BASF Named A General Motors Supplier Of The Year For 13th Time

General Motors (GM) has named BASF a 2017 GM Supplier of the Year for 13th time since 2002. The award is presented to suppliers who distinguish themselves by meeting performance metrics for quality, execution, innovation, and total enterprise cost.

“This is an opportunity for General Motors to honour those suppliers who are truly the best of the best,” said Steve Kiefer, GM senior vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “The automotive industry is transforming at an incredible rate. The relationships we have with our supply base means everything when it comes to delivering a strong vehicle line-up today and the cutting-edge vehicles and mobility services of tomorrow.”

Award winners represent companies who provide products and services to General Motors in the areas of vehicle components, supply chain and logistics, customer care and aftersales, and indirect services. With its broad array of colour solutions and modern paint processes, BASF’s Coatings division helps GM improve productivity and environmental performance. BASF provides its time and resource saving Integrated Paint Process to GM and supplies a majority of its plants in North America with its world class CathoGuard® 800 electrocoat, among other technologies.

“The long-standing and trustful relationship between GM and BASF is an example of what can be accomplished through a successful partnership,” said Teressa Szelest, President, Market and Business Development North America at BASF. “Together, we are collaborating to drive innovation, customer service, safety and sustainability, and open new pathways for the future of mobility.”

Axalta Announces New Australian Headquarters In Western Sydney

Axalta Coating Systems has commissioned construction of a new 10,200m2  Australian headquarters in Marsden Park, in Western Sydney. The facility will house corporate offices, a state-of-the-art training facility, and a warehouse and distribution centre for up to 50 employees.

Scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2019, the facility will serve the Company’s refinish and commercial vehicle customers, light vehicle OEMs, as well as industrial and military customers in Australia and New Zealand. The new centre will support each of Axalta’s customers with high quality paints, lean processes, and sustainable applications.

“Building a new headquarters is part of our commitment to Australia and an important component of our growth strategy in the region,” said Steven Brett, Axalta’s Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand.  “We’re confident that this new site will help us deliver innovative and comprehensive coating solutions to our customers. The site will deploy environmentally responsible processes and provide a healthy environment for employees and the community.”

In 1976, Axalta established its business in Australia with a focus on providing regional training centers in each capital city across the country. The new headquarters will house the national training centre that will focus on refinish and industrial products, whilst helping refinishers maximise their skill-sets and keep them up-to-date with the latest technology and techniques.

“Axalta’s new training centre is all about supporting our customers,” said Paul Polverino, Axalta’s National Training Manager. “Using our leading refinish and industrial brands, training will focus on driving process optimisation to help bodyshops be more efficient and productive to ultimately improve their business performance and gain a competitive edge.”

For more information on Axalta or training courses go to www.axalta.com.au or call 1800 292 582.

Euro NCAP Assessment Inspector In Australia As Part Of World Region Alignment

Australasia’s independent vehicle safety advocate, ANCAP, has hosted one of Euro NCAP’s vehicle safety assessment inspectors as part of its reciprocal test data sharing and protocol alignment.

Simon Edmonds, a senior vehicle safety inspector attended ANCAP crash test laboratories in Sydney and Melbourne throughout the week as part of a knowledge-sharing and development program in place as part of ANCAP and Euro NCAP’s 2018 harmonisation.

“We not only adopted a common approach to testing, we also integrated policies and assessment processes which are now shared between our two regions,” said ANCAP Chief Executive, James Goodwin.

“Having one of Euro NCAP’s most experienced inspectors here enables the engineers to share experiences and expertise to further develop assessment processes,” Goodwin said.

Dr Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP – “This is an excellent opportunity for information exchange.”

“It is important we collaborate on all levels. We want safer cars for everyone, no matter which country or region they live, and our approach to align with ANCAP from this year is already seeing vehicle manufacturers build cars to a higher standard for both world markets,” Dr van Ratingen said.

ANCAP assessment engineers will attend crash and driver assistance testing in the United Kingdom later this year.

