Symach Installs FixStation Equipment At Mervyn’s The Body Shop In Canada

Symach announced the installation of its FixLine system at Mervyn’s The Body Shop in Kelowna, British Columbia.

The FixLine system consists of a layout and repair process that combines Symach’s patented Drytronic technology, specialized robots and the Symach Paint Application Process (SPAP) painting cycle.

“The FixStation is a modern and innovative solution that will ensure high productivity for Mervyn’s The Body Shop,” said Osvaldo Bergaglio, CEO of Symach. “The hybrid solution works as a spray booth and a workstation in one area and will allow one of Mervyn’s technicians to perform three to four repairs a day without moving the vehicle.”

Established more than 40 years ago in the Okanagan area of British Columbia, Mervyn’s prides itself on providing the highest quality repair and customer satisfaction.

“It’s all about staying on top and being the best we can be for us and for the customer,” said Jason Agostino, owner of Mervyn’s. “Symach’s equipment is helping us fulfill that.”

Mervyn’s The Body Shop is a very old Kelowna company purchased by Peter Facinek in the early 2000s. Agostino came on board as the body shop manager soon after and became co-owner of the business. Since then, he has run the shop on a day-to-day basis with Facinek as a consultant and silent partner. Agostino’s wife, Rosy, also helps in the business.

The owners always planned to open a new location and over the last several years, they have been working on the design.

During this time, they found out about Symach equipment from attending an AkzoNobel Acoat Selected performance group meeting.

“We are continually investigating newer and better ways to repair and finish damaged vehicles to ensure that customers are 100 per cent satisfied,” he said. “We learned that Symach builds exactly what we were look for,” said Agostino.

Facinek first went to Ontario to visit another collision repair facility using the equipment and then traveled to Italy to see Symach’s operation first-hand. Following that trip, Mervyn’s decided to purchase Symach’s FixLine system, two Fly dry robots and one easy dry robot in addition to five lifts.

“We already had the layout designed for the new location,” said Agostino. “Symach modified it to fit the equipment and we decided to buy the whole package rather than try to piecemeal everything together.”

It was installed in November 2017 and Symach trained all of the technicians. It has been operational since February.

“We’ve always used team systems and run a processed-centered environment using other tools, so it was a smooth transition for us to use Symach’s quality equipment,” said Agostino.

The baking equipment uses a slightly different application, but he has found that it has been working out well.

Although they are still in their infancy stages using Symach’s equipment, they have found it has already helped with cycle time in the shop. “What used to take us one and a half hours, now takes 20 minutes,” said Agostino. “You don’t have to wait for dry times. They told us that, but you never really believe it until you see it.”

Since installing the equipment, Agostino said it has helped the shop stay cleaner and it’s a nicer environment for his 13 employees to work, many of whom have worked there long-term. By installing the lifts, it has also been easier on the body technicians. Overall, he said has been impressed with the dependability and predictability of the equipment. “When I’m painting a vehicle, I know it will be ready at a certain time,” he said.

Mervyns offers a lifetime written guarantee on all of the work completed. “An important component of this is ensuring our paint booths and spraying equipment are state-of-the-art,” said Agostino. “We are committed to leading the collision repair industry in technical skills, equipment and quality of work and Symach equipment is helping us do that.”

Axalta Inaugurates New Coating Manufacturing Facility in India

Axalta inaugurated its new coating manufacturing plant at Savli, Vadodara in Gujarat, India. Approximately 70 guests, including local government officials, customers, university representatives, media, and employees attended the opening ceremony, which Axalta Chairman and CEO Charlie Shaver presided.

The 5,200 square meter plant is part of Axalta’s Savli manufacturing site that produces Axalta coatings for refinish, automotive parts, and commercial vehicle customers. The new plant will double Axalta’s coating manufacturing capacity to meet the growing demand for coatings in light vehicles, commercial vehicles, and industrial segments.

Since 2016, Axalta has opened a new and expanded Technology Centre in Savli dedicated to the Indian automotive segment. Its new Axalta India headquarters in Gurugram, within the National Capital Region, also hosts Axalta’s global IT and other back office functions. Axalta has continued to further invest and upgrade its refinish training centres throughout India to better serve customers in the growing market.

“These facilities and the significant investments made in the past couple of years are in sync with Axalta’s strong commitment to India to deliver innovative and comprehensive coating solutions to our customers in every sector of the automotive market and in other industry sectors. I am confident that Axalta’s global expertise in coatings will play a significant role in India, catering to our customers’ specific coatings requirements,” said Shaver.

