media release BASF Coatings and Akzo Nobel plan joint venture on automotive OEM coatings in Australia - Letter of intent signed January 10, 2000 Melbourne (Australia), Arnhem (the Netherlands), January 10, 2000. - BASF Coatings and Akzo Nobel want to establish a cooperation for automotive OEM coatings in Australia. Melbourne (Australia), Arnhem (the Netherlands), January 10, 2000. - BASF Coatings and Akzo Nobel want to establish a cooperation for automotive OEM coatings in Australia. A letter of intent has been signed to investigate the feasibility of such a joint venture. This study is to be completed by the end of February 2000. The plan is to establish a joint venture in Australia to provide marketing, sales, and technical services for automotive OEM coatings. The joint venture company, which may go into business in the first half of 2000, will be headquartered in Melbourne. It will play a leading role in the Australian automotive OEM coatings market, as it will offer to supply the Australian subsidiaries of the global automotive industry with a top quality package of products and services. Currently, the car manufacturers Ford, GM Holden, Mitsubishi, and Toyota are active in Australia.BASF Coatings, whose automotive OEM coatings are currently available in Australia under a license agreement, aims to reinforce its business in the country through this joint venture. The goal of BASF is to significantly boost its position in the Asian market and with international automobile companies working in that region. Akzo Nobel will secure its important position in the Australian automotive market through this cooperation and will take charge of the local toll-manufacturing for the joint venture. Independently, Akzo Nobel will continue to build its own global position as a major supplier of specialized coatings for transportation vehicles, such as trucks and buses, automotive parts, etc. The proposed joint venture will relate only to the original equipment market for automotive in Australia. Both Akzo Nobel Coatings and BASF Coatings will continue with their own separate businesses for supply of car refinishes (automotive aftermarket).