Suncorp Chairman Switkowski Set To Retire

Christine McLoughlin is to replace Suncorp chairman Ziggy Switkowski who is retiring from the board of the company in September.

Ms McLoughlin is currently the chairman of Suncorp’s remuneration committee, and was the inaugural chairman of the Australian Payments Council, and is also a director of health insurer nib.

On the appointm,ent of his successor, Dr Switkowski said: “In her three years on the board, Christine has demonstrated a broad range of skills relevant to financial services. I am confident that Christine will work well with the board, the CEO and managing director Michael Cameron, and senior management team to take this company to the next level of performance.”

McLoughlin said she was looking to embrace new opportunities and challenges.

“I look forward to working with my fellow directors and the Suncorp management team to continue to shape the Suncorp of tomorrow for our shareholders, customers and communities,” she said.

BASF Australia Staff Changes

BASF’s Coatings division has made several role changes within the team as well as appointing new personnel to the group

Mark Spiteri has been chosen as National Sales Manager Australia and New Zealand, succeeding David Priestley, who is retiring. Shaun Batty has been appointed as the Business Development Manager, QLD.

Ian Johnson, who has been BASF’s Technical Sales Support Manager for more than decade has become the Business Development Manager, NSW. His previous role has been filled by David Handcock.

Joining Mark Harrison in his role as the Business Development Manager WA, SA, TAS, NT, is Mathew Pascoe, as Business Development Representative in South Australia.

BASF’s Key Account Management team, led by Senior Key Accounts Manager, Paul Hooper, has welcomed two new team members. Danny Berti, has taken up the position of Key Accounts Specialist, a move from his role as Business Development Manager, NSW and Colin Blandford has joined as Key Accounts Specialist for QLD and New Zealand.

“With an ever-changing industry it is important that we provide the highest level of service for our customer network” said Tony Wiggins, Head of Coatings, ANZ for BASF Australia Ltd, “I strongly believe we have the best team moving forward.”

Chief To Distribute Celette Equipment In North And South America, China

Chief has reached an agreement with Celette France SAS for Chief to distribute Celette heavy-duty truck collision repair equipment in North America, South America and China.

“As truck manufacturers modernise their manufacturing methods and incorporate new materials and technology in their vehicles, collision repair shops need new tools, equipment and repair methodology to properly repair those vehicles after they’re damaged in a collision,” says Lee Daugherty, Chief director of collision sales – the Americas. “Working with Celette lets us offer shops a full line of heavy-duty collision repair equipment from a single, trusted source — the local Chief distributor.”

Chief reintroduced a heavy-duty collision repair equipment line for repairing trucks, trailers, buses and other large vehicles in 2015. It currently includes frame racks, lifts, a heavy-duty rivet gun and other equipment.

NSF International Appoints Scott Dunfee Global MD of Automotive Certification

NSF International, a global organization with more than 70 years of independent testing, auditing and certification expertise, including extensive experience in the automotive supply chain, has appointed Scott Dunfee Global Managing Director of Automotive Certification. Dunfee brings more than 20 years of insurance, technical leadership and repair expertise to NSF International.

NSF International provides oversight and accountability to the automotive parts and repair industry by ensuring manufacturers, distributors, repair shops and recyclers provide high-quality products and services at each step of the supply chain. As Global Managing Director, Dunfee will oversee NSF International’s automotive certification programs working closely with automotive parts manufacturers, distributors, collision repair shops, automotive recyclers and insurers.

“Scott’s extensive insurance and aftermarket parts and service expertise will help address the needs of NSF International clients and other stakeholders throughout the automotive supply chain, while expanding services both in the U.S. and globally,” said Bob Frayer, Sr. Global Managing Director of Automotive Certification at NSF International. “Scott is the ideal fit for this position and I look forward to working with him to grow and advance the program.”

