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BASF to Create Eco-friendly Car Coating With Hyundai

Posted July. 13, 2009 08:25,   


BASF will jump into developing environment-friendly paint for cars jointly with the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group by setting up a coating think tank at Techno Park in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province, early next year.

The German chemical giant will develop eco-friendly and water-soluble paint for cars at the new center, while conducting technological research to reduce the coating process to a single step instead of three to four. Through these efforts, Hyundai is expected to achieve eco-friendly operations while reducing costs from energy use and greenhouse emissions in the coating process.

○ “R&D is the future of the company”

BASF Asia-Pacific President Tilman Krauch (photo), who came to Korea to attend the ceremony for the completion of an environment-friendly plant in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province, said Friday, “R&D is the future of our company.”

“Despite the global economic crisis, BASF cannot make compromises on R&D budget. We have a firm conviction on that. This year’s R&D budget for BASF worldwide is 1.35 billion euros, the same as last year.”

He added, “BASF’s R&D portfolio is divided into five growth areas, two of which aim to reduce energy use and develop green technology. If we can maximize our technological potential, we can double the carbon reduction capacity of our products, which is already 1.5 times higher than the chemical industry average.”

BASF Korea President Cho Jin-wook said, “The new research center to be built at Techno Park has great significance in this aspect. BASF decided to set up the center in Korea, where Hyundai Motor is based, to focus on supporting research for eco-friendly coating for cars.”

When questioned about the green strategies of German companies, Krauch said, “I received similar questions at a news conference in China a few days ago. It was the first time I realized heightened interest on the issue in both Korea and China.”

○ Making Korea attractive to investment

Krauch said, “If Korea is to enhance its attractiveness to foreign investors as opposed to its rivals in Asia, it should raise labor flexibility and nurture talent with high English proficiency.”

“I am aware of the debate over Korea’s labor policies. As long as they follow the basic principles with fairness, Korea can maintain decent labor flexibility. Workers and companies can enjoy co-prosperity when they respond flexibly to market changes.”

He also said, “Global companies want easy and efficient communication, which means Korea should nurture talent with a good command of Foreign languages. The government should step in to help. For example, the German government has consistently exerted efforts to enhance the foreign language proficiency of its people.”

“Governments around the world are being tested over how they deal with the global economic crisis. Companies will be looking at which governments work hard to guarantee fairness in trade (without using protectionist measures and subsidies against foreign companies) given the same amount of challenges posed by the crisis.”