31 March 2009 04:04 [Source: ICIS news]
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Automobiles are a key end market for the
“I used to sell polypropylene to the automotive sector and when I finally got in any position of authority in this company, I just ran from the US automotive suppliers as quickly” as possible, Peter Huntsman said on the sidelines of an International Petrochemical Conference.
In dealing with US automotive suppliers, negotiations were not “anything about quality or service, it was all about pricing,” while the European automotive business had a different approach, Huntsman said.
“BMW comes to you and the contract negotiations with them goes 'you figure out a way that we can minimise the use of MDI [methylene di-p-phenylene isocyanate] on a per-seat basis and we’ll split the savings with you.' Now we are incentivised to make a better seat.”
European automakers also seem to have a different approach to advertising, Huntsman said. “You look at an automobile commercial by BMW and it always starts with the driver - it starts with the seat and the components around the driver.”
In US auto commercials, “I always [see] a truck going through a muddy field with a bunch of cows around it, shooting up mud everywhere and driving in conditions that 99.9% of the drivers will never see and wouldn’t know what to do if they drove in those conditions,” he added.
Sponsored by the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA), the International Petrochemical Conference runs through Tuesday.
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