The plant will be dedicated to production of the company’s waterborne coatings that meet both manufacturer and regulatory environmental standards. Pending final government approvals, construction of the new facility is expected to break ground in the second half of 2013 with production beginning the first quarter of 2015.
“Our Board’s decision – reached only 100 days after becoming an independent company – to invest and grow with our customers reflects our long term commitment to the auto industry in China and around the world,” said Charles Shaver, chairman and CEO of Axalta Coating Systems. “That’s what Axalta customer focus is all about. Proximity enables us to respond immediately to our customers’ needs.” The new facility will be close to customers in the Shanghai area and have easy access to major transportation routes reaching into western and southern areas of the country. This additional facility will complement the manufacturing capacity of Axalta’s flagship OEM coatings manufacturing plant in Changchun that is already accelerating production to meet extraordinary growth in automotive production in China.
“The waterborne coatings that will be produced at the new facility will be used in two of the consolidated manufacturing processes that Axalta has developed for automobile manufacturers to improve productivity and save energy,” said K. Peter Hurd, Axalta’s vice president of operations. The specially formulated primer of Axalta’s 3-Wet water-based system replaces the need for a full oven bake step required after the application of traditional primers, enabling manufacturers to replace larger ovens which are expensive to build and costly to operate. Products manufactured at the new facility will also be used with Axalta’s EcoConcept production system, a proprietary technology that combines the primer and basecoat, enabling manufacturers to replace multiple bake steps with only one. According to Axalta Regional Operations Director, Allan Tsai, “Reduced baking steps saves time and energy and, along with the inherently lower-VOC quality of the paint itself, reduces the environmental footprint of the auto industry.”
“China’s expanding car production is a reflection of the nation’s fantastic economic growth. Axalta is excited to contribute to China’s success story,” said Shaver. “We know our coating systems make sense to manufacturers and the environment alike. We never forget that the colors and performance of our coatings also are part of the pleasure car owners receive when they buy a car. Axalta is proud to be able to play such a multifaceted role in China’s accomplishments.”