AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – AkzoNobel has started operations at its state-of-the-art vehicle refinishes plant in Changzhou, China, the company’s 30th manufacturing facility in the country.
The new factory adds around 25 million liters of capacity for Sikkens, Lesonal and Prime vehicle refinishes products and strengthens AkzoNobel’s position as one of the leading players in China’s vehicle refinishes and commercial vehicle OEM markets, building on its acquisition of Changzhou Prime Automotive Ltd. in 2010.
“The Changzhou site is designed to help us meet rapidly increasing customer demand, not only from domestic suppliers, but also from our global automotive customers that have business in China,” explained Simon Parker, managing director of AkzoNobel’s Vehicle Refinishes business.
He added that the Chinese vehicle refinishes market is worth around €750 million (approximately $950 million) and has been growing at around 10 percent a year. “Changzhou is the ideal location for this facility,” continued Parker. “A good infrastructure is already in place and it is ideally situated in the coatings ‘center’ of China, with close access to many of our customers.”
Commenting on the start of operations, Conrad Keijzer, the AkzoNobel executive committee member responsible for Performance Coatings, said, “The new plant in Changzhou underlines our commitment to investing in China and strengthens our ability to manufacture locally developed product, particularly for the fast-growing mid-tier vehicle refinishes market.”
AkzoNobel currently employs more than 8,000 people in China. Revenues totaled €1.6 billion (roughly $2 billion) in 2013, with the majority being generated from local demand.