History


In 2016, Axalta celebrated 150 years in the coatings industry. From the inception of our business in 1866 to the manufacture of next generation environmentally compatible products demanded in the 21st century, we have continued to evolve. What has not changed is a tradition of quality, technology, innovation, and leadership that puts our customers first.

Some of the many highlights in the 150+ year history of our company:

1866 

  • Herberts, the original producer of Standox® paint products is founded

1880

  • Spies Hecker® coatings company founded

1900s

  • Permanent® colors-first breakthrough enamel technology 
  • Begin nitrocellulose lacquer manufacture

1920s

  • Duco® paints manufactured by DuPont in the U.S. and Permaloid® paints manufactured by Spies Hecker® in Germany are introduced as sprayable paints
  • First color paint for automobiles adds consumer appeal

1930s

  • Dulux® alkyd enamel coating provides more durable finishes
  •  First mixing-machine tinting system developed to improve quality

1940s

  • Sand-mills revolutionize pigment dispersion efficiencies Automobile OEM and Refinish coating systems diverge with use of OEM high temperature drying ovens
  • ColorMasterTM colorimeter commercialized improving refinish color match

1950s

  • Standox® paints launch premium line
  • Lucite®acrylic resin, first thermoplastic acrylic, introduced
  • First to develop L,a,b color equations that became part of the foundation of modern color science
  • Established first Latin America plant in Tlalneplanta, Mexico

1960s

  • Centari® acrylic enamel launched
  • Nap-Gard® fusion bonded epoxy powder coatings launched for pipelines

1970s

  • Imron® polyurethane enamel introduced and Alesta® decorative powder coatings  launched

1980s

  • Introduced first spectrophotometer instrument
  • First waterborne OEM coatings in North America
  • First insulation coating Polyamid-imide overcoat
  • Replacement of 2-component to 1-component Voltatex® Impregnating Resins provides optimized cycle times and easier handling

1990s

  • Cromax® waterborne Refinish basecoat introduced
  •  DuPont acquires Herberts coating businesses
  • First spectrophotometer instrument introduced in the market
  •  Introduced organic-inorganic hybrid Voltatex® Core Sheet Varnish for electrical  steel coating

2000 - 2012

  • Formulate super-high solids coatings for OEMs
  • VINdicator color tool improves Refinish color matching
  • Consolidate systems with Eco-Concept paint improves productivity and performance for light vehicle OEMs
  • Establish first Asia-Pacific plants in China and India
  • Introduce Imron® Elite finishes
  • Introduce 3rd generation waterborne Cromax® Pro Basecoat
  • Launch Waterborne 3-Wet for light vehicle OEMs
  • Launch ChromaPremier® Pro system for high-volume customers
  • Acquire Plus™ EFX spectrophotometer that obtains color and flake data to create a new level of accuracy in color matching

2013

  • On February 1 Axalta Coating Systems becomes an independent company with a new name and identity
  • Announce investment to construct a new facility dedicated to waterborne coating   production in Shanghai
  • Invest in new pilot reactor to at our Coating Technology Center in Wilmington, DE
  • Launch Cormax refinish coatings line in Brazil
  • Introduce Cromax as the name of one of Axalta’s three global flagship refinish brand families
  • Establish new corporate headquarters in Philadelphia
  • Establish new headquarters for the company’s North America region in Glen Mills, PA
  • Celebrate 50th anniversary of operations in Brazil
  • Introduce SpectraMaster™ 3-D virtual color design tool for light vehicle OEM and refinish customers
  • Begin the Axalta Distinguished Lecture Series at University of Pennsylvania
  • Launch Nap-Gard® High Tg 7-2555 for underground and sub-sea pipelines
  • Celebrate 60 years of color trend reporting
  • Announce new UK offices and Training Academy for customers

2014

  • Issues 2013 Color Popularity Report
  • Announces the Axalta Sustainable Technology Education Program in China
  • Expands powder coatings production in China with joint venture partner Huajia Chemical Co. Ltd
  • Axalta wins Leading Automotive Brand award in China
  • Globalizes reach of Abcite™ and Alesta® powder coatings
  • Rebrands all Axalta electrocoat products under unified AquaEC™ brand name
  • Launches Alesta® ZeroZinc powder products
  • Announces the renewal of strategic partnership with the Huajia division of the Yongjia Group under a new name, Axalta-Huajia Coatings
  • Celebrates 50 years of commercial powder coatings
  •  On November 12, Axalta becomes publicly traded NYSE: AXTA

2015

  • Signs joint venture in China with Shanghai Kinlita Chemical to supply coatings for commercial vehicles
  • Inaugurates a refurbished technology center for powder coatings operations in Mexico
  • Announces expansion of global vehicle product portfolio for agricultural, construction and earthmoving equipment (ACE) market
  • Opens waterborne coatings plant in Jiading district of Shanghai
  • Announces support for the Mother River Protection program in China and the China Youth Development Foundation
  • Receives GM Supplier of the Year award
  • Receives Hyundai Excellence in Purchasing supplier award in Brazil
  • Cromax® Pro wins Green Repair Innovative Product Award in China
  • Introduces Ganicin™ zinc-rich, corrosion-resistant coating system for industrial applications
  • Commissions waterborne manufacturing facility in Wuppertal, Germany
  • AcquiresMetalak Benelux B.V., importer of Spies Hecker coatings in the Netherlands and Belgium
  • Axalta receives Volvo Cars Quality of Excellence Award in Germany
  • Introduces ReplaShade™ custom color match program for powder customers in North America
  • Pledges five-year support for Ducks Unlimited conservation programs in North America

2016

  • Celebrates 150 years in the coatings industry
  • Launches AquaEC 6100 series of electrocoatproducts
  • Inaugurates expanded resin production facility in Tlalnepantla, Mexico
  • Opens expanded European Technology Center in Wuppertal, Germany
  • Becomes a Founding Partner of the Daytona International Speedway’s Motorsports Stadium
  • Acquires Dura Coat Products, manufacturer of coil coatings in North America
  • Acquires High Performance Coating Sdn. Bhd., manufacturer of refinish coating products in Malaysia
  • Acquires rigid thermoplastics division of United Paint and Chemicals providing interior coating to light vehicle manufacturers
  • Axalta becomes 100% owned by public investors

2017

  • Acquires Ellis Paint Company
  • Acquires Century Industrial Coatings
  • Receives Honda Supplier Sustainability Award
  • Opens Asia-Pacific Technology Center in Shanghai
  • Opens new India Headquarters
  • Acquires Valspar’s Industrial Wood Coatings business
  • In collaboration with SpringerNature, publishes Coatings handbook Protective Coatings: Film Formation and Properties
  • Opens Customer Experience Center in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Opens Americas Technology Center in Clinton Township, Michigan
  • Acquires Spencer Coatings Group
  • Acquires Plascoat Systems Ltd.