Glasurit Renews WorldSkills Sponsorship

Glasurit, BASF’s premium paint brand, has renewed a global industry partnership with WorldSkills International for two more years to continue supporting young spray painters in the industry. The sponsorship will include support for the WorldSkills Shanghai 2021 competition.

“We are very happy to partner with WorldSkills once again following the successful use of our Glasurit brand of refinish coatings at WorldSkills Kazan 2019 to focus on sustainability, digitalisation and diversity for the next generation of spray painters,” said Fabien Boschetti, Director, Global Marketing Automotive Refinish Coatings Solutions, BASF. “The event brings together young people, industry, government, education, and institutions, to promote the benefits of our industry and drives the passion for skilled car painters to enter the field.”

Glasurit says it looks forward to supporting the upcoming competition under the motto “New Youth, New Skills, New Dream” as China prepares for WorldSkills Shanghai 2021. The company is also supporting the first WorldSkills Museum which will exhibit the history of skills.

The WorldSkills Museum, located on the bank of the Huangpu River in Shanghai, is being touted as the first globally devoted to vocational skills. It is a collaboration between WorldSkills International and WorldSkills Shanghai 2021 with participation from global partners.

BASF says it has been a leading educator of spray painters as part of its global ‘STAMPP’ (STimulate and revAMp the Paint Profession) programme. It includes one year of internationally standardised training and further body shop internship opportunities for new automotive refinishing technicians.

Glasurit says all the young painters at the WorldSkills Competition use refinishing products and colour-matching tools exclusively from its company. It also says it successfully trained 30 WorldSkills experts from 30 countries in the use of Glasurit products and processes for the last WorldSkills Competition in Kazan using the Glasurit Know-how online training platform and other digital tools.

Glasurit says it aims to teach all its participants awareness about working sustainably by using the right products, reducing waste and reusing materials throughout their profession.

BASF And DiDi Form Partnership

Mobile transportation platform DiDi has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with BASF in the Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province of China, where Xiaoju Autocare, a subsidiary of DiDi, is headquartered.

According to the agreement, BASF will provide DiDi with sustainable automotive refinish products developed at its research and production site in Jiangmen. The products, designed for the Chinese market, are intended to help reduce VOC emissions and meet the standards implemented around China.

RODIM paint products will be provided to help body shops enhance workflow and overall performance for automotive refinishing, and an expert team from BASF will perform timely professional technical services for DiDi, including training for body shop operators.

DiDi owns 25 body and paint shops in China and plans to expand to over 200 owned and franchised shops globally by the end of the year.

“Simplification is in our DNA,” said Gu Haijie, President of Xiaoju Autocare. “We focus on simplifying processes and operations while our business is expanding. BASF is the one-stop solution provider that can help us standardise the painting process of our new shops. This will help us increase efficiency by integrating the whole value chain of contractors, dealers, and repair centres.”

BASF first approached DiDi and Xiaoju Autocare in late 2019 and had secured first business opportunities by early 2020, when BASF started the conversion of DiDi’s first shops in Shanghai.

“DiDi is a typical unicorn company,” said Patrick Zhao, Senior Vice President Coatings Solutions Asia Pacific, BASF. “One of the factors that connect us is our ability to respond to market needs quickly. The strategic cooperation will enable us to explore the car sharing market and bring this partnership to a new level. DiDi will offer consumers a preferred choice of car sharing. At the same time, BASF will contribute to the sustainable development of the refinish industry with our global network of presence, comprehensive automotive portfolio and a vast talent pool.”

BASF Donates Millions Of Protective Masks

BASF is donating 100 million protective masks to Germany as part of the company’s Helping Hands campaign against the COVID-19 pandemic. The company will also donate one million masks to the State of Rhineland-Palatinate, where its corporate headquarters is located. The masks will be purchased in China and prepared for shipment to Germany.

BASF expects the first delivery of masks to Frankfurt airport at the beginning of next week where they will be given to Jens Spahn, Federal Minister of Health, and Malu Dreyer, Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate.

“An emergency situation such as this can only be managed by all of us together,” said Martin Brudermüller, Chairman of BASF’s Board of Executive Directors. “We are therefore using our purchasing networks and logistics in China to help.”

BASF says it will shoulder the costs of purchasing and transporting the masks, which will be distributed by the Federal Ministry of Health and, in Rhineland-Palatinate, by the State Office for Social Affairs, Youth and Welfare.

BASF says another focus it has on fighting COVID-19 is the production of hand sanitiser, with new capacities it created at sites such as Ludwigshafen, Düsseldorf and Münster-Hiltrup, which can produce up to one million litres of hand sanitiser with raw materials. Around 150,000 litres have already been distributed free of charge to hospitals and other healthcare facilities in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region and around other BASF sites.

