Fix Network World celebrated its 2019 global conference earlier this month at the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun, with approximately 350 people from 14 countries (Canada, USA, UK, France, Turkey, China, Australia, Germany, South Africa, New Zealand, Spain, Ireland, Mexico and the Czech Republic) attending.
The event, for which the theme was “The Power of One”, was the first of its kind in that it united delegates from across all three of Fix Network World’s aftermarket services brands: NOVUS Glass, Fix Auto and Speedy Auto Service. According to organisers, the theme was chosen specifically to recognise and celebrate not only the power and potential of each franchisee, but as a tribute to the strength of one network coming together.
The event kicked off with a welcome cocktail on 2 May, followed by a one and a half day business conference featuring corporate updates, franchisee and work provider panel discussions, and keynotes from special guest speakers Mitch Lowe, co-founding Executive of Netflix and CEO of MoviePass, as well as Ted Graham, Head of Open Innovation at GM Canada and author of The Uber of Everything. Bringing together both business and leisure, the conference also featured social activities and networking opportunities, such as the Fix Network World Beach Party and organised group excursions. The event concluded with a gala evening and awards ceremony acknowledging the work of franchisees from around the world.
Fix Network World President, Steve Leal, said uniting the networks and celebrating individual and collective accomplishments is important.
“Our global family of entrepreneurs is united by a passion for quality and success,” said Leal. “Their appetite to adapt to change is what drives us at Fix Network World, and it is the very reason we put this event together, as a celebration and opportunity for continued growth.”
Amongst guests were franchisees, staff, industry specialists and VIP guests, as well as representatives from Fix Network World’s four global supply partners: 3M, AkzoNobel, Mirka and SATA.
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) has released the dates and location for the eighth instalment of the MSO Symposium – it will take place on Monday 4 November at The Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel, marking the event’s first return to Las Vegas since 2013.
“The MSO Symposium continues to bring together the multi-shop owners and operators, dealers, franchisees, and networks from North America,” said ASA Immediate Past Chairman, Roy Schnepper. “This exclusive event has evolved into the largest conference in the world where only repairers, insurers and OEMs gather.”
Last year’s event featured representation from over 4000 collision repairer facilities, with total revenue exceeding US$7 billion annually.
The programme has continued to evolve since its inception. Several years ago, the advisory board unanimously voted to expand the list of companies and individuals that could attend. According to organisers, the inclusion of insurers and OEMs has proven to be “visionary”, a point being attributed to the “leaders” represented on the advisory board. Organisers added that the networking and collaboration amongst the three industry groups further enhances the value of the overall programme.
“The advisory board plays a critical role in the success of the MSO Symposium,” said Chairman, Bob Wills. “They provide direction and guidance as to the speakers and content most relevant to their respective businesses. We sincerely appreciate their time and commitment.”
Attendance at the MSO Symposium is limited to insurers, OEMs, multi-shop operators and single location repair facilities with revenue exceeding US$3 million in annual sales. For more information, visit msosymposium.com.
Known internationally as the world championship of non-academic occupations, the WorldSkills competition aims to motivate young people worldwide to take up a trade or technical profession.
By sponsoring this initiative, the Automotive Refinish business unit of BASF’s Coatings division supports young talents, inspires them, and makes them excited about the spray-painting profession in particular. Initiated in 1950, trainees and young skilled workers from all over the world compete with each other at the WorldSkills and measure their skills in numerous categories ever since.
Through national and regional preliminary competitions only the best of their trade qualify for the finals of the biennial world championships. For BASF as the global industry partner of WorldSkills International with its Glasurit brand since 2017 and also the official sponsor in the “Car Painting” category, the competition is a great opportunity to support the next generation of automotive refinishers and also make the paint and coatings industry aware of young, well-trained talents.
At the WorldSkills competition, participants in the category “Car Painting” will exclusively use products from the comprehensive portfolio of BASF’s refinish brands Glasurit or R-M, depending on the country. Local trainers and online tutorials will help the young spray painters to learn more about efficient application processes and provide them with useful tricks for best results. During the finals, the jury will also pay close attention to a sustainable way of working. By selecting the right products, reducing waste and re-using materials, the participants will be in the position to combine ecological vision and economic success.
From August 22 to 27, young professionals under the age of 25 will meet for the finals in Kazan, Russia, to prove their craftsmanship in the international competition. WorldSkills organizers are expecting more than 100,000 visitors from all over the world as well as 1,600 participants from more than 60 countries who will measure their skills against each other in 56 performance competitions.
Nippon Paint Holdings, Japan’s largest manufacturer of paints and coatings, announced on Wednesday that it plans to acquire Australia’s DuluxGroup for 300 billion yen (A$3.86 billion).
Shares in DuluxGroup skyrocketed on the back of the development, closing yesterday at a 27.1 per cent premium to the previous day’s closing price.
