AkzoNobel Releases 2019 Integrated Report

AkzoNobel has launched its digital report for 2019 which, according to the company, highlights the company’s progress over another year where it has focused on transformation, innovation and investment in the future.

The company says the website includes comprehensive coverage of its financial results, key business developments and several case studies with related videos which feature and highlight some of the year’s biggest success stories.

“We sent a strong message about our ability to achieve our financial ambition,” said Thierry Vanlancker, CEO of AkzoNobel. “It was impressive to experience our internal momentum during the course of the year as we intensified our focus on dramatically stepping up our return on sales by the end of 2020.”

The online report has a revised sustainability section which is structured around the company’s new “People. Planet. Paint” approach. It gives a review of AkzoNobel’s sustainability performance and highlights the major progress made in areas such as total VOC emissions and absolute greenhouse gas emissions.

“Right across the organisation, from salespeople in Brazil, to operators in France and researchers in China, everyone has been fully focused on delivering for our customers, while helping the company to become the reference in paints and coatings,” said Vanlancker.

To view the 2019 report website, click here.

BASF Says White Was Most Popular in 2019

BASF has released its annual colour report, the BASF Colour Report 2019 For Automotive OEM Coatings, revealing that 39 per cent of all cars built around the world are painted white. In Asia Pacific, almost every second car is white, whereas in North America and EMEA, it’s nearly every third car.

Black, grey and silver are the next three most popular colours, counting a combined 39 per cent of all cars that rolled off the assembly line in 2019. About nine per cent of vehicles produced globally were blue, while seven per cent were painted red. BASF said that each colour addresses an emotional motive that goes with car ownership and individuality.

In the EMEA region, 77 per cent of all vehicles have achromatic colours with white dominating the numbers, grey and black in second and third place respectively, and blue in fourth with 11 per cent.

North America sees white, black, silver and grey as the leading colours in that order, also sitting at 77 per cent of the market’s cars in total. BASF also made a special reference to pickup trucks in North America, noting that they are mostly white at 38 per cent and followed by red at a “relatively high” 11 per cent.

Most vehicles in Asia Pacific are achromatic, also holding 77 per cent colour share which is unchanged from the previous year. Almost every second car is white which dominates at 49 per cent – the highest among all regions. Black is low compared to other regions but is getting more attention as a sporty and individual form of expression.

White is still the favourite among South American customers, holding a market share of 39 per cent. Silver rates second with 23 per cent, grey third at 14 per cent and black fourth at 11 per cent. Red is still the favourite chromatic colour in South America with eight per cent of market share, followed by blue and beige which both held two per cent each.

The BASF Colour Report 2019 For Automotive OEM Coatings analyses data from BASF’s Coatings division based on global automotive production and paint application to light vehicles in 2019. To read the full report, click here.

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.

Luca De Meo Rumoured Lead In Renault CEO Race

Luca de Meo, an Italian who has worked at many European car manufacturers before running Volkswagen’s Spanish brand, SEAT, is being labelled the front-runner to become CEO of Renault, said people familiar with the matter.

De Meo has leadership experience in the automotive industry, diplomatic skills, speaks five languages, has helped freshen the model line-up at SEAT and has lead the company to profitability. De Meo has spent 25 years working for various European car manufacturers including Renault, Toyota, FCA, Volkswagen and SEAT, where he has since remained as Chairman on the Executive Committee.

Renault began the CEO search after removing Thierry Bollore, who held the position for under a year after the arrest of Carlos Ghosn in November 2018. Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard has said that it would be more preferable to make a selection by the end of the year, but it will not be a problem if it takes longer.

While Renault is narrowing the list of candidates, no decision has been made and other contenders remain in the running, said people asking not to be identified over confidential matters. The company will complete its shortlist soon, before submitting it to the board for review, according to the sources.

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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.

Participation High As Automechanika Shanghai 2019 Closes

The 15th edition of Automechanika Shanghai, which took place from 3 to 6 December 2019, has recorded even more industry participation than ever before. 159,728 visitors connected with 6590 exhibitors across the show floor (2018: 150,568 visitors, 6,269 exhibitors). During the four-day show, the automotive ecosystem through more vertical and horizontal integration in the entire value chain was illustrated, while activities around the fairground brought exhibition themes, emerging products, services and technology, and rising trends to life.

