Axalta Global Automotive Color Popularity Report 2019

Released in November last year, Axalta’s Global Automotive Color Popularity Report 2019 revealed that grey was the most popular colour for new cars in Europe. With 24 per cent of the market, grey narrowly edged out white on the old continent (23 per cent), but white remained the world’s most popular colour. The third most popular choice in Europe was black, and Axalta says that together, these three colours have a two-thirds market share. Silver has a 10 per cent market share while the leading “bright” colours are blue with 10 per cent, and red with six per cent.

Elke Dirks, Automotive OEM Colour Designer for Axalta in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the rise of grey came as no surprise. “Grey stands for practicality and professionalism, style and elegance,” said Dirks. “A grey car signals that the driver does not need to draw attention to themselves with a bright colour. Thanks to new pigments and effects, the previously rather inconspicuous colour is now often very stylish. It takes around two years to completely develop a new colour, so we have to recognise tomorrow’s colour trends today.”

Axalta says the OEM colouristic team evaluates a wide variety of indicators. In addition to analysing colour statistics as well as customer and model-related properties, they look at fashion and “zeitgeist” (the defining spirit or mood of a period of history). “Trends in clothing, furniture and accessories, even articles in magazines – everything can provide clues,” said Dirks.

Not every shade that Dirks and her colleague Christiane Luedecke develop makes it onto a car. Sometimes a colour fails due to production-related reasons, and sometimes it is because of the development of a repair formula. “The paint development for a car manufacturer does not only include the production paint, but also the right repair paint, because at some point body shops must be able to repair paint damage perfectly,” explained Harald Kloeckner, Head of Standox Training EMEA.

During the colour development process, Standox (an Axalta brand) is in regular contact with its OEM paint colleagues. “This co-operation makes the development of suitable repair formulas and paints easier,” added Kloeckner.

According to Standox, close coordination with OEMs is not a matter of course as some production paint manufacturers are not active in the refinish area, and vice versa.

Standox says the development of a paint repair formula is a lengthy and time-consuming procedure that includes microscopic analysis to identify pigments, the calculation of mixing formulas and the creation of spray patterns by robotics to obtain a neutral spray pattern. The results obtained are checked and refined.

Standox develops around 60 new mixing formulas every week and deploys them via its online colour software Standowin iQ. “It is a lot of effort, but we know we can ensure that our partners always achieve the best possible results,” said Kloeckner.

Standox Releases 2020 Colours Of Europe Calendar

The 2020 UEFA European Football Championship (Euro 2020) will take place next year with Ireland to host some of the final games alongside other European countries. The Standox 2020 calendar is embracing the tournament, while highlighting certain cars.

Anatol Kotte, a German photographer, has captured Europe’s fascination with football in the Standox 2020 calendar – The Colours of Europe. Kotte captures the flair of 12 European countries in very individual ways, using subtle hints through shop signs, road markings or the colour of a licence plate.

Standox said the calendar’s images show people engrossed in what they do and aims to illustrate that football is more than a European championship, but rather has its roots in people’s playfulness. The calendar also shows some unique and rare vehicles, such as the Spyker C8 (which used to be manufactured near Amsterdam), a Lamborghini Aventador and a GAZ-14 Chaika from Russia.

“We have been working with well-known photographers to design our Standox wall calendar for over 30 years,” says Olaf Adamek, Brand Manager for Standox in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “It is not commercially available, but goes exclusively to customers, partners and friends of the brand. We wish all participating countries the best of luck for all their matches and look forward to a fair and exciting Euro 2020.”

The calendar images can be downloaded online at www.standox.com/europe2020.

Axalta To Build New, State-Of-The-Art Facility In The Netherlands

Axalta signed an agreement to develop a new, state-of-the-art facility in the Netherlands for its Dutch refinish business.

Once construction is completed, Axalta’s global refinish brands in the Netherlands – Cromax, Spies Hecker, Standox, and Syrox – will relocate to the new facility on Business Park Medel, both in Tiel.

The facility will also house Metalak BV.

“There has been a period of growth and change following our acquisition of Metalak in 2015,” said Adrien Schrobiltgen, Axalta’s VP for Refinish Systems in Europe, Middle East and Africa. “We have outgrown our current location’s ability to support us in the way in which we need it.”

Axalta’s plot in Business Park Medel is 12,000 square metres and will house, once completed, a large facility comprised of office space over three floors, a warehouse, and a new Axalta training centre as well as separate mixing room, which is part of Axalta’s direct business point of distribution, servicing both high-volume customers as well as local colour development.

“We are always looking to improve our level of support to our customers, so today, with a view to the future, we commit to building a state-of-the-art facility,” said Bas van de Ven, Axalta’s managing director for Refinish in the Netherlands “The new training centre will be able to meet the future needs of the market, while the new offices and sophisticated automated warehouse will allow us to take our daily operations to the next level and to attract and to retain outstanding talent.”

Ground is due to be broken on the site in October 2019, with an anticipated completion date by summer 2020. The facility will be operational and ready to move into by September 2020.

