BASF Coatings AG has announced it will implement a reorganization plan within its industrial coatings operations to capitalize on the company's strong position in the automotive sector and focus on profitable growth markets.
The plan, which will go into effect in Jan. 1, 2004, will include restructuring business operations and consolidating production.
"Industrial coatings is an important pillar of the entire coatings division," said Jean-Pierre Monteny, president of BASF's coatings division. "With our actions, we are focussing on products and markets in which we have a strong position and can provide additional value through combining our competences."
BASF's industrial coatings business accounted for approximately 20% of the company's 2002 global coatings sales.
The industrial coatings business unit will be reorganized into the following segments: precoatings (coil coatings and foil); metal coatings; powder coatings; and wood coatings.
In precoatings, BASF's goal is to strengthen its business in Europe and NAFTA and establishing a strong supplier position in China.
In metal coatings, the automotive OEM coatings and automotive refinish business units will expand activities in metal coatings with automotive suppliers and commercial vehicles. In addition, employees of the industrial coatings business unit who have been working in automotive-related product areas will transfer to automotive OEM coatings and automotive refinish coatings as of January 1, 2004.
Powder coatings activities will be shifted to BASF's Verbania, Italy site by Jan. 1; product development and manufacturing of powder coatings in Münster-Hiltrup will end at that time.
By Dec. 31, BASF's wood coatings will be organized into the following: Glasurit Construction (operating out of Münster-Hiltrup, encompassing window coatings and rad-cure coatings for doors) and furniture coatings (operating out of Romano d'Ezzelino, Italy). BASF' specialty/automotive dashboard business will be integrated in the automotive OEM business. Manufacturing, product development and lab activities for furniture coatings will be discontinued in Münster-Hiltrup by the end of the year.
Approximately 70 powder and wood coatings employees at the Münster site will be affected by the changes. BASF Coatings said it plans to integrate these employees in other units that have a demand of additional personnel.
"Our new organization enables us to better take advantage of market potentials," said Georg Zwissler, group vice president industrial coatings. "It complements the actions that we have taken over the past three years. Even in the difficult economic market conditions these measures have contributed significantly to improve our results in industrial coatings."