Finding new smarter and innovative ways to deliver for our customers to the highest quality level, every day is key as we work together to transform the business through Refocus and deliver our Reimagine strategy.
This week, we caught up with a team in Paint Shop who have been bringing Refocus to life at Halewood by trialling a pioneering new paint technology, which has the potential to drive significant future sales for our business. It could also give our customers something they have never had before… the chance to purchase an Evoque or Discovery Sport in a sought-after satin finish, which is currently only available on the flagship Range Rover model.
And not only that, if this new process was put into motion, Halewood would become the first car factory in the world to manufacture satin paint on mass, during production. This technology is currently only available externally through a Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) facility.
Team Talk spoke with Peter Shuker, Steve Lambourne and Tom Garry, who form part of the super satin team, to tell us more. Peter said. “Satin paint gives a car that stunning matt-effect finish, which is very popular but the technology itself is challenging.
“Unlike clear gloss coats, you can’t polish out marks or imperfections with satin, which is why it’s done separately off the line at an SVO facility.
“Our trial is looking at whether we can bring this technology into mass production and if it would be a feasible option for our business.
Steve added: “Satin may be stunning but it’s also very unforgiving if it becomes marked or scraped during production. So, it’s also a feasibility study to see what level of first time through cars we can achieve through our facility.”
Asked how the trials are going, Tom said: “It’s been a real test of discipline to paint and deliver the cars. This is the second time we have done the trials and we’ve been able to push through six cars in a row this time- where as we focussed on just one at the last trial.
“The cars themselves look beautiful and clean but we know we are dealing with a challenging and complex technology here, so there is a lot of work to be done but it’s exciting to be on this journey.”
Colin Smith, Paint ME Facilities Manager, said: “Refocus is our day job- and we need to offer our customers everything they could ever want and that’s what this trial is all about.
“Now more than ever, we need to explore new sales revenues and if we want to deliver our Reimagine vision of becoming the creator of the world’s most desirable, luxury vehicles for the most discerning customers, we need to keep giving our customers standout products and choices.
“Satin on a mass scale would allow us to bring in extra sales and revenue as it is a premium cost option. It’s also got the potential to expand our customer base by making satin cars accessible to more people. If were able to move forward on this, for the first time ever, our customers would be able to buy an Evoque and Discovery Sport in a satin finish- which has only ever been an option on the Range Rover- so it could open up a whole new audience for us.”