Bend, but don't break

March 15, 2006

If you're like me you hate it when work "stuff" pops into your head away from the office. Whether it's a looming deadline, remembering calls that need to be made, et cetera, I find it incredibly irritating.

Well one night this wasn't so bad. After a long day of pulling together research on the automotive OEM coatings market and struggling to wrap my brain around it all, I was upside down on my yoga mat, contorted in a really awkward, challenging posture when BAM....I thought, "Hmmmm...This is what it must feel like to be an auto paint maker these days."

That is, a little upside down and inside out.

Meeting the demands of today's auto OEMs is no small task for paint makers. A lot is being asked of them. Lower costs. Reduce air pollution. Better performance. This is the mantra for today's automotive OEM paint makers.

As automakers in the U.S. and Western Europe continue to fall flat compared to their counterparts in Asia and other regions, paint companies are looking to these developing areas, investing more dollars there to counter the pressure being applied by automakers back home.

Technoloy is another area paint companies must invest their dollars in today in order to meet regulatory demands and also offer points of differentiation from their competitiors. While paint companies today are being asked to bend a lot, their investments in technologies for the future will give them the strength to bounce back and not break.

Tim Wright