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.

AkzoNobel Secures Supply Deal With BMW Group

The BMW Group has chosen AkzoNobel to be a supplier of vehicle refinish products and services to a large part of its distribution network around the world.

The agreement covers 44 locations and means that the company’s Sikkens and Lesonal brands are now approved for paint repairs of BMW and Mini passenger cars at authorised dealers, repairers, importers and national BMW Group branches.

“We’re delighted to begin working with the BMW Group,” said Patrick Bourguignon, Managing Director of AkzoNobel’s Automotive and Specialty Coatings business. “We believe Sikkens and Lesonal are the perfect match to further enhance the customer service offer and efficiency of the BMW network.”

The locations covered by the new agreement are Albania, Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Morocco, Mexico, Moldovia, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the UAE, Ukraine, Vietnam and Yemen.

AkzoNobel Helps Style McLaren’s MCL35

McLaren Racing has unveiled its new 2020 Formula 1 MCL35 car ahead of the new season, with AkzoNobel supplying the coatings and paint through its Sikkens brand. AkzoNobel is the official paint and coatings partner of the McLaren Racing team, working together as partners since 2008.

The vehicle uses heat-shielding, with Intertherm 50 from the international product range applied to critical components surrounding the engine and exhaust to help handle temperatures reaching up to 540˚C. One coat of the product is 25 microns thick, which is around a third of the width of a human hair.

“We’re extremely proud of our long partnership with McLaren, which is built on collaboration, a shared passion for innovation and a commitment to performance,” said Patrick Bourguignon, Managing Director of AkzoNobel’s Automotive and Specialty Coatings business. “The car looks fantastic, both on top and underneath, and we’re especially looking forward to seeing it in action at Zandvoort when the F1 grand prix returns to the Netherlands this year.”

“Once again our new Formula 1 car, the MCL35, looks fantastic,” said Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing. “We’ve pushed the technical boundaries this year with our livery, and we’re grateful that AkzoNobel, a trusted partner of ours for over 10 years, has collaborated with us. We thank them for their continued support.”

“Working with inspiring partners like McLaren enables us to broaden our expertise as we endeavour to deliver more cutting-edge innovation for our customers,” said Bourguignon. “We both have an interest in the ongoing pursuit of high performance, and this will remain a constant driving force as our collaboration continues to flourish.”

The first Grand Prix of the new season will take place 15 March in Melbourne, Australia.

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.

Fix Network Announces Global Partnership With SATA

Fix Network World has added SATA as one of its official global supply partners. Fix Network says it hopes to continue expanding its operations worldwide in order to build stronger partnerships with industry-leading suppliers.

SATA says it will supply Fix Network with a mix of its systems aimed at delivering industry-leading performance.

“Fix Network is working hard to deliver a quality supply chain offering to its members,” said Steve Leal, President & CEO of Fix Network World. “This global agreement with SATA is reflective of our ongoing objective to provide best in class, safe solutions to our locations so they can provide an elite experience for their customers.”

“SATA is committed to supporting the fundamentally changing collision industry with state-of-the-art paint application solutions, thus contributing to professional and safe repairs,” said Albrecht Kruse, CEO of SATA. “Our cooperation with the global Fix Network goes hand in hand with our mission to assist the industry in best adapting to the ever-increasing complexities of modern repair processes.”

SATA will become the fourth aftermarket specialist to join Fix Network’s supply chain partnerships, which currently include 3M, AkzoNobel and Mirka.

Fix Network World Celebrates “The Power Of One” At 2019 Global Conference

Fix Network World celebrated its 2019 global conference earlier this month at the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun, with approximately 350 people from 14 countries (Canada, USA, UK, France, Turkey, China, Australia, Germany, South Africa, New Zealand, Spain, Ireland, Mexico and the Czech Republic) attending.

The event, for which the theme was “The Power of One”, was the first of its kind in that it united delegates from across all three of Fix Network World’s aftermarket services brands: NOVUS Glass, Fix Auto and Speedy Auto Service. According to organisers, the theme was chosen specifically to recognise and celebrate not only the power and potential of each franchisee, but as a tribute to the strength of one network coming together.

The event kicked off with a welcome cocktail on 2 May, followed by a one and a half day business conference featuring corporate updates, franchisee and work provider panel discussions, and keynotes from special guest speakers Mitch Lowe, co-founding Executive of Netflix and CEO of MoviePass, as well as Ted Graham, Head of Open Innovation at GM Canada and author of The Uber of Everything. Bringing together both business and leisure, the conference also featured social activities and networking opportunities, such as the Fix Network World Beach Party and organised group excursions. The event concluded with a gala evening and awards ceremony acknowledging the work of franchisees from around the world.

Fix Network World President, Steve Leal, said uniting the networks and celebrating individual and collective accomplishments is important.

“Our global family of entrepreneurs is united by a passion for quality and success,” said Leal. “Their appetite to adapt to change is what drives us at Fix Network World, and it is the very reason we put this event together, as a celebration and opportunity for continued growth.”

Amongst guests were franchisees, staff, industry specialists and VIP guests, as well as representatives from Fix Network World’s four global supply partners: 3M, AkzoNobel, Mirka and SATA.

Fix Network World Announces Launch Of Fix Auto Masters Programme

Fix Network World has announced the launch of Fix Auto Masters, an all-new technical skills and knowledge competition programme aimed at “celebrating the skills of technicians” from across the global Fix Auto network. The first region to take part in the Fix Auto Masters programme is Fix Auto UK.

