Since its founding in 1881 as a pioneering manufacturer of paint in Japan, Nippon Paint has supported the growth of diverse industries and added enriching color to our lives. Nippon Paint Automotive Coatings Co., Ltd. (NPAU*) was established on April 1, 2015, to take the first steps as a dedicated automotive paint maker, demonstrate the Nippon Paint Group's competitive strength in a larger business sphere, and serve customers in the global automotive market.
* NPAU—AU stands for "automotive use"
NPAU emerged through the consolidation of Nippon Paint's core Automotive Coating Business Department, and Nippon Paint Group companies Nippon Bee Chemical and Daiwa Paint Trading. The new business company specializing in automotive coatings represents a concentration of expertise and management resources, and we seek to make the integrated strengths of the three original entities even more robust and powerful.
In establishing the new business company, we set forth the vision "Business expansion in the global market." Our aim at NPAU is to be an even more valuable global partner by designing optimal paint formulas to satisfy both our customers' quality requirements and country-specific chemical substance regulations, and recommending coating conditions suited to our customer's facility environment so that the paint we supply demonstrates its best performance.
We will also contribute to further growth of our customers' automotive business by enhancing the value of the car itself with value-added automotive paint. One of our major initiatives in this area is the development of Premium Color products. Textured color designs, balancing definition with depth, deliver fresh delight in cars and satisfaction in the end user, thus contributing to the sales promotion efforts of automakers. In Japan, sales have increased significantly of a number of models featuring our Premium Color products, giving us confidence in our approach to business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) services. We hope to extend activities like this worldwide.
Car manufacturing plants in Japan demand consistently high standards of coating technology, and the maintenance and improvement of paint film quality. The paint formulation and coating line control technologies we have accumulated in Japan promise to be a huge advantage in the global markets of China, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
To supply automotive coatings incorporating these technologies on a global scale, we have in place production bases in China and Asia where we have a proven track record. In Europe, we have opened new bases in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Turkey. We are increasing the production capacity of our two bases in the United States, and expanding our network to Latin American countries including Mexico and Brazil.
The global automotive market is expected to continue growing in future. We at NPAU hope to demonstrate our presence and competitive edge in this arena, and be the best supplier of choice for our customers. Our challenge has just begun toward adding enriching color to drivers' lives around the world.