The move, part of an agreement with Autocolor's former owner ICI, sees the launch of a new name: Nexa Autocolor.
Simon Walters, PPG Industries UK marketing manager, said: “We have an agreement to use the ICI name until 2004. Starting the changeover process now allows us and our customers to introduce the new logo progressively, minimising disruption to the business.”
Nexa branding is similar to the outgoing ICI logo, using the same colours incorporated into a slightly modified design. The first products to feature the logo, the 2K paints range, will be delivered to bodyshops in April – full product rebranding is likely to be completed within 18 months.
“The PPG and Nexa brands will continue to operate separately with their own brand managers,” said Mr Walters.
He added that Nexa would offer the same products, services and customer support available under the ICI brand, including using distributors to supply products.
“But bodyshops must acknowledge the added value services offered by distributors,” he said, suggesting the company had not ruled out supplying direct if the market moved that way. This would almost certainly lead to lower pot prices.
The internet could play a role in future sales – PPG has links set up in the US – but the company believes the UK is not yet ready to embrace online purchasing.
PPG is confident of increasing UK sales across its three brands – Nexa, PPG and MaxMeyer – targeting dealer and independent bodyshop business. It is currently assessing efficiency with a view to sharing paint technologies and is considering cutting costs by closing a number of production plants worldwide.