BASF and DiDi, one of the world’s leading platforms for driving services, have signed a strategic cooperation agreement in Hangzhou in the Chinese province of Zhejiang. Hangzhou is the headquarters of Xiaoju Autocare (Xiaoju Yangche), a subsidiary of DiDi.
Under the terms of the agreement, BASF will in future be supplying DiDi with sustainable automotive refinish coatings that will be developed at the research and production site in Jiangmen. These products are specially designed for the Chinese market and help to reduce VOC emissions and meet the strict regulations that apply in various Chinese cities. As part of the strategic partnership, both companies are committed to the sustainable development of the car sharing industry in and outside of China.
With the accessories of the RODIM brand, paint shops are supported in improving their workflow and performance in automotive refinishing. In addition, a specially established team of experts from BASF provides prompt support in technical questions, including training for employees in DiDi’s workshops.
DiDi currently operates 25 body and paint shops in China. By the end of this year, the company plans to expand its global presence to more than 200 of its own workshops and franchises.
“Simplification is part of our DNA. We focus on optimizing processes and operations while expanding our business,” said Gu Haijie, president of Xiaoju Autocare. “BASF is the solution provider that offers us everything from a single source and can support us in standardizing our painting process in the new workshops. This enables us to increase our efficiency and integrate the entire value chain of contractors, dealers and workshops.”
Since 2012, DiDi has maintained its leading position in the business of online travel agency services. With CNY 300 billion (approx. € 39 billion), the company had a 90% market share in the Chinese car sharing business in 2019. The DiDi vehicle fleet currently has 300,000 vehicles and is expected to increase to 1 million by 2022. The subsidiary Xiaoju Autocare is the largest holistic service platform for vehicle owners and comprises around 30 million registered drivers and 550 million users. BASF first contacted DiDi and Xiaoju Autocare at the end of 2019. At the beginning of 2020, the first opportunity for cooperation arose, in which BASF was commissioned to convert DiDi’s first operation in Shanghai.
“DiDi is a typical ‘unicorn company.’ A common feature of our two companies is our ability to react quickly to market requirements,” said Patrick Zhao, senior vice president, Coatings Solutions, Asia-Pacific, BASF. “As part of the strategic cooperation, we can explore the car sharing market and further advance this partnership. DiDi offers consumers various car sharing offers. With a global network, a comprehensive portfolio for the automotive sector and a large pool of talent, BASF is contributing to the sustainable development of the automotive refinish industry.”
BASF’s Coatings division has a global network of over 80 training centers, nine of which are in China.