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Romanian Manufacturer of Resins and Coatings for OEM – Policolor Automotive

AI speaks to Ivan Sokolov, general manager of Policolor S.A. and Gheorghiu Dragos, Policolor Automotive's director (a division of Policolor S.A.), and asked them about Policolor's plans to expand its presence in Europe

The Romanian based varnish and paint producer, Policolor, is an original equipment manufacturer for important automotive companies.
Policolor’s traditional markets are the southeastern European markets. Policolor is the sole manufacturer of epoxidic resins meant for the chemical, construction and electronic industries and is the sole manufacturer for automotive OEMs in Romania. The company, which is listed on the Bucharest stock exchange, has benefited from investments in factories and increased production capacities.

POLICOLOR also owns a majority stake in Orgachim, the biggest paint and varnish manufacturer in Bulgaria. According to the company, Policolor is at the moment the leading varnish, paint and resins manufacturer in Romania. The main segments of the coatings market covered by Policolor are the decorative paints, auto refinishing products, auto OEM as well as industrial and wood coatings.

When in August 1998, Policolor purchased 51% of Orgachim shares, which is the leading producer of coatings, resins and phthalic anhydride in Bulgaria; Policolor got a foothold into European markets. According to Policolor, this was the time when the company’s marketing and sales strategies started changing with increased emphasis on the development and support of local brands and a greater attention to the key areas of merchandising and distribution.
At the operational level, the Group activity is focused on increasing the efficiency of the production and the product quality while making investments in research and development, continuously searching for new technologies and products, adapted to any market requirements. According to Policolor, its aim is to be the leader in the coatings and resins market in the South-Eastern Europe and at the same time export to other markets such as those in the Middle East and Russia, Western Europe as well as North America.

Policolor is at the moment the largest Romanian manufacturer in the paint and varnish industry in Romania. Between 1965 and 1990, the Varnish and Paint Enterprise, Bucharest – as it was initially called – was one of the most important suppliers of the national vehicles, furniture and electronics industries.

In 1990, the year when the Varnish and Paint Enterprise was transformed into a joint stock company under the name of Policolor S.A., the company gradually diversified its product portfolio targeting the industrial segment as well as the household consumer’s one.
New products have been launched from 1999 on, to broaden the company’s product range. The company has a number of products for various segments.

For the automotive segment, Policolor has available a wide array of products and technologies. Starting with OEM coatings up to specialized refinishing products such as KLAR Professional, SILVERPOL, DURALCHID and EMAUR. The painting systems for vehicles are leaders in the auto refinishing coatings market, with over 65% marketshare, according to Policolor.

According to the company website, Policolor manufactures intermediate materials and finished product based on their in-house technology. The company says it maintains its competitive edge by flexible manufacturing processes that works on market demand and is easily adaptable in order to introduce new products faster. “We maintain the competitiveness through efficient and flexible manufacture that follows the market demands and by introducing new products. The control and reduction of costs is a continuous concern for us while the financing activity is optimized by careful planning of the cash flow and of the necessary investments. The rational allocation of the products between Policolor and Orgachim plants, the coordination of the supply activities, the new products development as well as the marketing and sales are other means to increase efficiency,” says a statement on Policolor’s website.

Automotive Industries spoke to Ivan Sokolov, general manager of Policolor S.A. and Gheorghiu Dragos, Policolor Automotive’s director (a division of Policolor S.A.), and asked them about Policolor’s plans to expand its presence in Europe.

AI: What European markets do you hope to grow in and how do you expect this growth to happen? Where do your automotive products factor in these plans?

Having an excellent experience in producing coatings with up to date quality and technology as well as cost efficient products we have the advantage to be able to respond to any kind of market requirements. This qualifies us for potential growth worldwide. Of course due to the geographical location we are focusing on European countries. Nevertheless our aim is to step foot into North American, Asian and also Middle east countries as well.
Presently we are exporting in Ukraine, Moldova and Belgium; our Bulgarian sister-company Orgachim exports in Turkey, Egypt, Italy and Macedonia.
The automotive range of products plays a very important role in our development strategy, since the specific of this market and especially the professional level of technology required qualifies us as an experienced high-quality automotive coatings producer, able to compete at global scale.

AI: Please list some of Policolor’s automotive clients and how you hope to increase their number.

Our most important customers are Dacia-Renault Group, where we have been the traditional supplier from the beginnings, Daewoo Romania and many other important industrial costumers from all the east European markets.

We aim to increase the number of clients by providing the exact quality and products’ efficiency to our potential customers. We know that providing only products, no matter the match of the quality, is not always the right answer. Our long time experience in working at high challenging environments like the ones in the OEM business have proved that products must be associated with appropriate services. This is why, if you ask us for products, we will answer with a complete and functional package of customer-like developed products and services. This is our strength and strategy.

AI: How important is the automotive segment to your revenues? And how much is it expected to grow by?

The automotive segment ensures today over 50% of our turnover.
As described when answering the previous questions we expect an important growth of this product segment due to the increasing potential, which comes from the development of car manufacturing plants all around Europe especially.

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