Axalta has announced that its board of directors has named Robert Bryant Chief Executive Officer on a permanent basis, effective immediately. He had been serving as interim CEO since October 2018. Bryant was also appointed to serve on Axalta’s board of directors.
“Over the past two months, Robert has seamlessly stepped into the role of interim CEO and led the company in a challenging market environment,” said Charlie Shaver, Axalta’s Chairman of the Board. “Having worked closely with him over the past six years, I am extremely confident in his ability to lead Axalta effectively as our permanent CEO. The board and I look forward to seeing Axalta build on its success and continue to thrive under Robert’s leadership.”
“I appreciate the board’s confidence in me and am honoured to continue working alongside a talented management team and dedicated employees to build on Axalta’s well-deserved reputation for customer service and innovation,” Bryant said.
The company also announced that Sean Lannon has been named Chief Financial Officer on a permanent basis, effective immediately. He had been serving as Vice President and interim Chief Financial Officer since October 2018.
“Sean’s business and financial acumen, years of experience working in increasingly senior finance roles at Axalta, and extensive background in financial reporting make him a great fit to succeed me as Axalta’s CFO,” said Bryant. “I am very excited to continue working with Sean to grow Axalta and build shareholder value over the long term.”
Axalta announced the renewal of its two-year contract as Gold Partner with WorldSkills Australia, a not-for-profit organisation that says it is focused on skills excellence in vocational, technological and service oriented careers in Australia.
Axalta’s commitment to WorldSkills Australia as a Gold Partner will support both the Regional and National Championships through the supply of Standoblue, the company’s latest in waterborne coating technology, and the new generation Sagola spray guns, for which Axalta is sole distributor in Australia.
WorldSkills Australia regional championship will be held around Australia in the first quarter of 2019. Each event will be designed to help improve competitors’ skills, build their confidence, and expose them to the latest technology and techniques. Registrations will open in February 2019 and the candidates could be participating in the 2020 WorldSkills’ national championship, which Axalta will take a prominent role in supporting.
“Our passion for our industry, and our desire to secure its future through promoting sustainable practices and encouraging excellence in young professionals, is what drives us at Axalta,” said Paul Polverino, National Training Manager at Axalta in Australia. “Sharing the common goal with WorldSkills Australia to continuously improve the quality of training and educational outcomes for young people who dream of becoming the ‘best of the best’ at vehicle refinishing, we are committed to supporting events and initiatives that promote the industry’s sustainability and longevity.”
For more than 10 years, Axalta says it has strived to mentor and nurture up talent in collaboration with WorldSkills Australia, offering support and resources such as product training, exposure to the latest work practices and sustainable techniques, problem solving strategies, teamwork development and leadership skills.
“Our trainers across Australia are dedicated to support all training providers who share our philosophy, as we are passionate about helping the youth of today become industry leaders of tomorrow,” explained Polverino. “Axalta is very proud to support these exceptional young Australians and provide them with new opportunities for growth in the field of vehicle refinishing.”
Axalta has officially opened its Global Innovation Center, the largest coatings research and development centre in the world, with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
The company says the 16,260 square metre Global Innovation Center offers unparalleled specialty labs along with office space. Its location in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard enables collaboration amongst Axalta employees, business partners, and customers throughout the Philadelphia area and beyond.
“Axalta’s Global Innovation Center will become the central hub for our global research, product development, and technology initiatives where we develop and deliver the most innovative coatings products in the world,” said Robert Bryant, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Axalta. “Whether in colour technology, polymer and formulation chemistry, or application knowledge, the world-class capabilities and talent at Axalta’s Global Innovation Center will fuel new products and deliver the solutions that our customers want to grow their businesses into the future.”
Axalta says the Navy Yard location offers an attractive workplace for new talent, and the new campus was built with researchers in mind, modelling an academic setting with a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces to foster teamwork and creativity.
“Axalta’s team of scientists and technicians at the Global Innovation Center will develop next generation coatings products and keep pace with emerging application needs,” said Barry Snyder, Axalta’s Chief Technology Officer. “Regulations and customer demands call for newer technologically advanced coatings. The increasing use of light-weight plastic and composite materials in vehicles to save fuel require new coatings formulations. Developing products to suit these and other needs will be the mission of the Global Innovation Center and Axalta’s worldwide research and development network.”
