Axalta Coating Systems will begin the next phase of construction to significantly expand its waterborne production capacity at the company’s operations in Guarulhos, Brazil. The 2014 construction represents the third year of a $32 million investment program. The additional facility will more than double capacity to over 4.5 million liters (1.2 million gallons) which will meet the demands of automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in South America where increases in the car parc are forecast to continue. The additional production is expected to come on line in 2015.
The Guarulhos plant is Axalta’s largest manufacturing facility in Latin America. The plant supplies customers in Brazil, where Axalta is already the largest automotive coatings supplier to OEMs, as well as customers in Argentina, Venezuela and Colombia. The new facility will produce waterborne coatings, complementing the on-going manufacture of quality products for customers in refinish and industrial segments that will continue to be produced at the Guarulhos location.
“The region is one of the most rapidly growing markets for car production with Brazil in the vanguard,” said Charlie Shaver, Axalta chairman and CEO. “We are committed to keeping pace with the increasing demand for automotive paint and serving the needs of our customers who increasingly want the option to convert to waterborne technology.”
Axalta is a leading player 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, according to the company. The “Lean and Green Automotive Coating” process includes primer-less coatings and 3-wet coatings that can achieve full layer performance without having 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. In addition, Axalta’s waterborne products are intrinsically environmentally responsible and meet global environmental requirements, such as the EU’s VOC Regulation 2004/42/EC, to which Axalta adheres in Brazil and that can help reduce the overall environmental footprint of the auto industry.
“Our decision to invest in Brazil reflects not only our commitment to our customers but also our confidence in the Brazilian economy,” added Jorge Cossio, vice president of Axalta Latin America. “The tremendous growth of Brazil’s consumer market benefits everyone and we are excited to be able to contribute to the national success story.”
The Brazil investment follows a ceremony on January 10, 2014 in Shanghai, China where Axalta broke ground to begin construction of a new waterborne manufacturing that will supply OEMs that are expanding production in the southern and western regions of China.