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2008 News

LaFontaine Automotive Group Going Green with PPG Waterborne Refinish System

HIGHLAND, MI – June 6, 2008 – The LaFontaine Automotive Group, headquartered in Highland, MI, has announced that they have converted from a solvent-based system to PPG Envirobase® High Performance waterborne basecoat for vehicle paint repairs. The transition is part of an overall LaFontaine initiative to sell, service and repair vehicles in an environmentally-friendly way. The company is one of the first in Michigan to move to a waterborne system.

“This decision was the right thing to do,” said Todd McCallum, fixed operations director for LaFontaine. “We’re very conscious of the need to safeguard our environment. We’re going for gold-level LEED* certification and doing all we can to be genuinely ‘green.’ We’re very pleased to be working with PPG to make this change.”

Automotive collision centers in California and Canada are making the transition to waterborne basecoats in anticipation of new air quality regulations requiring the use of waterborne basecoat to further reduce VOC atmospheric emissions and improve air quality. To date, Michigan has no plans for more stringent VOC regulations, so LaFontaine is making the change completely on its own initiative.

The company operates two collision centers, one in Dexter, MI, and a brand-new, $15 million flagship facility in Highland, MI. This new facility features General Motors vehicles and will open June 2. The switch to waterborne coatings at both locations will coincide with the grand opening of the new Highland center.

Once deciding to convert to a waterborne system, settling on PPG as the refinish partner was not difficult according to McCallum. “They made it easy for us,” he said. “We did our due diligence and brought in all the paint companies, but the overall commitment from PPG, as well as their distributor Painters Supply & Equipment Company, and the excellence of the product sealed the deal.”

“Aside from all the environmental benefits of waterborne paint, the production aspects were critical,” continued McCallum. “We wouldn’t compromise on quality and the Envirobase High Performance system proved outstanding for ease of application and color-matching. PPG also gave our paint technicians complete training and support. And PPG will be there with us when we open our new center. General Motors is so impressed, they’re benchmarking this store.”

Said Elson Dolliver, PPG business development manager, “The green commitment LaFontaine is making is impressive. They’ve got our support and products to help them succeed. Their vision puts them on the cutting edge.”

The enthusiasm over going green also extends to LaFontaine’s paint supplier. “We’re very pleased to be partnering with PPG and the LaFontaine Automotive Group,” said Patrick Mayette, Director of Sales and Marketing for Painters Supply & Equipment Company. “Delivering environmentally-friendly green technology to support LaFontaine’s LEED certification efforts is rewarding and exciting.”

*LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Certification is awarded after meeting the requirements of the LEED Green Building Rating System, a national standard established by the U.S. Green Building Council.

about ppg

Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, chemicals, optical products, specialty materials, glass and fiber glass. The company has more than 150 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates and operates in more than 60 countries. PPG’s sales in 2007 were $11.2 billion. SigmaKalon, a worldwide coatings producer based in Uithoorn, Netherlands, that PPG acquired Jan. 2, 2008, had 2007 sales of $2.9 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.

about the lafontaine automotive group

The LaFontaine Automotive Group consists of five auto dealerships covering 14 domestic and foreign franchises and two collision centers. The company, based in Highland, MI, was established in 1980 by the LaFontaine family and remains family-owned and operated. Over the years, the company has earned a number of prestigious awards including the Cadillac Master Dealer Award and the General Motors Mark of Excellence awards for Pontiac, Cadillac and GMC. For more information, visit www.thefamilydeal.com.

about painters supply & equipment company

Painters Supply & Equipment Company (PSE), headquartered in Taylor, MI is the largest single-line PPG distributor in the US, operating 23 stores in Michigan and Ohio. Since 1952, PSE has been supplying the automotive, industrial, fleet and architectural industries with the highest quality paint products and services available. For more information, visit www.painters-supply.com.