Dubai – MENA Herald: Axalta Coating Systems (NYSE: AXTA), a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, has formally opened its regional office in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA). Designed to expand its regional sales and customer service capability, Axalta’s investment responds to the region’s continued growth that is outperforming other global markets in automotive industry sales.
In addition to this strategic milestone in Axalta’s expansion in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the industry leader in refinish coatings also plans to commission a flagship regional Refinish Training Centre in Dubai by early 2017. The new facility will enable refinish technicians to hone their skills and learn how to maximize their use of Axalta’s refinish brands. Both the office and training center help commemorate the company’s 150th anniversary in the coatings industry.
“Our investment demonstrates our confidence in the region and our commitment to serve our regional customers with industry-leading coating solutions and services,” said Charlie Shaver, Chairman and CEO of Axalta, who formally opened the new Dubai office today. “Our strength in both transportation and industrial coatings will enable us to support the growth of consumer spending on vehicles and the rapid industrialization being witnessed across the region.”
With the United Arab Emirates topping global growth rates for new car sales during the first eight months of 2015, the wider Middle East car sales market is predicted to grow twice as fast as markets in North America and Western Europe between 2012 and 2022 according to Carmudi*, a regional automotive publication.
Forecasts of annual light vehicle sales among the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the largest economic body in the Middle East, estimate a surge of 25 percent to nearly 1.75 million new car sales due to strong economic growth, private sector activity, low interest rates and government spending.
Added Shaver, “With our new facility, we will be more effective and efficient in building our brand and enabling our customers to maximize the benefits of our products, especially our industry leading waterborne coating systems. Our investment in the Middle East signals our expectation for additional business opportunities in this growing region of the world.”
Axalta’s first coatings were developed in Europe in 1866 for horse-drawn carriages. As cars emerged as the leading form of personal transportation in the 20th century, Axalta’s Duco® lacquers revolutionized the application of coatings with the first spray-applied, fast-drying automotive finish. The new technology cut paint-drying times from days to hours and offered customers a range of new color choices.
Since then, Axalta has grown into a leader in the coating industry and today is one of the top suppliers to light vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and the number one global coatings supplier in the refinish segment, supporting body shops and the vehicle repair industry. Axalta is also the largest global supplier to heavy duty truck and bus manufacturers. Axalta is a global leading supplier to electrical insulation, powder coatings, and industrial E-Coat markets.
With a product research and development division that is the cornerstone of Axalta’s success, the company invests approximately four percent of its sales revenue into technology development every year, which equated to $165 million in 2015.
In addition, Axalta’s four global technology centers – supported by 1,200 scientists, engineers and technology staff – constantly work on product development and technology solutions which have focused on providing durability, protection, and color across the products and services to Axalta’s customers.
Axalta’s new footprint in the region will also enable customers to benefit from the company’s extensive expertise in automotive color technology. The company established the first-ever Color Advisory Committee more than 90 years ago to craft colors specifically for cars. Through decades of continuous effort, Axalta has built a database of more than four million colors – one of the most extensive in the world – for OEMs and collision repair technicians.
Axalta is an industry leader in the development of products which reduce the environmental footprint from coatings. Waterborne coatings, other liquid coatings with low-to-zero volatile organic compound (VOCs) emissions and powder coatings with no VOCs or targeted hazardous air pollutants provide a number of options for customers. Axalta’s AquaEC® electrocoat and Voltatex® Energy Solutions products are available in tin- and formaldehyde-free formulations, respectively, while continuing to offer substrates strong protection against corrosion.
“As more customers adopt waterborne systems, they will complete their jobs faster, provide a better service to car users across the UAE and greater MENA region,” explained Fadi Medlej, Managing Director of MENA for Axalta. “Our coatings and application systems combine to offer increasingly environmentally responsible coating solutions which can help meet sustainability goals across the region, an increasingly important pillar of regional governments’ development policies.