Sanitising products are now also being distributed free of charge in Germany through the digital marketplace of VCI – the German Chemical Industry Association. The company says it has also started producing hand sanitiser in France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Turkey and the United States in order to donate them. BASF says it currently provides around 175,000 litres of sanitiser per week globally free of charge.

“BASF is closely connected with its neighbours and society at its sites,” said Brudermüller. “This help is a matter of course for us. A special thanks goes to the many employees who show exemplary commitment.”

The company also thanked the authorities who granted the necessary special permits without any extra work. New raw materials, such as bioethanol, were also approved to produce sanitising products.

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.

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.

BASF Spain Inaugurates Its Renovated Refinish Competence Centre

The Refinish Competence Centre at BASF Spain in Marchamalo (Guadalajara) celebrated its official reopening.

BASF says the training centre is dedicated to teaching body shop technicians, distributors and large automotive companies – all of them BASF customers in Spain and Portugal – about its premium brands, Glasurit and R-M. In addition, it hosts numerous events intended to promote the training of young future professionals, through initiatives such as “R-M Best Painter Contest” and “Castilla-La Mancha Skills”, as well as training vocational teachers through the FORTECO programme.

Originally built in 1983, BASF says the facility is among the top addresses for its customers in Iberia, with more than 2000 people a year participating in the training programmes. The training is key to mastering the complex techniques of colour adjustment and automotive refinishing, and it provides a complete overview of the latest innovations of the two brands.

Since the start of this year, BASF says the Marchamalo centre has invested around €2.5 million in renovating the facility to offer the best possible technological experience, saying the fundamental reason for the modernisation was the company’s “innovative spirit” as well as its commitment to its customers. With a focus on sustainability and environmental protection, BASF has installed equipment with maximum energy efficiency and minimum emissions.

Patricia Franco Jiménez, Regional Minister of Economy, Enterprise and Employment for Castilla-La Mancha, and Rafael Esteban Santamaria, Mayor of Marchamalo, joined other official representatives at the inauguration. The company was represented by Katja Scharpwinkel, Senior Vice President Automotive Refinish Coatings EMEA, Carles Navarro Vigo, Managing Director Country Cluster Head Iberia, Christian Schneider, Site Manager Marchamalo / Director of Operations, and Ramón Farré Gaudier, Regional Business Manager Automotive Refinish Coatings Iberia.

The production centre in Marchamalo (Guadalajara) is the headquarters of the Coatings division in Spain. The plant has been used by BASF as a production centre since 1982, although the company origins date back to 1867. Covering an area of 310,000 square metres, the centre employs around 650 staff and encompasses two paint factories – one plant for intermediate resins, and a large-scale production unit. Apart from the renovated training centre, the site includes an automotive application centre as well as quality control and development laboratories for all its main product segments.

The products manufactured in Guadalajara include high-technology coatings for the automotive industry and other technically demanding applications, various acrylics, binders for electrocoating, thix additives, polyesters and other special intermediate resins, and decorative paints, fillers and protective additives for tunnelling machines.

BASF To Axe 6000 Jobs Worldwide

BASF announced that it would cut around 6000 jobs worldwide by 2021, with half of those slashed in Germany. The workforce reductions will impact operations globally and are expected to generate savings of €300 million.

In a statement, the company said the move was an “organisational realignment” that would “streamline administration and simplify processes”, as part of an overall aim to have a smaller corporate headquarters and a stronger role for regional operations.

The majority of the jobs being cut in Germany will affect the company headquarters in Ludwigshafen, where 40,000 people are employed.

BASF CEO Martin Brudermüller said he wants to implement massive savings in all areas – in production and logistics as well as in research and development – and to sell off BASF subsidiaries.

Brudermüller is targeting a €2 billion earnings boost as he simplifies BASF and makes it more in tune with rapidly changing markets.

BASF Named 2018 GM Supplier Of The Year

BASF was named a 2018 General Motors (GM) Supplier of the Year for the 14th time since 2002. The award is presented by GM to suppliers who distinguish themselves by meeting performance metrics for quality, execution, innovation, and total enterprise cost.

“We hold our suppliers to a high bar,” said Steve Kiefer, GM Senior Vice President, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “They went above and beyond to deliver the innovations and quality that will help us earn customers for life.”

GM says award winners represent companies who provide products and services to GM in the areas of vehicle components, supply chain and logistics, customer care and aftersales, and indirect services.

