Decorative Chrome Plating - Recalls, Future Trends and Regulations

Decorative Chrome Plating - Recalls, Future Trends and Regulations

Posted 09/09/2015 by Linda Wing

In our last blog post, Enthone shared responses from leading automotive OEMs as they addressed the most difficult requirements for suppliers to meet, the PPAP process and shared the most frequently asked supplier questions.

We continued our conversation with the OEMs to discuss the impact of recalls and regulations on the auto business in addition to what the next five years might bring to the decorative chrome plating industry.

How have recalls and a renewed focus on quality affected your business?

OEM 1 Response: Internal quality group enlarged, regulatory group expanded.
OEM 2 Response: Increased functional specifications globally.
OEM 3 Response: Increased quality/SQE head count; added best practices and specific tests for interior/exterior parts.

Additional Remarks: Most OEMs have addressed quality concerns by adding personnel and reorganizing structures to emphasize safety and focus on long-term vehicle performance and adherence to standards. Other OEMs have established new practices, specific tests and updated functional specifications to their repertoires.

What trends do you foresee over the next five years in decorative chrome plating?

OEM 1 Response: Materials engineering turning global (vehicle production used to be localized).
OEM 2 Response: More differentiation between OEMs by implementing custom colors/shades of chrome.
OEM 3 Response: Proliferation of special finishes, consolidation of satin finishes.

Additional Remarks: All OEMs agreed that the future will bring more specialized differentiations in chrome finishes—custom colors/shades/sheens/paint over chrome—in order to further differentiate and stand out in the market place. Materials engineering will become more global versus current localized vehicle production, with an aim towards producing vehicles that can be sold in any location around the world. Given REACH regulations, trivalent chrome use will expand as well.

Will chrome plating increase or decrease? Any REACH impact?

The OEMs felt that there would be little to no change in chrome usage over the next five years in North America, however one noted booming growth in Asia.

None of the OEMs identified any significant impact in North America operations due to REACH. However all are monitoring current and future regulations, while evaluating trivalent technologies.

For a full recap of this decorative chrome forum, please email


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