Axalta Coating Systems recently broke ground on the newest phase of its Jiading plant in Shanghai, which represents an important new investment in environmentally responsible waterborne coatings by the Company in China. Expected to be operational by early 2021, this expanded facility will position Axalta to meet rising demand for sustainable coatings from automotive and industrial customers across southern and eastern China.
“This investment into waterborne coatings production is vital to the current and future growth of Axalta. Maintaining a leading position in the global waterborne coatings market is critical for Axalta and one in which we will continue to invest,” said Steven Markevich, Executive Vice President and President of Transportation Coatings Greater China. “As the China market for automobiles and industrial goods continues to grow, evolve and mature, we believe this investment will position us to meet growing demand among our customers for sustainable products and innovative applications across southern and eastern China. This milestone will enable us to stay at the forefront of the latest generation of waterborne coatings and positions us for future technology advances to meet customer requirements.”
China has the world’s largest automotive market and second-largest car parc, which stood at a total vehicle population of 348 million at the end of 2019. Car ownership per thousand people in China just surpassed global averages, demonstrating ample potential for future growth in China’s automotive industry. China’s coatings market is being advanced by the government and the industry, which envisions a future where only businesses with environmentally responsible products and production can survive and grow.
“As the industry continues upgrading to sustainable products, the waterborne coatings market will likewise continue to grow in China,” said Willie Wu, President of Axalta Greater China. “The next generation of world-leading waterborne coatings technology that will be produced at our expanded facility is designed to benefit industry and the environment by creating superior appearance, lowering energy consumption, and reducing carbon dioxide and VOC emissions. Our investment in waterborne coatings production will embody the principles of sustainable manufacturing, while ensuring we continue to meet both our efficiency and profitability goals. This win-win scenario will be a long-term competitive edge that will benefit our Company and our customers.”
The expanded waterborne coatings plant will combine the best practices adopted at Axalta’s other global plants with China’s local R&D advantages, while also implementing a unique design process. This includes automated production technology to maximise productivity, reduce energy consumption, and minimise environmental impacts.
Sun Lianying, Chairman of the China National Coating Industry Association, added: “China’s automotive and industrial coatings industries are rapidly upgrading their manufacturing processes to continue delivering high-quality products, while becoming more sustainable. With its Jiading waterborne plant, Axalta set the gold standard in the industry in 2015, and this expansion is further proof of its commitment to the sustainable development of the Chinese market and the industries it serves.”
Since the company’s journey in China began in 1984, it has built liquid coating plants in Shanghai and Changchun, as well as a powder coating plant in Shanghai and four refinish training centres. Axalta opened its Jiading waterborne plant in 2015 and its Asia Pacific Technology Centre in Shanghai in 2017.