After the public ribbon cutting ceremony, Axalta hosted more than 100 customers for a first look of the Global Innovation Center with tours of the facility.
Axalta has announced it is teaming with Karma Automotive to display its Axalta-painted Revero at Axalta’s exhibit space #22391 during the 2018 SEMA Show.
The Karma Revero is a luxury electric vehicle with a unique design that is complemented by the colours it comes in, including Corona Del Sol, Borrego Black and Ocean Veil.
As the exclusive exterior paint supplier to Karma, Axalta says it will feature the Revero and its environmentally-inspired collection of colours.
“We are thrilled to bring this stunning vehicle to the SEMA Show,” says Axalta’s North American Color Marketing Manager, Nancy Lockhart. “The Revero on display features a colour named ‘Corona Del Sol’ which translates to ‘crown of the sun.’ It’s a rich shade of red that really has to be seen to be believed.”
“The Karma Revero is the world’s most exclusive grand touring luxury electric vehicle and is as visually dynamic as it is exhilarating to drive,” claims Jim Taylor, Karma Automotive’s Chief Revenue Officer. “Few cars in the world can match the stunning design, luxury and efficiency of the Revero,” continued Taylor.
“Our business and product plan is driven in part by collaborating with partners like Axalta, whose expertise help us accelerate product development and differentiation.”
Axalta has announced the opening of its new South African central office in Midrand, Gauteng, dedicated to automotive refinish coatings technology.
Hannes Kloppers, Country Business Leader for Axalta in South Africa, said: “This is an exciting time for Axalta in South Africa and marks a huge milestone not only for us and our employees, but also, and most importantly, for our valued customers, who will benefit from the expanding customer service support and infrastructure.”
Axalta said the office and the theory training room with multimedia facilities are already operational. The practical training area, which will include spray booths and a mixing room, will be ready for delegate intake from mid-2019. Once completed, the facility will offer refinishers the opportunity to receive quality, professional training and to learn invaluable skills that they can take back to their body shops.
Lucian Jantjies, National Sales Leader for Axalta Refinish in South Africa, said: “The facility is designed to be a state-of-the-art learning and training environment, complete with practical equipment for hands-on training as well as the experts to impart the theory behind it. It is an open, collaborative and creative working environment for customers and employees alike. It will enable us to work more closely with our customers, to ensure their needs are met and to help them develop their businesses. Axalta’s investment in this new facility demonstrates our commitment to our customers and to the South African refinish market.”
Axalta said its new office is strategically located in Midrand, which is ideally situated to serve a large customer base. With satellite refinish offices in Cape Town, KwaZulu Natal and Port Elizabeth, the company said it is well positioned to meet its customers’ needs in South Africa.
Axalta will host an opening ceremony once the full training facilities are operational. A series of refinish training programmes for Spies Hecker, Standox and Duxone will be on offer to those who want to improve their skills and learn about the latest technology and applications.
Axalta has announced a new partnership in Australia with Volgren, a leading bus manufacturer owned by Brazilian company Marcopolo S.A.
Axalta recently signed an agreement to be the sole supplier of coatings to Volgren for both newly manufactured buses and for the repair of existing ones. The partnership consists of an all-inclusive training and support package, as well as an extensive trial period to assess product performance.
“Having been with one paint company for the past 20 years, we did not make the decision to change easily,” said Michael Healy, Volgren Supply Chain Manager. “For the first three months we put Axalta’s products and back-up service through intense testing and were very pleased with the professionalism, commitment and quality that Axalta delivered. I’m 100 per cent confident that the change we made will ensure Volgren buses continue to lead the market for many years to come.”
As well as developing customised product solutions using the Imron Fleet Line range, Axalta said it demonstrated paint application techniques that could assist in improving cycle times in the coating application. This was supported by comprehensive on-site training and repair process documentation.
“As a market leader in Australia, Volgren needed a coatings partner to work with them through all levels of the business,” said Steven Brett, Axalta’s Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand. “With the introduction of new products, new processes and improved quality control across all Volgren locations, we demonstrated that Axalta could meet Volgren’s requirements.”
Axalta Coating Systems recently concluded its “European Excursion” that saw a large group of customers and distributors visit several automotive landmarks through-out Germany, including Automechanika in Frankfurt.
