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Enormous interest in "Integrated Process II", ColorCARE, and BASF's automotive approach

Published on 2006-11-10. Author : SpecialChem

Detroit/New Jersey/Freeport/Münster -- "Growing strength in North America" - under this banner 24 German, British and Dutch journalists from the economic press, daily press and trade press, from agencies, radio stations, and TV now obtained information about BASF business in North America. In addition, North American journalists and representatives of trade magazines paid visits to various BASF sites. The BASF Coatings site in Southfield near Detroit, Michigan, was also on the itinerary. Jay Baker, responsible for Coatings business in North America, explained to media representatives the automotive competence of BASF, which is consolidated under the positioning statement of "Automotive Solutions. Performance Passion Success". For example, over ten percent of BASF's total sales by value is attributable to automotive industry business. Many journalists were unaware of the fact that a medium-range passenger car contains chemical products worth around 800 euros. Incidentally, it was the first time that BASF was presenting its automotive approach in the automotive industry within the scope of a press conference.

Tim Salatin, Director, Global Technology BASF, who by the way was employed at the Münster site of BASF Coatings from 2000 to 2004, provided a deep insight into current Coatings issues. He explained "Integrated Process II" to the media, a new innovative coating system that was successfully launched at BMW Mini production in Oxford and for the development of which the Coatings Team won the internal BASF Excellence Award this year. ColorCARE as well though, an instrument with which BASF Coatings can monitor and, if necessary, correct the color harmony of the body and add-on parts that were built and coated at other suppliers, met with considerable interest. Innovations from the plastics sector were presented by Mark Minichelli. The agenda at BASF Coatings in Southfield was rounded off with a short guided tour of the plant and a tour of Application, along with a coating demonstration.

Afterwards the participants discovered what a partnership with a client from the automotive industry was really like in practice. Susan DeSandre, Director Body and Chassis, Americas Production Purchasing Operations at Ford, and Ph. D. Jeffrey H. Helms, Manager Paint Engineering Ford, and Jeff Leone, Global Account Director Ford at BASF Coatings, explained their common approach for the future. "We want to help Ford be successful, also in the restructuring operations currently in progress. Joint projects in the coating process, in environmental compatibility, and in boosting efficiency will prove that there was every justification for BASF Coatings being presented with the World Excellence Award no less than three times this year and being included on the list of preferred suppliers. It was together with Jay Baker, Tim Salatin, and Mark Minichelli, that Andrew Ladak, BASF Coatings communicator at the Southfield site, and Dr. Michael Golek, Global Communications, Münster, had prepared the media visit and the presentations in close collaboration with the communication managers at BASF Aktiengesellschaft.

Other stops on the press tour were BASF Catalysts LLC, formerly Engelhard, the Verbund site at Freeport, Texas, and New Jersey with its BASF low-energy building project in Paterson, New Jersey. The days spent with the media were rounded off by a presentation of North American business and strategy delivered by executive director of BASF, Klaus Peter Löbbe, former CEO of BASF Coatings AG and President of the BASF Group's Coatings Division, and responsible for the North American business of BASF. In doing so Mr. Löbbe was able to inform the press that BASF had since become the second largest chemical company in North America in terms of sales and had increased its profitability significantly over the last five years. The fixed costs amounting to US$ 400 million a year had been eliminated earlier than planned. BASF was intending to continue growing profitably in North America, where it was planning to invest over US$ 500 million in 2006 and 2007.

Background Information: A brief look at BASF in North America

  • Sales in 2005: US$ 11.3 billion
  • Second largest chemical company in North America
  • Approx. 16,000 employees
  • Products: chemicals, products and services for the automotive industry, agriculture, as well as the construction, health, and food industries
  • Over 40 production sites including Verbund sites such as Geismar and Freeport
  • BASF Coatings sites in North America are Southfield in Michigan and Tultitlàn in Mexico

Source: BASF

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