Prior to joining NSF International, Dunfee worked 23 years for Nationwide Insurance. During his tenure with Nationwide’s material damage claims operation, Dunfee played a leading role in the development and implementation of several key automotive parts and distributor-based initiatives. Most recently, he successfully served as a Material Damage Claims Director in the insurer’s centralised claims operation.

BMW Sued Over Emissions-Test Cheating

BMW AG is the latest company to be added to the growing list of car manufacturers sued by U.S. drivers for installing software designed to cheat diesel-emissions tests.

Tens of thousands of X5 and 335D model diesel cars built between 2009 and 2011 are the culprit vehicles whose owners are suing BMW and its technology supplier, Robert Bosch GmbH.

The lawsuit alleges the company installed algorithms designed to manipulate testing systems, using methods similar to those admitted to by Volkswagen AG. They claim those vehicles are polluting at up to 27 times the legal limit, according to the complaint filed in New Jersey federal court.

Steve Berman, the claimants’ lawyer who has filed similar claims against Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Fiat Chrysler, GM and Volkswagen, said. “At these levels, these cars aren’t just dirty — they don’t meet standards to be legally driven on U.S. streets and no one would have bought these cars if BMW had told the truth.”

BMW North America spokesman Kenn Sparks said in a statement: “As a matter of principle, BMW Group vehicles are not manipulated and comply with all respective legal requirements.”

Last week, prosecutors raided the company’s Munich headquarters and its engine plant in Steyr, Austria, to look into 7-Series and 5-Series sedans after BMW admitted it mistakenly put the wrong software in almost 12,000 diesel vehicles

Capricorn Group CEO Greg Wall To Retire

Capricorn Group Chief Executive Officer Greg Wall has announced that he will retire from his role in June 2019. Together with the support of the Capricorn Board of Directors, Wall’s experience and leadership has been integral to the continued success of this cooperative organisation. He and his team have ensured that Capricorn continues to generate record returns for all of its Member shareholders throughout his highly successful tenure.

According to Wall, this was not an easy decision to make, given Capricorn’s constant growth and success.

“This was not an easy decision and it followed careful consideration and deliberation with both the Capricorn Board and my family. Capricorn is in great shape and has such an exciting future ahead. It is and will continue to be a great organisation and I have loved every minute of making it “just easier” for our Members to run and grow their businesses. I am so proud of what we have achieved together over the nearly seven years since I joined Capricorn,” He stated.

“I will work with the Capricorn Board to plan and deliver the best possible outcome in terms of my successor as Capricorn continues to evolve and go from strength to strength. It has been a pleasure to be at the helm of this wonderful cooperative. In the meantime I look forward to continuing to make it “just easier” for all of our Members,” Wall said.

Wall has deliberately made this early retirement announcement in the interests of complete transparency to both the Capricorn Board and the many thousands of Capricorn Members across Australia and New Zealand.

BASF Automotive Refinish Launches New Website

BASF Refinish Automotive Coatings launched a new, completely mobile-friendly website with updated images and content, and unique tools, including an asset cart and an advanced product catalogue.

“Every word, every image and every tool on the Refinish site was created with the customer in mind,” said Tina Nelles, BASF Marketing Services manager. “Our goal was to create a journey for our customers – how BASF provides more than paint and, most importantly, the benefits we offer to our customers.”

Users can filter the product catalogue based on country, brand, paint system, product type, volatile organic compounds, and keywords, or they can simply scroll through BASF’s products. The site also includes technical manuals, technical data sheets, safety data sheets and more.

The distinctive asset cart, which can be used in conjunction with the product catalogue or independently, offers a unique advantage to BASF Refinish website visitors by allowing them to “shop” throughout the site. Visitors can add assets to the cart from anyplace in the website, not just from product pages, similar to a shopping cart on a clothing or grocery retailer’s website. Customers then have the option to download all cart contents or email them to anyone.

Available in three languages, the new site also features a section dedicated to showcasing BASF Refinish customers and brand ambassadors, the recently launched Vision+ suite of business services and live social media feeds.