Monday, 04 December 2017 08:55

SVP of BASF Coatings Discusses Changes Ahead for Collision Industry

Written by Autobody News Staff
Chris Toomey, SVP of BASF Coatings, standing at the BASF Automotive Refinish Coatings booth at the SEMA Show with the 1957 Chevy Montage. Chris Toomey, SVP of BASF Coatings, standing at the BASF Automotive Refinish Coatings booth at the SEMA Show with the 1957 Chevy Montage.


The BASF Automotive Refinish Coatings booth stayed busy throughout this year’s four-day SEMA Show in Las Vegas, serving as the location for events ranging from exclusive autograph sessions to the unveiling of an all-female vehicle build. 


The booth also included new color offerings, premium builds, business solutions and KC’s Custom Colors by BASF R-M, launched by KC Mathieu of KC’s Paint Shop. Additionally, BASF exhibited the Time Merchant, a 1932 Ford Roadster by Goolsby Customs displaying a custom color developed with the BASF Color Ideation process, and the Roadster, a 2017 Garia Gold Car featuring BASF Coatings.

Chip Foose’s Custom 1971 Ford Mach One Mustang, the most recent creation by renowned designer/builder Chip Foose, was also unveiled at the BASF booth. The unique vehicle was a 2010 Mustang GT inside of a 1971 Mustang body, and featured Glasurit 90 Line.


“BASF offers our customers a complete partnership, starting from before the car is even built, through every repair or improvement it undergoes,” said Marvin Gillfillan, BASF Vice President, Business Management, Automotive Refinish. “Our focus is to put customers first, improving productivity and profitability to help deliver the best customer experience to vehicle owners.”

The all-female build was led by Bogi Lateiner, co-host of All Girls Garage on the Velocity network. Lateiner gathered more than 90 women throughout the country to build the 1957 Chevy Montage that was unveiled at the BASF booth on Oct. 31. The Montage project was created to bring women in the automotive industry together to work on building a unique vehicle, giving some women their first opportunity to work in a garage next to another woman.  The R-M Onyx HD fan-voted color, created by Lateiner with the help of BASF’s color experts, in addition to the fan-submitted color name “Tenacious Teal,” selected by Lateiner, were also revealed at the BASF booth. 


“I absolutely appreciate all of my fans and everyone who helped make this happen,” Lateiner said. “BASF has been a huge supporter of this build from the very beginning.”


Autobody News reached out to Chris Toomey, SVP of Coatings Solutions at BASF, during the SEMA Show to learn more about BASF’s plans for the future and some of the industry changes he foresees. 


Can you share information about your role at BASF and the current focus of the company? 

I started my career at BASF in 2011 with a background in the chemical industry, and became SVP of Coatings Solutions in 2014. Within my responsibility, there are two main focuses. One is providing paint for the OEMs, and the other focuses on the refinish business.

BASF is the largest chemical industry supplier to the automotive industry. We have a substantial amount of time and money invested in various elements of automotive. We’re involved with the OEMs regarding topics such as light weighting, autonomous vehicles, energy reduction and processes. We are looking at how we can help the OEMs operate more efficiently and assist them as they are developing the technology in the cars of the future. BASF conducts a lot of research and development on that side. 

How does this relate to the collision repair industry?

There are probably three big impacts:

First is the surface on the cars. You are starting to see the lightweight materials and synthetic materials coming in. From a coatings standpoint, there are a lot of challenges in this area.

Second is the electronics. I believe it’s going to apply to the industry overall as repairers become more specialized and familiar with high tech equipment on the vehicles. There is going to be a different expertise required for that than what has existed traditionally.

Third is the business model.  Technology, the use of big data and integrated systems are all going to affect the whole value chain of the collision industry once a car is involved in an accident. This includes the information transmitted up front until the car is finally delivered to a customer, and how that is managed and communicated.

What were some of BASF’s highlights during the SEMA show? 

This year, we had two main focuses. 

One of them is that we’re certainly promoting all of our brands more broadly than we have in the past---brands that fill the lower-cost niche in the industry. We tended to rely on, and still rely on, Glasurit and R-M brands, and now we are really bringing our full brand portfolio to the marketplace---Limco and Norbin. 

The second thing is that we’re always very proud of our builds and our car unveilings, especially the all-women build this year. It’s very exciting. 

There is a need to have more people in the industry.  We need more diversity; we want to raise the profile that there is a great place for women in this industry.

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