Taking advantage of the booming automotive market, Axalta Savli’s new plant will be able to expand production capacity of both high and low temperature cured coatings. The facility is also designed to scale up to produce waterborne coatings for customers’ conversion to more sustainable solutions. The new plant employs environmentally responsible processes and is designed for low emissions. This helps to ensure a healthy environment for the community and a sustainable future for Axalta.

Allianz’s Graham Gibson Appointed As Chairman Of Thatcham Research

Thatcham Research, the independent voice of automotive safety and repair, has appointed Allianz’s Graham Gibson as the new Chairman of its Board.

As chief claims officer at Allianz Insurance Gibson is an industry advocate with extensive experience in a range of market initiatives across claims and personal injury. He also serves on a variety of insurer related groups, including Board Member for the Insurance Fraud Bureau.

“I am excited to have been given this opportunity to work closely with Thatcham Research. Their passion and commitment to improving automotive safety and security demonstrates a dedication to both the insurance industry and vehicle manufacturers”. Said Gibson.

“I have seen first-hand the hard work and innovative research carried out by Thatcham Research having been an active member of its board since 2012. I look forward to working with members of the team and producing some exciting research.”

Gibson replaces current Chairman Ian Currie, who is retiring from his role as UK Motor and Injury Claims Director at RSA, after two-and-a-half years at the helm.

The Thatcham Research Board is drawn from its 24-member insurers, who fund the essential research on vehicle safety, security, personal injury and accident damage repair. As well as crash and track research, Thatcham Research tests and accredits crash repair parts, vehicle repair technicians, and a number of other products and services within the collision repair industry for insurers, motor manufacturers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

A founder member of the international Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR), Thatcham Research has also been a member of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) since 2004.

Mitsubishi Motors Unveils Indonesian Electric Vehicle Research Scheme

Mitsubishi Motors has presented 8 units of Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid SUV, 2 units of i-MiEV pure electric vehicle, and 4 units of battery charger to the Indonesian Government.

The top-of-the-range vehicles are being provided by Mitsubishi Motors as part of a joint study with the Ministry of Industry (MOI) into the development of Indonesia’s rapidly growing electric vehicle infrastructure.
The vehicles will feature in a series of studies modelling how Indonesia’s existing transport infrastructure can accommodate electric vehicles.

The studies will assess the use of electric vehicles in different environments, including cities, tourist areas and remote islands.

Meanwhile, the study will track the energy management potential of electric vehicles, examining the use of the Outlander PHEV as a storage resource.

Osamu Masuko, Chief Executive Officer of Mitsubishi Motors, said: “Today is an important moment, for Mitsubishi Motors, for the Indonesian Government and for the people of Indonesia who stand to benefit from increased car ownership, more connected communities and a safer, greener environment.”

Masuko added: “We see Indonesia as one of the most promising markets in south-east Asia, with a young population eager to unlock the opportunities car ownership provides. These opportunities bring with them challenges, such as balancing the drive towards greater car ownership with the need to protect the environment.”

The ceremony is the latest in a string of major announcement from Mitsubishi Motors in Indonesia, with the Corporation having unveiled the new Bekasi production facility in April last year.

Mitsubishi Motors has been trading in Indonesia since the formation of the company in 1970s, and has strong relationships with local partners across the country.

IAG Reviewing Asian Operations

Insurance Australia Group, the country’s biggest general insurer by market share, is conducting a strategic review of its Asian operations, including considering selling off units in the region.

The company says in a statement that as part of its Asia strategy, it has focused on growth via market consolidation and increased ownership. IAG’s current assessment is that such opportunities are limited, resulting in its decision to conduct a strategic review of the options available for its Asian businesses.

“We have always taken a measured approach to Asia and we believe this is the right time to review the immediate and longer term strategic options for our individual Asian businesses given the limited expansion opportunities,” IAG Managing Director and CEO Peter Harmer said.

This review is expected to be concluded by the end of 2018.

“The options could range from, if we had the opportunity, to investing more capital under conditions we think are appropriate, all the way through to disposing of assets,” Harmer said.

IAG reveals that the Asian division contributed a profit of A$15 million in the six months to 31 December 2017, compared to A$2 million in the corresponding period the previous year. The increase is attributed in part to recovery in Thailand and growth in India.

The 1H18 results, though, include a writedown of A$50 million (US$39 million), included in the amortisation and impairment expense line, following a review of carrying values applicable to the respective Asian businesses.

IAG, which specialises in motor and property insurance, has invested about A$850 million in the region since 1998 and has a presence in five Asian markets – Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and India.

IAG’s net profit increased by 24 per cent to A$551 million in the six months ended 31 December 2017, helped by higher fees and reserve releases. Gross written premiums rose by 0.6 per cent to A$5,834 million for the half-year, helped by rate increases. The company expects “low single-digit growth” in gross premiums for the full year to 30 June 2018.