexico,” said Steve Leal, CEO of Fix Network World. “We have great partners here who understand the local market and already enjoy strong relationships with many work providers and collision repairers. I am excited to see Fix Auto drive forward in Mexico.”

“By bringing Fix Auto to Mexico we are revolutionising the Mexican collision repair industry,” said Manfred Brandes, CEO of Fix Auto Mexico. “The Fix Auto franchise model provides a win-win solution for repairers, work providers and customers. The core values of Fix Auto allow for repairers to own and operate locally while giving them the opportunity to thrive with support more traditionally associated with a corporate model. The future is Fix.”