Latin America Reports

DuPont invests in Brazil's automotive paint training

By Charles W. Thurston | October 1, 2009

DuPont looks to capitalize on Brazil's growing auto refinish market.

DuPont Brasil has reopened its modernized automotive aftermarket paint training facility-the Centro de Repintura Automotiva-in Guarulhos, Sao Paulo state with new technology cells and the ability to train 60 painters per month, drawing on painters from Brazil and surrounding countries. The company's focus on the after-market automotive segment is timely, since it now generates more revenue than OEM auto painting in Brazil.

The reopening coincided with the sixth annual VI Encontro de Repintura Automotiva, in the city of Sao Paulo, sponsored by trade association Sitivesp (Sindicato da Indstria de Tintas e Vernizes do Estado de So Paulo), along with the national industrial training entity SENAI (Servio Nacional de Aprendizagem Industrial).

The OEM automotive paint sector in Brazil consumed 48 million liters last year, representing 3.5-4.5% of the total paint and coatings market in Brazil. Automotive paint also generated $219 million, representing between 6-7.5% of total paint sector revenues.

In contrast, after-market, or repainting is an even larger market in Brazil, which consumed 49 million liters and generated sales of $263 million. Abrafati (Associacao Das Fabricantes De Tintas), the national paint association, predicts a shrinkage of 2.5% of the after-market segment this year, compared with a five percent shrinkage in OEM automotive segment, and a total market slowing of three percent this year.

The redesigned DuPont facility includes infrared equipment, spectrophotometer color design and advanced water-based painting lines. The facility also will promote use of the company's Chroma Premier Pro, with high solids and low VOC content, as well as its water-based system, Standohyd. On the September 4 date of the reopening, Marcelo Herrera, the business director of DuPont Brasil's Repintura unit said, "The investment in modernizing the Centro de Repintura Automotiva is only one of the diverse initiatives that our division is undertaking to provide continuity to the growth that has occurred over the past few years, and to reach ever higher plateaus."

The Sitivesp conference on aftermarket painting included support from companies including AkzoNobel, BASF, Brasilux, Briltintas, CESVI Brasil, DuPont, Maxi Rubber, Mecnica Web, Milflex General Tintas e Vernizes, PPG and Sherwin-Williams' Lazzuril division.

Finally, the annual meeting of Abrafati, held September 23-25, also focused on the vibrant aftermarket automotive segment.

While new car sales in Brazil peaked earlier this year and OEMs are expected to increase production to some 3.8 million units per year, Brazilians tend to keep their cars on the road longer than in the U.S. Brazil now has a fleet of 33 million automobiles, according to Denatran, the national transportation board.

Overall, the large OEMs continue to invest hundreds of millions if not billions in automotive production in Brazil. This ready availability, combined with auto loan terms that are extending beyond five years and a still robust general economy is serving to enable many families to purchase their first car.