Celebrations of the show’s 15th edition milestone were felt all around the fairground and participants were particularly keen to express the fair’s quick growth and influence, not just in the domestic market, but the international industry too. Its automotive ecosystem was channelled through the fairground’s new zones and fringe programme events in efforts to connect a wider automotive community. As a result, more finance firms, insurance companies, research institutes, talent management experts, start-ups, as well as players across the entire supply chain made their way to the show.

The news comes after the fair expanded many of its themed zones and areas. For example, the enhanced Tomorrow’s Service & Mobility sector shed light on the latest innovations for electromobility, intelligent vehicle technology, car connectivity, mobility services, smart road systems and lightweight materials.

Other areas that proved immensely popular among participants were the improved Customising sector featuring interior, exterior and high-performance customisation, as well as the Motorsports & High Performance zone and the Supply Chain & Chain Store zone. Here, attendees explored the latest aftermarket trends and delved into new business models for the proliferating service and chain store segment. Other sectors included Parts & Components, Electronics & Systems, Accessories, Repair & Maintenance and REFIEN (Tyres & Wheels).

Automechanika Shanghai 2019 also marked an increase in international participation across the board. To illustrate, overseas exhibitor participation rose by four per cent with representation from a total of 46 countries and regions. Exhibitors from Belarus, Lithuania and Saudi Arabia returned to the fair as Kazakhstan and Macau made their show debut.

There was an upward surge of visitor participation by six per cent, reaching an impressive total of 159,728 delegates, while overseas attendance was also felt in force throughout the exhibition.

This year, a total of 65 fringe programme events ran concurrently with the main show. Throughout the fairground, each event received high praise from industry experts who took part and presented the latest global updates and local developments in the entire automotive supply chain. Many new fringe events, reflecting key fair trends, were also welcomed for the first time this year, such as the debuting Body & Paint World Championships, Tomorrow’s Service & Mobility Innovation Technology Conference, China Auto Dealer Supply Chain and Financial Innovation Summit 2019 and International Bodyshop Industry Symposium (IBIS) China 2019.

Symach Develops UVA-LEDtronic Technology

Symach has announced its new UVA-LEDtronic technology for drying and curing UV coating products.

Symach says the product is unique compared to known products on the market today, because it is more powerful with a lower 90-watt energy consumption, along with being more than double the drying speed of most known systems. The UV-LEDtronic is available as a portable lamp, the UVA-LEDtronic M1, that covers an area of 50 centimetres, or in the Flydry robotic version which is available in a FlyDry Hybrid model with IR-Drytronic and the UV-LEDtronic. There is also a UV-LEDtronic-only version called the FlyDry LE.

The LEDs used are of different wavelengths throughout the UV-A segment and are assembled along a line of reflectors which are designed to achieve the fastest and most efficient drying result. The LEDs are controlled by an electronic board with a temperature control device that shuts off the electric power if the device overheats from prolonged use. The LEDs are installed on an aluminium support equipped with a heat sink which allows for prolonged use of the lamp and drying several car panels in sequence.

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.

BASF To Build New Automotive Refinish Coatings Site In China

BASF will build a new automotive refinish coatings site in Jiangmen, Guangdong Province, China in the first half of 2022.

“Guangdong Province is of strategic importance to BASF in Greater China,” said Zheng Daqing, Senior Vice President, Business and Market Development, BASF Greater China. “The investment in Jiangmen will double the production capacity of the site. Located in the fast-growing area of the Pearl River Delta, the new facility will enable us to be even closer to our customers, further supporting the automotive industry.”

Acquired from a local family business in 2016, BASF Coatings (Guangdong) Co., Ltd. is the company’s first automotive refinish coatings production site in Asia. The company says in the past three years, the site has become a world-class production facility, supported by continuous investments in environment, health and safety, product quality, people, and research and development.

After the acquisition, BASF formed a technology hub in Jiangmen to focus on colour technology and developing sustainable high-performance products for the refinish and commercial transportation segments in Asia Pacific.

“We have upgraded the production and environmental protection facilities to meet BASF’s world-class standards,” said Patrick Zhao, Senior Vice President, BASF Coatings Solutions Asia Pacific. “At the same time, we have enhanced the skillsets of our employees, with one focus being on environment, health and safety practices. This is how we have built a professional, competitive team and fostered a safe and sustainable corporate culture. We now have the full capability to serve the growing local and regional value-for-money market with strong product and solution offerings.”

BASF said its environmental credentials and contributions were recognised by the local Environmental Protection Bureau of Jiangmen when it was named a “Green Brand” in October 2018.