With its broad array of colour solutions, modern paint processes, engineering plastics advancements and polyurethane technologies, BASF says it helps GM improve productivity and environmental performance, with its Coatings division providing its time- and resource-saving Integrated Paint Process to GM, while supplying many GM plants with advanced coating technologies.

“This award is a result of strong customer focus from the whole organisation. Our business relationship with GM is centred around innovation, performance and continuously enhancing the customer experience,” said Dirk Bremm, President, BASF’s Coatings division.

BASF Supports Young Auto Refinishers At The Global WorldSkills Competition

Known internationally as the world championship of non-academic occupations, the WorldSkills competition aims to motivate young people worldwide to take up a trade or technical profession.

By sponsoring this initiative, the Automotive Refinish business unit of BASF’s Coatings division supports young talents, inspires them, and makes them excited about the spray-painting profession in particular. Initiated in 1950, trainees and young skilled workers from all over the world compete with each other at the WorldSkills and measure their skills in numerous categories ever since.

Through national and regional preliminary competitions only the best of their trade qualify for the finals of the biennial world championships. For BASF as the global industry partner of WorldSkills International with its Glasurit brand since 2017 and also the official sponsor in the “Car Painting” category, the competition is a great opportunity to support the next generation of automotive refinishers and also make the paint and coatings industry aware of young, well-trained talents.

At the WorldSkills competition, participants in the category “Car Painting” will exclusively use products from the comprehensive portfolio of BASF’s refinish brands Glasurit or R-M, depending on the country. Local trainers and online tutorials will help the young spray painters to learn more about efficient application processes and provide them with useful tricks for best results. During the finals, the jury will also pay close attention to a sustainable way of working. By selecting the right products, reducing waste and re-using materials, the participants will be in the position to combine ecological vision and economic success.

From August 22 to 27, young professionals under the age of 25 will meet for the finals in Kazan, Russia, to prove their craftsmanship in the international competition. WorldSkills organizers are expecting more than 100,000 visitors from all over the world as well as 1,600 participants from more than 60 countries who will measure their skills against each other in 56 performance competitions.

BASF Introduces Digital Platform For Visualising Automotive Exterior Colours

BASF’s Coatings division has introduced a digital platform it calls AUROOM, which enables OEM designers to access a database of photo-realistic virtual car colours.

BASF’s virtual colours capture all facets of automotive coatings including lightness flop, colour flop and sparkling. By mapping these colours on car models, OEM designers can virtually paint every colour proposal and gain realistic impressions of colours and effects on a complete car already in an early design phase.

BASF says AUROOM will be a valuable tool for OEM designers to speed up and perfect the overall colour design process as they are no longer solely dependent on physical samples that need to be painted and shipped. AUROOM provides further innovative features like real-time side by side comparison of different colour shades of the same colour group to make the right colour decision easier.

“Automotive coatings are highly complex colours with texture, colour position and surface defining the overall impression,” said Mark Gutjahr, head of Automotive Colour Design EMEA at BASF’s Coatings division.

“To easily understand the impact of these colour parameters on a 3D shape, the digitised colours enable the user to see this on their individual models.”

Working together with almost every car manufacturer on the market, BASF says it currently produces over 600 colours in Europe, with new colours constantly being designed. This large portfolio will now be scanned by cameras. The huge amount of appearance data generated during the scan is processed using a sophisticated mathematic model, while BASF’s colourimetric know-how contributes to ensure its authenticity. OEMs can then access the comprehensive colour data at the AUROOM platform and render it on different 3D shapes provided by the platform or CAD shapes of their own models.

“Digitalisation is an important topic, especially in the automotive industry,” said Krzysztof Patryk Stolarzewicz, head of Global Strategic Marketing at BASF’s Coatings division.

“We have a lot of experience creating colours in our labs and now we are able to digitise them and create photo-realistic digital reproductions. For our customers, it means the colour decision process will become easier, faster and much more effective. They can also use the data for their own brand-specific car configurators so that car buyers can experience automotive colours in their entire variety which supports their buying decision.”

In the start-up phase, BASF says its virtual colour solution will first be introduced to OEMs in EMEA. In addition to the digital platform, the customers will have the chance to experience the technology at AUROOM’s “analogue twin” – a specially designed showroom at the Colour Design Studio Europe in Münster, Germany.

To demonstrate the colours and effects in the most authentic way possible, BASF also developed special virtual 3-D car shapes. Like BASF’s iconic dome shape, the virtual shapes simulate various forms of a car body. In order to assess compatibility of colour with the overall design concept, OEM designers can choose shapes of different vehicle segments in AUROOM for colour visualisation.