- Language Tips
When two organizations set out together to push the envelope, great things are bound to happen, and the partnership between AkzoNobel and McLaren is no exception.
AkzoNobel, a leading global producer of paints, coatings and specialty chemicals, has been the official supplier of paint solutions to the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes VMM Formula 1 team through its Sikkens brand of automotive coatings since 2009.
"We've already had some tremendous payoffs coming out of our partnership with McLaren," said Jim Rees, managing director of AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings (A&AC).
"We've taken what we've learned while working to push performance boundaries for the McLaren F1 team and applied that knowledge to a number of our Sikkens products, including Autowave 2.0, our newest waterborne basecoat."
Autowave 2.0 is a next-generation waterborne basecoat that features major advances in binder and pigment technology.
With ease of use, reliability and reduced process time, Sikkens now offers a "turbocharged" refinish system consisting of Autowave 2.0, Autosurfacer UV and Autoclear LV Superior.
This year, it will be launched gradually throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In 2014, it will be gradually introduced in the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region.
"I'm very excited about the prospects of Autowave 2.0," said Kerstin Stranimaier, AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings' marketing director.
The company's ultra-light, high-performance Sikkens coatings solution helped McLaren gain a competitive edge on the race track and AkzoNobel wants to bring this technology to a broader consumer base.
"We've taken what we learned in that partnership to deliver superior performance to vehicle repair professionals," Stranimaier said.
It is just the latest in a series of products that have benefited from the exchange of knowledge between team members at AkzoNobel and McLaren.
In the days that have passed since AkzoNobel received its first request to paint the MP4-24 for McLaren, the ties between the two have continually grown stronger.
In 2008, AkzoNobel with its Sikkens brand was designated the official paint supplier to the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team.
In 2011, AkzoNobel became an official partner. And last September, AkzoNobel and McLaren Automotive signed an agreement at the Auto Salon de Paris that extended the relationship to cover coatings for McLaren's MP4-12C and its P1, two of the most-admired and talked about road cars in the world.
Here, the challenge put forward was to create a low-bake automotive coating system that would be suitable on the high-tech substrates and to provide one-of-a-kind colors and effects befitting the extraordinary performance and engineering of McLaren's finely crafted road cars.
A specially designed system has now been developed based on McLaren's discerning specifications, and 18 custom colors have been formulated.
"Our working relationship with McLaren is a perfect example of what we strive for in a partnership," Rees said.
"We talk about delivering leading performance at AkzoNobel because we are trying to provide solutions that will enrich people's lives based on science and technology. You couldn't find a better example of realizing those ambitions than what we have achieved -and will continue to achieve - through our partnership with McLaren," Rees added.
Prospects in China
AkzoNobel has made great strides in China over the past few years.
In 2014, A&AC's production facility in Changzhou will start operation.
"In a bid to meet the growing market demand in China, we are not only expanding our production capacity but also offering the most "eco-logical" coating solutions to the local market," said William Wu, business manager, AkzoNobel A&AC China.
"We plan to launch Autowave 2.0 in China in the end of 2014. With this latest addition to our portfolio, we will be better serving the sustainability requirements of our Chinese customers to help them improve energy efficiency," Wu said.
AkzoNobel now has 29 manufacturing facilities in China supported by 7,700 employees.
(China Daily 04/12/2013 page13)