Axalta Coating Systems recently announced a commitment to invest $60 million in Wuppertal, Germany to build a next-generation facility that will expand capacity to produce waterborne industrial coatings. Production at the new operations center is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2015.
The investment will reinforce the Wuppertal site, already the largest of Axalta's 35 manufacturing facilities around the world, and Germany as the center of Axalta's water-based paint manufacturing operations in its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. The investment underscores the company's commitment to environmentally responsible waterborne coatings for Axalta customers in the automotive OEM and refinish, commercial transportation, general industrial, and architectural and decorative segments. In addition to manufacturing products for Western Europe, products made in Wuppertal will continue to be exported to Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America.
The next-generation facility will use manufacturing technology that will improve efficiencies, reduce waste and shrink even further the environmental footprint from operations while at the same time meeting the growing needs of Axalta customers. Additional production of waterborne coatings is a direct response to customers' growing interest in environmentally responsible coatings.
"We're tremendously excited about our ability to build new facilities in Europe and especially in Wuppertal," explained Axalta Chairman and CEO Charlie Shaver. "Germany is synonymous with some of the finest automotive engineering in the world and home to some of our key customers. Building on our great legacy that originated in Wuppertal in 1866, we are optimistic about an ever-expanding customer base for us to serve in the future."
The facility will manufacture coatings for some of the largest European automotive original equipment manufacturers. A number of Axalta's leading refinish brands, including our global flagship brands Standox®, Spies Hecker® and Cromax® used by body shops, will also be manufactured at the new facility, helping to expand its offerings of the newest generation of waterborne paints.
"Our decision to invest in Germany reflects not only our commitment to our customers but also our confidence in the German and larger EMEA economy," explained Otmar Hauck, Axalta's Chief Operating Officer in the EMEA region. "Building in Wuppertal also is a tribute to our employees and their dedication both to our company and our customers."
Axalta is one of the leading players in the development of waterborne technology for both OEM and refinish customers. The company's waterborne production process utilizes a waterborne technology system to produce "Lean and Green Automotive Coatings" that OEMs can use to significantly reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs), energy consumption and investment needed to support traditional coating technology. The "Lean and Green Automotive Coating" process includes primer-less coatings and 3-wet coatings that can achieve full layer performance without the need to flash and bake between coats. The increased productivity results in a better bottom line for customers while still producing an unparalleled finish on vehicles.