Fix Network World Operations Manager Nick Spiers says he believes a platform such as Fix Auto Masters is an important step in showcasing the talent of front-line technicians, while helping create a closer global community within the Fix Auto network.

“At Fix Network World, our people are the key to our success, and celebrating skills and performance is something we are most passionate about,” said Spiers. “Many of our technicians around the world have been instrumental in our growth and continue to have an important impact on our consistent performance. This is our way of recognising them and bringing together the best of the best.”

The programme is also supported by Thatcham Research in collaboration with 3M and AkzoNobel. Fix Network World says it is designed to measure performance in one of three categories: M.E.T., body repair and paint. Qualifying applicants will first undergo a written exam and those with the highest scores will move on to a practical assessment. The top performer in each category will be presented an award by Fix Network World at Fix Auto UK’s upcoming national conference, while automatically qualifying for the future global Fix Auto World Masters competition.

“It’s a great pleasure to support the Fix Auto Masters programme,” said Dean Lander, Head of Repair Sector Services at Thatcham Research. “We are delighted to be developing the tests and assessments to recognise the skills and dedication of body shop technicians.”

The programme is being rolled out nationally by Fix Auto UK, making the group the first region to launch a national search for top talent in its network.

“The Fix Auto Masters programme will provide us with the opportunity to show our colleagues from overseas who make up the global Fix Auto family just how skilled we are here in the UK,” said Fix Auto UK’s Ian Pugh.

More Fix Auto Masters regional launches will be announced in 2019. For more information on the Fix Auto Masters programme, visit fixauto.com.

AkzoNobel Increases Support For The HD Repair Forum

AkzoNobel Coatings has increased its support of the HD Repair Forum by joining Navistar as one of the two exclusive Elite Sponsors for the 2019 event, to be held on 2-3 April in Fort Worth, Texas.

The company was a premier sponsor at the inaugural conference in 2018 and hosted its spring 20-Group meeting alongside the heavy-duty collision conference.

“The company’s involvement and enthusiasm for the heavy-duty industry was obvious. Attendees knew their products and were proud to discuss the benefits they received from being involved with AkzoNobel,” said Brian Nessen, President and Co-Founder of the HD Repair Forum.

Jimmy Harris, co-facilitator to AkzoNobel’s 20-Group, said members find great value in attending the HD Repair Forum.

“At our autumn meeting in 2018, members voted unanimously to once again host the spring meeting upon completion of this conference,” he said.

Nessen said having the group for 2019 confirmed the importance of bringing the industry together.

“We are pleased to hear of their enthusiasm and take pride in being able to further assist this already strong segment of the industry. Their decision supports the ongoing plan for industry collaboration and fits with the direction of the HD Repair Forum, to bring the heavy-duty repair industry together for education and networking.”

The HD Repair Forum is a dedicated resource of heavy-duty collision repair information for shop owners, managers, estimators, appraisers, insurance personnel, manufacturers, educators, and consultants.

At this year’s event, heavy-duty collision repair professionals from across North America will gather to obtain information on the latest trends and industry issues, and discuss the latest technology, solution-based services, and training opportunities.

Heavy-Duty Collision Repair Event Schedule:

Tuesday 2 April
7:00am: Registration
8:00am – 5:00pm: Conference
5:00pm – 6:30pm: Networking Reception

Wednesday 3 April
8:00am – 5:00pm: Conference

Thursday 4 April
AkzoNobel’s 20-Group Meeting

Early-bird registration is available until 9 February. To register visit hdrepairforum.com/hd-repair-forum-2019/register. For more information about the conference, visit www.hdrepairforum.com.

AkzoNobel And McLaren Celebrate 10-Year Partnership

AkzoNobel and McLaren celebrated 10 years of collaboration at the SEMA automotive show in Las Vegas, Nevada, last month.

The partnership began in 2008 when AkzoNobel became the official supplier of paint solutions for McLaren Racing. McLaren has used the company’s premium Sikkens brand for its Formula 1 cars ever since.

AkzoNobel has also been a technology partner to McLaren Automotive since 2012, with all McLaren road cars being fully painted in the company’s products.

“Working with partners like McLaren is a perfect example of our commitment to delivering cutting-edge innovation,” said Keith Malik, Key Account Director of AkzoNobel’s Automotive and Specialty Coatings business. “We’re proud to have partnered with them for 10 years and demonstrate our shared passion for high performance technologies and performance.”

Simon Roberts, Chief Operating Officer of McLaren Racing, said: “Our decade-long relationship with AkzoNobel has led us to new innovations, scientific and sustainable advancements and quality finishes. Their longevity in the marketplace, coupled with the technology we’ve developed together, has helped us in our ongoing pursuit of high performance, and we’re thrilled to call AkzoNobel our partner.”

The livery for this season’s MCL33 F1 car has made an impact, with the Papaya Spark colour scheme winning a BBC poll for best-looking car.

Axalta’s Charlie Shaver To Lead Specialty Chemicals After Sale Completion

Charles “Charlie” Shaver will join Specialty Chemicals from Axalta, where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. He will step down as CEO of Axalta on 4 September but will remain Chairman of the Board.

In its strategy to separate Specialty Chemicals from its Paints and Coatings business, AkzoNobel announced in March 2018 that it had agreed to sell its Specialty Chemicals business to The Carlyle Group and GIC. Upon completion of the transaction, expected before the end of 2018, Shaver will head the new company as Chief Executive Officer.

Shaver brings more than 35 years in leadership roles across the global chemical industry. His appointment is subject to completion of the transaction.