Chevy Uses “Three Wet” Paint Process
General Motors is the only automaker to build a subcompact car in America, and the first automaker in America to use the innovative “three wet” paint process. So naturally, it’s also the first to put the two together by using the former with the latter, delivering an exceptional finish on the all-new 2012 Chevy Sonic that’s also exceptionally eco-friendly.
That’s because instead of needing a special “oven” to bake each vehicle’s primer coat before color layers are added—as is the case with traditional OEM paint shops—GM’s Orion Assembly Center in Lake Orion, Mich., uses the cutting-edge “three wet” technology to apply three color coats before a Sonic’s first trip through an oven. Thanks to this system, as well as other recent shop enhancements designed to minimize energy use and paint-solvent emissions, Orion Assembly’s paint facility will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 80,000 metric tons each year at full production, cut solvent emissions by about 108,000 lbs. annually, slice $40 of manufacturing costs from each vehicle and use 50 percent less process energy per vehicle—all while being heated by natural and landfill gas instead of more emissions-intensive coal-fired boilers.
“Cutting our greenhouse gas emissions and reducing our energy consumption were key to implementing our water-based ‘three-wet’ paint process,” said Mauricio Pincheira, paint manager at Orion. “We want to provide a durable paint that impresses our first-time Sonic customers and maintain the tough environmental standards we have across the company.”