Adrien Schrobiltgen, Axalta VP for Refinish Systems in EMEA.

Spies Hecker and Standox Gain Reapproval by BMW for 2019

BMW Group has renewed its annual approval of Spies Hecker and Standox. The agreement, which is for BMW and MINI passenger car repair, covers the BMW Group service network in 51 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Jürgen Knorr, Director, Key Accounts Director for Axalta’s Refinish Systems in Europe, Middle East and Africa, says “Spies Hecker and Standox have been recommended by BMW Group for 22 years now and we are delighted to be continuing our very successful partnership.”

The agreement recommends BMW Group’s dealerships and service garages use Spies Hecker and Standox refinish paint technologies and the renewal is based on thorough performance testing. It also includes wide-ranging support and focused training from both Spies Hecker and Standox.

“Thanks to Axalta’s constant product and technology development, the refinish technologies offered by Spies Hecker and Standox are not only heavily focused on sustainability by helping to reduce energy consumption and waste and the use of less material, but also ensure the paintwork repairs on BMW cars perform to the specified quality levels. And innovations like Axalta’s Digital Colour Management help BMW Group’s dealerships and service garages to be more efficient and more profitable. By supplying our customers with innovative and cutting-edge technologies, we hope to gain reapproval for many more years to come,” says Knorr.

Axalta’s Three Premium Global Refinish Brands Approved By Porsche

Porsche has added Cromax to its list of approved car paint repair brands, making all three of Axalta’s premium global refinish brands – Cromax, Spies Hecker and Standox – authorised for use by Porsche dealerships and body shops worldwide. Axalta has held technical approval with Porsche for more than 20 years with Spies Hecker and Standox.

The rolling approval ensures that Porsche cars are repaired with the highest quality products using the most modern technologies.

“We are delighted to be continuing our successful partnership with Porsche AG with the inclusion of Cromax in the Porsche AG Paint Manual,” said Jürgen Knorr, Director Key Accounts for Axalta’s Refinish Systems in Europe, Middle East and Africa. “The highly productive and value-added paint systems offered by Cromax are a perfect fit for Porsche approved body shops and dealerships to enable repairs that maintain the value of a vehicle and to ensure strict warranty requirements are met.”

Axalta Opens New Facility In Midrand, South Africa

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.

Standox Provides Practical Tips For Repairing Liquid Metal Colours

Liquid metal colours are among the most spectacular car paints, which is why they are frequently used for sports cars or luxury sedans. But the extremely fine pigmentation of liquid metal colours makes their repair quite demanding. Axalta Coating Systems’ National Training Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Polverino, shares tips on how best to approach these specialised colours.

Refinishing liquid metal colours, such as Alubeam by Mercedes or Liquid Metal Silver by Porsche, is an art. The repair demands the highest technical proficiency, as well as precision when preparing the substrate and premium quality paint products.

“Because of the composition of the liquid metal colours, even the smallest deviations from the original colour tone are immediately noticeable,” said Polverino. “Their aluminium flakes are considerably thinner and flatter than the ones used in conventional metallic paints and they reflect the light with greater intensity, so they are unforgiving of the smallest imperfection in the substrate, which must be taken into account in the preparation stages.”

How to get it right with Standoblue using a Mercedes liquid metal colour Alubeam repair.

Step 1 – Preparation

Apply a Standox VOC filler, please refer to the car manufacturer’s approvals. Drying and sanding should be carried out as normal. Then apply Standocryl VOC Xtra Clear K9560 onto the sanded filler to obtain a smooth surface. The clear coat must dry thoroughly, so give it a little more drying time than usual.

Step 2 – Sanding of the Clear Coat

Sand the clear coat surface of the repaired part and the old coating using P1000 to P1500, but sand corners and edges by hand with P3000. Very important: under no circumstance sand through!

Step 3 – Applying the Colour Blend

Apply Standoblue Colour Blend or Standoblue Color Blend Long to the blending zone. The product should be applied up to approximately 10 – 20 centimetres from the repaired area.

Step 4 – Blending In

Blend in. The ready-for-use setting for Standoblue is as follows: mixed Standoblue colour Alubeam + 50 per cent Standoblue Adjustment Additive Long. Apply the first spray pass up to the edge of the still wet Color Blend. With this spray pass you should almost entirely cover the area of repair.

Step 5 – Fading In

Apply the effect spray pass to the repair area and into the still wet Color Blend at a greater spray gun distance. As long as the Color Blend and Standoblue Basecoat are still wet, this step can be repeated, if required. The basecoat must have dried completely until it is matt before the clear coat can be applied.

Step 6 – Application of the Clear Coat

Apply the Standocryl VOC Xtra Clear K9560 to the entire repair area and then dry it according to the instructions on the technical datasheet.

Full, illustrated guidelines for repairing liquid metal colours can also be found in the Special Colours Standothek. It can be downloaded from www.standox.com.au/standothek. For specific information, the new online reference tool www.standox.com.au/standopedia is extremely useful for practical expert refinish advice. It covers the most important technical topics and is continually updated and expanded by professional Standox refinishers.