Market update: PPG shows slight growth, Ford invests in scooters

Ford Smart Mobility has acquired Spin, an electric scooter-sharing company to participate in mobility alternatives for first- and last-mile transportation (Photo: Business Wire)

By CRM staff

Toronto – November 13 – In this week’s midweek market update, Ford buys a scooter company, coatings inventory affects PPG sales in the auto refinish market, and Enterprise wins again.

Let’s go for a Spin
Ford Smart Mobility, LLC has acquired Spin, a San Francisco-based electric scooter-sharing company providing an alternative for first- and last-mile transportation. The acquisition of Spin is the latest strategic move by Ford in the mobility space, as the company builds a mobility portfolio to help customers get places “more easily, more quickly and less expensively.”
In a blog post, Sunny Madra, vice-president of Ford X, a division focused on new transportation products and services, explained the acquisition. “The number of mobility options available to people has risen dramatically in recent years. The fast-paced, often experimental mobility sector requires businesses to keep up with agile and adaptable customers. At Ford, the products and services we offer need to reflect these changes.”
Earlier this year, the automaker created Ford X as a division within Ford Smart Mobility with the mandate to quickly build, acquire and pilot transportation products and services. The most successful of these projects will become part of the company’s growing mobility offering.
The acquisition of Spin, a dockless electric scooter sharing company, is another foray into micro-mobility. Spin has operations in 13 cities and campuses across the U.S.
Madra says Spin is committed to working hand-in-hand with cities and universities to implement micro-mobility solutions responsibly, safely and sustainably. They do not launch without permission; they share usage data with cities; and they work with local officials and university campuses to design educational tools around parking and riding rules.
In his blog post, Madra also noted that Ford is continuing its development of self-driving vehicles, with plans to launch at scale by 2021.

Auto refinish sales down for PPG
In its third quarter report, PPG states high inventory levels drove down sales in the auto refinish segment. For all segments, the global coatings supplier reported net sales of approximately US$3.8 billion, up one percent versus the prior year. Net sales in constant currencies grew more than 3 percent year-over-year aided by higher selling prices of more than 2 percent.
The company continued to implement higher selling prices and execute restructuring actions, which partially offset persistent raw material and logistics cost inflation.
Organic sales of automotive refinish coatings declined “by a mid-single-digit percentage stemming from a change in customer order patterns.” The company said several U.S. and European customers have high inventory levels due to lower end-use market demand.
Automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) coatings sales volumes were flat, slightly better than overall global automotive OEM industry builds.

Enterprise tops satisfaction survey, again
The Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand received the highest score in the J.D. Power 2018 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study. This year marks the seventeenth time – and the fifth year in a row – that the Enterprise brand has captured the top spot in the annual study of leisure and business travelers who rent vehicles at North American airports.
“Customer service excellence, combined with strategic innovation and private family ownership, continues to differentiate us in the marketplace,” said Christine Taylor, executive vice-president and COO of Enterprise Holdings. “We are able to stay ahead of the curve not only by listening to our customers, but also by making key acquisitions and investments for the long term.”
Since 2008, Enterprise has spent almost $2.4 billion making acquisitions and corporate-venture capital investments or commitments in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Ireland, Spain, Brazil and China. Acquisitions include car rental companies, carshare operations, technology platforms and franchises.


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