DuPont will triple its automotive coatings revenue in Brazil by year end 2006, compared to a 2002 baseline. Beyond regional auto production increases, the growth is largely due to aggressive streamlining, the application of Six Sigma methodology and implementation of a new strategic marketing plan.
"With Brazilian auto production averaging 13 percent annual growth, we took decisive action to meet the demands of our region's fastest growing auto manufacturers," said Antonio Carlos Oliveira, South American business director for DuPont Automotive Systems.
Since consolidating its previous coatings joint venture operations in Brazil into a 100 percent DuPont-owned business, the business has moved swiftly to streamline coatings manufacturing and harmonize global technology for greater productivity and customer satisfaction. DuPont also engaged the sales and marketing organization to anticipate the needs of some of the region's fastest growing automakers such as Audi, Fiat, Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.
"The basis for this business success is a workforce that is committed to using Six Sigma methodology to differentiate products, services and work processes in the eyes of our customers," said Oliveira. "We've set realistic, clear goals and priorities to intensively link our business plans and critical operating tasks so we can improve our competitive position in the demanding automotive OEM marketplace."
The business has more than 20 active Six Sigma projects to implement new technology and improved application productivity at 11 auto manufacturers that are expanding production in Brazil. Included are advancements in "cost per unit" (CPU) methods of getting paid for reducing paint application waste and improving vehicle finish quality in a number of dimensions -- all in collaboration with auto assembly plant management and workers.
"Tying Six Sigma methodology to CPU can be a much better way to get paid for products and services than simply charging our customers for paint by the liter," Oliveira said. "Through effective CPU negotiations, DuPont and its customers share in the benefits of collaboration."
DuPont Automotive Systems' coatings business had a strong first half of 2006 throughout the South American Region. Oliveira said growth in South America is by no means confined to the Brazilian economy. Argentina and the Andean Region show continued strength in car sales, and DuPont is especially well positioned to participate in that growth.