"Together, the future is ours!" This was the unequivocal message from Susan DeSandre, Ford director for Body and Chassis, American Production Purchasing Operations, at a BASF press event on October 3, 2006, at the Ford Rouge Plant, Detroit. BASF, and BASF Coatings in particular, is playing an important role in the Ford "Way Forward" plan. "We are doing everything in our power to help Ford be more successful," says Jeff Leone, BASF's global account director for Ford, describing a key objective he and his team have set for themselves. BASF supplies automotive plastic products to the Ford Rouge plant, and it is a major coatings supplier to five other Ford plants in North America.

Jeffrey H. Helms, Ph.D., manager of paint engineering for Ford, explains how the relationship between Ford and BASF works in practice. "For instance, BASF Coatings helps us with its innovative application system, the ‘Three-Wet Full Body Paint System.' They also provide their competence in such areas as UV technology and color design, as well as their vast experience in material recycling and accelerated weathering tests." This broad expertise was the basis for recognizing BASF Coatings with three Gold-level Ford World Excellence Awards for outstanding achievement in Germany, Spain and Canada. Ford also recognized the BASF team by adding it to the exclusive circle of 36 suppliers who make up the Ford "Aligned Business Framework," which, in effect, means that BASF has earned the status of a preferred supplier to Ford, not just in North America, but also around the world.

For more information on BASF, see www.basf-coatings.com and www.automotive.basf.com.