CONCORD, N.C. – The Hendrick Motorsports campus is already packed with state-of-the-art facilities – but on Tuesday, the organization announced that there’s room for one more.
Axalta Vice President and Head of Axalta’s North America business Nigel Budden, Axalta Chairman and CEO Charlie Shaver, Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick and four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon teamed up to make the major announcement.
Axalta – a partner for more than two decades -- will construct its new Customer Experience Center on the Hendrick Motorsports campus in Concord, North Carolina.
“This training center will have people from all over the country visit Charlotte and our campus, and they will see the race shops, but they’ll also get the state-of-the-art training center,” Hendrick said. “I can’t tell you how thrilled I am.”
The 45,000-square-foot-facility will provide the latest customer training resources for refinish technicians – especially those located in the mid-Atlantic region.
It will house meeting and conference rooms for customers to participate in training and development programs. In addition, there will be two state-of-the-art paint booths specifically designed for technician training on collision repair and light and commercial vehicle repair, a mixing lab with 12 mixing stations and three collaboration centers along with several offices for staff and guests.
Construction is expected to be finished late next year.
“We’ll have, starting in 2017, literally hundreds of people who will come here to train in this center,” Shaver said. “So they’ll be training on our new products, our existing products, we’ll be bringing new customers here as well as a lot of long-term existing ones.”
There will even be a two-story display lobby and indoor entertaining space to showcase Axalta innovation and capabilities, the design of which Hendrick said mirrors the Nos. 5 and 24 race shop.
“For us, it fulfills something we’ve thought about for several years now, which is the ability to expand the customer experience, have them actually in a location where there are dealerships, where there are race shops, where you’ve got Charlotte and the ability to showcase a nice community as well,” Shaver said. “We look forward to being a small part of the campus here along with Hendrick Motorsports.”
A partner for 23 years – and one of Gordon's sponsors for the driver’s entire Cup Series career – Axalta means a lot to Hendrick Motorsports and the world of motor sports. That’s something that stands out to Gordon.
“They’re fully committed,” he said. “I think this announcement today fully shows their commitment to great customer experiences and showcasing just the premier coatings that they have. To be able to do it here at Hendrick Motorsports, I think, speaks volumes about their partnership, their relationship here at Hendrick and with NASCAR.”
He even joked that his duties after his final, full-time Sprint Cup Series season comes to a close will include donning a hardhat and joining the construction project.
After the press conference, Hendrick, Gordon, Budden and Shaver grabbed shovels for the facility’s groundbreaking ceremony.
“This partnership has been unbelievable,” Hendrick said. “We’ve got one of our biggest body shops within a mile from here, and all the dealerships that are out on the front of the complex now – this just really puts a nice ribbon on the package.”