Automotive and Specialty Coatings

Car with bright film technology (photo)

The bright film technology we’ve developed allows better and more consistent transmission of signals that ultimately help people to drive more safely.

2021 summary

It was a strong year for many of our activities, despite having to face a series of external challenges. Our Consumer Electronics and Film businesses both had a record year, while there was an impressive recovery in Aerospace Coatings and we increased prices across all our market segments. Our teams showed great resilience as we pushed ahead with the company’s Grow & Deliver strategy, once again proving that teamwork can overcome many hurdles. We’re well prepared to keep that momentum going.

Despite the extreme external environment, impacted by raw material shortages and COVID-19, we delivered a solid performance, thanks to the agility and hard work of our teams.

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

2021 highlight

We introduced innovative film technology that allows automotive manufacturers to hide radar sensors behind decorative metallic parts. The radar-transparent bright film – perfected by working together with our customers – means vehicle makers no longer have to worry about hiding sensors behind solid metal, which can block the signals of safety features such as anti-collision warnings. Demand exceeded expectations and we’ve already been specified as a global supplier of emblems by one of the world’s biggest car brands – with lots of potential to grow this particular market.

Other key developments

  • Signed partnership deals to supply refinish products to a number of leading car manufacturers, including Daimler, Nissan and Toyota in China; and Citroën and MG in India
  • Sikkens Autosurfacer UV and Autoclear Pro Xpress were awarded Best Innovation prizes in the Automotive Aftermarket category at the World Auto Forum
  • Our Carbeat digital production management application expanded its presence significantly
  • Launched ColorSurfaces edition 17, our annual color trend collection designed to spark the imagination of customers in the automotive, aerospace and consumer electronics markets
  • Secured an exclusive agreement with French insurance company ASSERCAR to become a recommended supplier for their vehicle repair network through our Sikkens and Lesonal brands
  • Automotive market demand for film on metal was high, while consumer electronics companies continued to see the value of decorative and eco-friendly film offerings
  • Dell awarded its first-ever Waterborne Paint Development Partner award to our Consumer Electronics business. It acknowledges our crucial role in Dell’s transformation from solvent-based to water-based coatings technology
  • Smartphone manufacturer Samsung approved our solution for the A32, A52 and A72 in its Galaxy series
  • Aerospace Coatings continued to work with Dutch students on a project to develop an airplane powered by liquid hydrogen
  • Secured an agreement with Airbus, which also covers products from our recently acquired Mapaero range


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)

Adding color to the skies

Our Aerospace Coatings business showcased its unique expertise by supplying high-performance products for a series of unique liveries throughout the year.

Plane with USA Colourway (photo)
Plane with orange and blue colourway (photo)
Plane with white and blue colourway (photo)

Alaska Airlines wanted to create a livery to embody its values and symbolize its commitment to education and advancing racial equity. The design – inspired by Alaska Airline employees and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) – features profiles of the next generation of leaders: the children, grandchildren and mentees of the airline’s employees.

Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines in the US wanted to celebrate its 50th anniversary by creating a very special livery named Freedom One. It was developed as a tribute to all of Southwest’s employees, as well as honoring veterans and all those currently serving in the US Armed Forces. We provided our HS2111 chrome-free primer and Aerodur 3001/3002 basecoat/clearcoat system.

And in China, a bespoke livery was created to inspire the creativity of the aviation industry’s future talent in the region. We donated products and expertise to the “Soaring with your dream” program as part of a long-standing partnership with Boeing. The aircraft, which is housed at the Boeing 737 Completion Center in Zhoushan, is used for training students in the art of painting liveries and one-off designs.

F1 star drives us crazy!

We got all revved up in September when McLaren F1 driver, Lando Norris, visited our Sassenheim site in the Netherlands ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix.

He arrived in style – in a McLaren road car – with the flying visit providing an opportunity for him to see some of the work we do as McLaren Racing’s official paints and coatings partner.

MclLaren F1 Car (photo)

It was also a rare chance for those who work at the location to meet Lando in person and hear him talk about what it’s like to drive a car that features the colors they create.

As well as hosting a Q&A session, the British driver was given a brief tour, which included a visit to the site’s Automotive Training Center.

To help make the visit extra special, a replica McLaren F1 car was put on display at the facility for several days so everyone could enjoy taking a closer took.

Lando Norris in front of people with face mask on (photo)
Lando Norris in front of his F1 car (photo)
Lando Norris in a McLaren street car driving next to people (photo)

In early 2022, we extended and expanded our long-standing partnership with McLaren Racing. As well as exploring new possibilities in the areas of technological innovation and product development, the multi-year agreement also includes becoming a sustainability partner to McLaren Racing. This will enable us to incorporate our People. Planet. Paint. approach as we strive to play an active role in their sustainability journey.

Lando Norris with two paint cans (photo)
Lando Norris signing a T-Shirt (photo)