AO Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
As Will says, automotive finishes have been water-based for some time now (probably well over 10 years but that's only a guess). Before that with solvent based paints there would be literally tons of solvent being released into the atmosphere.
I worked with a paint manufacturer on a project for cars in general, in about 1997-8 and at that time there were two suppliers to the whole automotive industry worldwide. Basically a US and a European manufacturer. OK there were local manufacturing plants and they each sold and manufacture worldwide but the same formulation would be used. So for all cars except primarily Ford, GM and Chrysler in North America I believe the same paint is used worldwide.
The paint plant's processes are strictly controlled according to the manufacturers specifications. Doing anything otherwise would be disastrous.
There will be only minor differences between car manufacturers in my opinion between all the major European car makers. Cost and performance is the over-riding criteria they all have to meet and they do not 'cut-corners' in the painting process. There will be probably some differences with how some colours will react to UV and oxidisation but again its the same for all manufacturers.
It's a similar story for body panels, their thickness and steel specification. It's a mass production industry where there are few suppliers and the specifications are substantially the same as are the body panel thicknesses.
The paints and body panel materials that Fiat-Alfa uses are basically the same as Ford, GM in Europe at one end of the market and BMW, Mercedes-Benz at the other end they may have differing quality control procedures for appearance but the paint and body panel durability will not be different to any great extent I think.
'A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.' - Henry Ford.