Automotive and Specialty Coatings

Brightly painted airplane in blues with flowers (photo)

We supplied coatings for several unique liveries during the year, including a turtle design for All Nippon Airways and panda artwork for China Southern Airlines (pictured above). Our products were used on a trio of All Nippon A380s, with 3,300 liters of Aerobase and Aviox CC UVR paint being used to apply the eye-catching turtle design. The panda was added to an A330-300 using 30 different shades, with more than 20 of them being new colors developed by experts at our lab in Bangalore, India.

Person working at a machine (photo)

2020 summary

It was a challenging year for most of our markets due to the global pandemic. It had a significant impact on the automotive and vehicle refinish (VR) sectors, with national lockdowns, limited vehicles on the road and OEM (original equipment manufacturing) being put on hold. The recovery started in the second half of the year – firstly in VR – and then accelerated towards year-end. Aerospace was heavily impacted due to an almost complete stop in air traffic.

2020 highlight

Our facility in Pruszków, Poland (pictured above), was expanded to double its size and is now the company’s most advanced automotive training center in Europe. Featuring state-of-the-art equipment, it will serve as a hub of learning and collaboration, hosting more than 1,000 people a year.

Customers will deepen their knowledge of coatings and application techniques through a variety of classes, while our experts will also work closely with them in the research and development of potential new products and services.

It was a difficult year, but with cost measures, new business opportunities and fast recovery, we achieved a more than acceptable year-end result.

Patrick BourguignonDirector of Automotive and Specialty Coatings
Patrick Bourguignon, Director of Automotive and Specialty Coatings (photo)

Other key developments

  • Secured a long-term agreement with American Airlines and won back business from Korean Airlines
  • Launched a new range of low compliant clearcoats in China to meet new VOC regulations. Also introduced a new VOC compliant topcoat for the commercial vehicles and commercial trucks markets
  • Introduced a radar transparent bright film for use on vehicles, which will enhance road safety systems
  • Chosen by BMW Group to be a trusted supplier of vehicle refinish products and services to a large part of its distribution network around the world
  • Made major progress in the digital transformation of our VR color tools, with more than 2,000 new MIXIT licenses
  • Received Advanced Auto Parts’ award for New Vendor of the Year – North America
  • Mapaero integration progressed well, with product rebranding activities now complete
Person looking at the shiny surface of a car (photo)

We secured a supply deal with BMW Group which means our Sikkens and Lesonal vehicle refinish brands are now approved for paint repairs of BMW and MINI passenger cars in 44 countries around the world.


in € millions

Automotive and Specialty Coatings – Revenue (bar chart)

Key brands

Automotive and Specialty Coatings – Key brands (logos)

Revenue by destination

in %

Automotive and Specialty Coatings – Revenue by destination (pie chart)
Factory pictured from above (photo)

Boeing approval for color blending in China

Our aerospace coatings facility in Dongguan, China, has been qualified by aircraft manufacturer Boeing to color blend the company’s Aerodur 3001 basecoat.

The certification means the site has been certified by Boeing to blend our industry-leading basecoat/clearcoat system, Aerodur 3001/3002, locally in China with OEM (original equipment manufacturer) approval. The Dongguan facility is now also listed on Boeing’s official qualified products list (QPL) for BMS10-72 specification.

QPL approval status is an important milestone for the facility, which opened in 2017 to specifically serve the North and South Asian aviation market and deliver cutting-edge technologies faster and more reliably.


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