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The Automotive Paint Industry Challenge: Europe’s ‘difficult economy’ encourages BASF to aims for ‘considerable growth in Asia, especially China’

Ref:A0506
Published: 18 July 2013

painting


The automotive paint industry is being impacted by the difficult economic and financial situation, according to one of the world’s leading manufacturers of vehicle paints and coatings. 


Speaking to Motortrades Insight, Dr. Wolfgang Reckordt, Head of Marketing for Automotive OEM Coatings Europe at BASF, said: “This is one of the challenges the automotive paint industry is facing.” He cited Southern Europe, Western Europe – including the UK – and South America as the regions worst affected by the financial downturn.


Since 2008, there have been two recessions in the UK and the trend has been similar in Europe. 


“In the meantime, the automotive industry is showing considerable growth in Asia, especially China,” Dr. Reckordt said. “Here, we will further expand our strong position in these markets and continue to invest. For instance, our new basecoat plant in Shanghai will be opened in 2014.”


painting cars


And with this year’s Shanghai Motor Show showing the world that China is a serious player in the changing automotive industry, the new basecoat plant is symbolic of Europe’s increasing presence in the Far East. 


BASF has four manufacturing facilities in the country, in partnership with Shanghai Hua Yi Company and Sinopec Assets Management Corporation.


“Another challenge facing the automotive industry is increasingly tightening environmental regulations,” he added. “As a pioneer in waterborne systems and integrated processes, we help our customers by providing innovative solutions that in addition allow to save energy and process cost.”


Some independent dealers believe the tighter regulations are working to their advantage, with higher quality, greener automotive paints appealing to more environmentally-conscious motoring customers. 


Dr. Reckordt added: “We are focusing on our strengths and are pushing medium- and long-term topics forward, independent of short-term market developments. These include, for example the iGloss and the new CathoGuard 800/900 e-coat generations and integrated coating processes. We are also continuing to invest in training our team, as well as in research and development.”

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