At the current pace, some 2,500 collision repair businesses will not have converted to using new low-VOC paints in time for the January 2010 deadline. The rate at which Canadian collision repair shops are converting to waterborne is becoming “extremely serious,” Patrice Marcil of DuPont Performance Coatings told attendees at the Canadian Collision Industry Forum meeting in Montreal this past Satruday. According to Marcil, the current industry estimate is that about 1,000 shops had completed the switch to low-VOC products. Using an estimate of 8,000 automotive refinish facilities in Canada (including shops that specialize in trucks, buses and commercial fleets), this leaves 7,000 locations still using solvent-based coating systems. The 14 months left until the cut-off date provides 300 working days, which means the industry target must be 23 conversions per day. “Time is working against us. The reality is that if we don’t take the bull by the horns now, it will be difficult as the date approaches. It will be hard for paint manufacturers to provide the level of service they would like, and the service shops will expect,” warned Marcil.