Chemical giant BASF is getting mighty philosophical in its 2014 report Under the Radar, predicting the popular automotive colors of the 2018 model year. The company believes that the US is embracing "the unpretentious beauty of the 'flyover states," and the country is also returning to normalcy after the hard recessions. "Noting many political, societal and technological references, we realized that the 'flyover states' and the Rust Belt regions are becoming increasingly productive in our post-R
Automotive Paint Expert Says Worldwide Trends Have Big Implications
Jeep calls the rust-colored paint that adorns its 2014 Wrangler Sahara "Copperhead Pearl." Ford has named a similar blend of reddish-brown hues on its Escape Titanium its "Sunset Metallic." Land Rover, displaying a near-identical color on its Range Rover Sport has named the shade "Chili Red."
BASF has released its latest forecast of color trends, and there's a bit of a shake up. The green color range is gaining in popularity, which is a welcome sign if you're tired of the dominance of blacks, whites and silvers. According to Mark Gutjahr, BASF's head of European design, "With new technologies, new models and new mobility concepts, a shift in values is on the horizon. In this context, green as the color of growth and a new beginning is playing a key role."
Paint is not all that exciting, hence the phrase, "like watching paint dry." This means that automotive paint suppliers don't usually have much to talk about, outside of the annual silver-is-the-most-popular-car-color press releases that get picked up by every media outlet on Earth. This one, however, is a bit different.
As a company that sees plug-in hybrids as the future, it makes sense that Volkswagen would want to advance the technology needed for these cars. What's less expected is how VW wants to do this: through a new annual "Science Award for Electrochemistry," offered jointly with BASF SE, that any researcher on the planet can apply for at this website.
Even though DuPont's automotive paints, or "performance coating," division brought in 12.1 percent of the firm's 2010 revenue, the pretax operating-profit margin was only seven percent, said to be about "half the corporate average." With the highly diversified firm making plays in more lucrative "megatrend" areas, Automotive News reports that DuPont has retained Credit Suisse to find a buyer for its two coatings divisions valued at $3-4 billion.
Automotive supplier Bosch says it will build a pilot production line in Eisenach, Germany to develop and manufacture future generations of lithium-ion cells. Bosch says the line will produce samples for trial purposes in late 2012 and then expand until it can hit an annual production volume of more than 200,000 cells by 2015.
BASF, one of the world's biggest chemical companies, says it will invest "three-digit million euro sum" (that's somewhere between $144 million and $1.43 billion U.S.) over the next five years in research, development and production of advanced battery technologies.
Last November, BASF broke ground on what it hails as the largest lithium-ion cathode production facility in all of North America. With the aid of a $24.6-million grant from the DOE and the company providing $25-plus million in additional funds, BASF's facility in Elyria, OH is currently undergoing a renovation that will transform it into a cathode mega plant.
Catalytic converters are quite common for gasoline engines but diesel catalysts are less known, in part because they face greater challenges. Still, diesel catalysts have not disappeared because they are efficient and, when you start your car, they don't produce heaps of CO2. Their main problem is the large amount of carbon particulates (soot) and nitrogen oxides in the exhaust gas. Standard three-way converters are not effective because of the high oxygen content of these gases. BASF is on the