Officials inaugurating Axalta Coating Systems’ Mena regional office in Jafza, Dubai

Officials inaugurating Axalta Coating Systems’ Mena regional office in Jafza, Dubai

Axalta lays base for Mideast expansion

The global coatings leader celebrates 150 years of industry innovation with new regional office and Refinish Training Centre in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone

01 November 2016

Axalta Coating Systems, 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, the company said in a statement.

In addition to this strategic milestone in Axalta’s expansion in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena), the industry major 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 maximise their use of Axalta’s refinish brands. Both the office and training centre 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. “Our strength in both transportation and industrial coatings will enable us to support the growth of consumer spending on vehicles and the rapid industrialisation being witnessed across the region,” Shaver added. 

With the UAE 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 per cent 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 maximise 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 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 revolutionised 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 colour choices. 

Since then, the company 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, it said.

With a product research and development (R&D) division that is the cornerstone of Axalta’s success, the company invests approximately four per cent of its sales revenue into technology development every year, which equated to $165 million in 2015.  In addition, Axalta’s four global technology centres – supported by 1,200 scientists, engineers and technology staff - constantly work on product development solutions. 

Axalta’s new footprint in the region will also enable customers to benefit from the company’s expertise in automotive colour technology. The company established the first-ever Colour Advisory Committee more than 90 years ago to craft colours specifically for cars. Through decades of continuous effort, Axalta has built a database of more than four million colours – one of the most extensive in the world – for OEMs and collision repair technicians. 

The company 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. 

“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.

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