DuPont has acquired additional equity in its DuPont Red Lion joint ventures in Beijing and Changchun, China. DuPont says the moves "reinforce its position as the leading coatings supplier to the growing Chinese automotive industry."

DuPont (Wilmington, DE) has increased its equity position in the DuPont Red Lion-Beijing joint venture to 76% from 60% and has renamed it DuPont Red Lion (Beijing) Co. Ltd. DuPont also acquired 100% ownership of its other DuPont Red Lion joint venture in Changchun by purchasing the remaining 40% interest held by Red Lion. That company will be known as "DuPont Performance Coatings-Changchun.

Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

"By increasing our equity position for coatings supply in China, DuPont will be able to meet the growth objectives of the Chinese automotive industry with the latest technology to meet worldwide expectations for aesthetics, durability and environmental compliance," says Marty McQuade, vice president and general manager for the automotive OEM coatings unit of DuPont Performance Coatings, DuPont Herberts Automotive Systems.

"To further strengthen our capabilities in China to provide our customers with world-class services and locally manufactured products, we will use this base to invest further in additional manufacturing and technical service capabilities," McQuade added.

Current coatings manufacturing in Beijing will relocate to new facilities in a Beijing industrial zone, starting operations by the end of 2005. The new facility will include a technical center for testing and adapting individual coating products to meet customer requirements.

In Changchun, DuPont will upgrade facilities to meet international standards and will increase capacity. The plant is capable of manufacturing a wide variety of modern automotive coatings, including waterborne coatings. The facilities will include a state-of-the-art laboratory and application center.

DuPont has increased the number of experts from Europe and the Americas working within both companies to further train local staff, particularly in technical manufacturing and customer service areas, and to accelerate the upgrade and expansion of the production facilities. Currently, more than 500 DuPont employees are dedicated to providing locally produced coatings products and services in China.