Delegates from Axalta Coating Systems, one of the leading global suppliers of liquid and powder coatings, representing the company’s three premium global refinish brands – Cromax®, Spies Hecker® and Standox® – attended the IBIS Global Summit 2015 in Athens, Greece, between 27 and 29 May 2015.
For Axalta, as one of the active and committed leaders of the refinish industry and a major partner and sponsors of the event, the symposium was the perfect forum to share its knowledge of and expertise in the OEM and refinish sectors with other industry leaders and market influencers.
Jürgen Knorr, Director Key Accounts, Refinish Systems for Axalta in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, explains, “Globally, Axalta is a key facilitator among bodyshops, the insurance industry and vehicle manufacturers. Participation in one of the industry’s premier global conferences, such as IBIS, allows us to stay close to the market trends, to learn about the latest industry developments and to hear directly from our customers about how we can serve them better. During the event we contributed by bringing experience from our long-standing partnerships with our OEM and bodyshop customers in 130 countries, and with nearly 350 delegates from around the world, IBIS is a fantastic opportunity each year to build strong relationships with other key players in the collision industry.”
Georg Tautz, Business Director, Refinish Systems for Axalta in Central and Eastern Europe, gave a presentation focused on Russia, a country he said could provide business opportunities in the medium to long term. Calling it a case of when, not if, Tautz highlighted the potential for further growth in Russia: almost less than a third of all Russians drive a car, compared with over 50% of Western Europeans. In Tautz’s opinion, by the end of the decade Russia, already the fifth largest ‘Car Parc’ in the world, could be the largest automotive market in Europe.
Tautz noted, however, that the Russian economy is widely accepted to be still in decline, car sales are assumed to be down by 30 per cent in 2015 and it is thought that repairs are only carried out if they are urgent. Tautz said the challenge for the industry is to manage the current situation and think about mid-to-long term strategies that took into account changing market conditions.