The tour, which took place in early September, provided the opportunity for customers to broaden their knowledge on the most advanced repair techniques, view the latest industry-related products on offer, as well as network with like-minded repairers.
One of the highlights of the week was an exclusive I-CAR training session on carbon fibre. This high-end product is commonly found in vehicles that are positioned in the prestige end of the market. The training provided a better understanding and a more informed perspective on the technology used in prestige vehicles and the impact on the repair process. This session was a forerunner to the OE factory tours at Mercedes-Benz and Porsche in Stuttgart and BMW in Munich.
“Our European Excursion provided a good opportunity for our customers to mix work and pleasure,” explained Paul Wake, Axalta’s Sales Director and host of the tour. “There was great interaction between customers from all around Australia and New Zealand, each comparing notes on different aspects of running an auto-repair facility.”
Automechanika 2018 proved to be a big hit for seeking out new technology and the latest in product launches. Axalta’s partners – Finixa and Sagola – were both exhibiting and presented their latest offering to the group.
Axalta’s “Win a trip to Germany” competition prize winners Franco Missaglia from Stylefinish AutoBody in Victoria and Craig Hall from Craig Hall Bodyworks in the ACT were also present on the tour.
Axalta Coating Systems has announced that its board of directors has appointed Robert Bryant, Axalta’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, to the additional role of interim Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Bryant succeeds Terrence Hahn, who has resigned by mutual agreement with the board, following an investigation by outside counsel into conduct by Hahn unrelated to financial matters that Axalta believes was inconsistent with company policies. Hahn has also vacated his position on the board.
“We are pleased that Robert Bryant has agreed to step into the role of interim CEO,” said Charlie Shaver, Chairman, Axalta Coating Systems. “Having worked closely with Robert for over five years, I know he has the leadership skills and financial acumen, as well as the respect of the management team and employees, to be an effective leader for Axalta. The company remains well positioned to build on its success, with strong end-market demand and an unrelenting focus on customer service and innovation.”
“I deeply appreciate the vote of confidence from Charlie and the board,” said Bryant. “The management team at Axalta is resilient — we will work tirelessly to put this distraction behind us and focus on delivering outstanding products and customer service.”
“I wish the best to Axalta’s employees and its leadership,” said Hahn.
Axalta also announced that its preliminary results for the third quarter are in line with the company’s guidance communicated during its second quarter earnings update, which specified third quarter adjusted EBITDA of approximately 24 per cent of the midpoint of its full-year range.
Robert Bryant has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Axalta since 2013. He was previously Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Roll Global LLC. Before joining Roll Global in 2007, he was Executive Vice President of Strategy, New Business Development, and Information Technology at Grupo Industrial Saltillo, S.A.B. de C.V.
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.
Axalta Coating Systems will be exhibiting at the inaugural Autocare 2018 Convention to be held on the 4-5 May at Darling Harbour’s International Convention Centre in Sydney. Located at Booth H13, the exhibit space will feature Sagola spray guns and Axalta Services Programs, with an opportunity to win great prizes for the most engaged attendee.
Axalta will present the latest additions to its spray gun range from Sagola plus Axalta Services consultancy programs. The exhibition will provide an opportunity to launch two new Sagola spray guns, the gravity fed 3300 GTO CAR Spray Gun plus the industrial 4100 Xtreme Suction Spray Gun. Each gun will complement Sagola’s already well-established spray gun portfolio, which will also be on display. In addition, Axalta Services will be there to answer any consultancy based questions, providing advice and recommendations regarding helping business to improve profitability and promoting up and coming courses, such as Repair Planning and Recruitment.
“Axalta, in alignment with Autocare 2018, will focus on providing the latest in refinish products and services, global industry trends and best practice Lean processes,” explained Paul Polverino, Axalta’s National Training Manager for Australia and New Zealand. “There will also be great prizes to be won, with a Limited Edition Sagola Scrambler Spray Gun up for grabs.”
Autocare 2018 is an education-led event designed to allow automotive professionals to see the latest products and technologies, keynote addresses and plenary discussions, as well as take part in live training sessions delivered by local and international experts. The event will be a great opportunity to network and gain industry knowledge aimed at helping businesses to grow. You can register to attend Autocare 2018 at no charge by visiting www.autocare.org.au.
For more information on Axalta and its products and services go to www.axalta.com.au or call 1800 292 582.