There aren’t any expected changes to the DuluxGroup leadership, business portfolio, manufacturing or operations and the deal would essentially give Nippon Paint an entry into the Australia and New Zealand market.
“The board has carefully considered the strategic options available to DuluxGroup to maximise value, including continuing to pursue domestic and global growth as a standalone company, and we have unanimously concluded that the transaction with Nippon is in the best interests of our shareholders,” said Graeme Liebelt, Chairman of DuluxGroup.
DuluxGroup’s Australian and New Zealand operations sell Dulux paints and coatings, Selley’s and Parchem sealants, B&D Group garage doors and Lincoln Sentry hardware. Late last year, the group announced it had increased its full-year profit 5.4 per cent to A$150.7 million. Revenue was also up 3.3 per cent to A$1.84 billion, though it was slowing due to a mild downturn amongst building materials suppliers.
Nippon Paint Holdings has operations in Asia, the US and Europe. The group recorded sales of ¥623 billion (A$7.8 billion) and an operating profit of ¥66.2 billion (A$824 million) for the fiscal year ended December 31.
“Nippon intends to maintain the legacy developed by DuluxGroup and facilitate DuluxGroup’s existing vision by leveraging the resources of the broader Nippon platform,” said Tetsushi Tado, Representative Director and President of Nippon Paint Holdings.
The British Standards Institution (BSI) has appointed Dean Lander, Head of Repair Sector Services at Thatcham Research, as chair of its committee on automotive services (SVS/20).
The committee oversees the ongoing maintenance of BS 10125, the British standard which specifies the best approach to conducting consistently safe, high quality repairs on accident damaged vehicles.
On behalf of the UK National Standards Body (NSB), Lander will help lead the committee for the preparation of all British standards in the field of automotive services.
“I am excited to help steer the standard through a time when repair is being so affected by technological change, both on vehicles and in repair processes,” said Lander. “With ADAS, connectivity and electrification of the drivetrain becoming an ever presence on the latest volume cars, BS 10125 must keep pace with the impacts on safe repair processes.
“Having been engaged since the development of BSI’s PAS 125 and its evolution to BS10125, I am proud to have been nominated to chair the SVS/20 committee.
“The four cornerstones on which the standard was built – Man, Method, Machine and Material – are all being affected by technological changes. The committee and I will be working to ensure that the BS 10125 standard remains effective in assuring safe repair with an immediate focus on skills and proof of current competence of technicians.”
The SVS/20 committee develops standards for the services offered by providers in the automotive industry, including vehicle damage repair, garage services, and aftermarket engine and part supply. The committee says its aim is to give providers, business purchasers and consumers criteria for making informed decisions.
Pro Spot International recently hosted American Honda Motor’s Collision Market Department for hands-on spot welding and MIG welding training in Pro Spot’s state-of-the-art California training centre.
The visit not only included hands-on welding training and experience, but also gave everyone a chance to see Pro Spot’s USA manufacturing in action. From R&D to machining weld caps, powder coating, and assembly, the visitors were able to see how all of the bits and pieces are made and come together to create a Pro Spot product.
“Welding is such a large component of proper vehicle repair and a skill that you need to develop and maintain, this visit will give our team first-hand experience and knowledge as they manage their zones,” said Rossana Alvarez, American Honda’s Assistant National Manager for Collision Parts Marketing.
“This industry grows when we take the time to learn from each other,” said Ashley Olsson, Pro Spot’s Director of Communication. “Today, was another example of not only learning how to weld, but also a group of people working together to ask questions, seek answers, and brainstorm ideas to improve the industry from all of our perspectives.”
A manufacturer of repair equipment for the collision repair industry, Pro Spot International says it regularly hosts tours, meetings and training events at its Headquarters and Manufacturing facility in Carlsbad, California in the United States.
Volvo Cars announced it will replace the paint shop at its Torslanda car manufacturing plant, resulting in an expected reduction of paint shop energy consumption and emissions by at least one third.
The company said the move is in line with its ambition to have climate-neutral global manufacturing operations by 2025. It follows the 2018 solar panel installation at the company’s Ghent factory and, also in 2018, its Skövde engine plant in Sweden becoming the first climate-neutral facility in its global manufacturing network.
The Torslanda plant is Volvo Cars’ largest manufacturing facility in terms of volume and built 291,000 cars in 2018. It employs around 6500 manufacturing staff and produces cars on the company’s in-house-developed scalable product architecture (SPA) platform, which underpins the company’s 90 and 60 series cars.
Volvo Cars said the introduction of the new paint shop will allow for more efficient manufacturing processes, and supports the launch of the next generation of Volvo models, most of which will be based on an upgraded version of the SPA architecture, called SPA2. The new paint shop represents a multi-billion-dollar investment in the Torslanda plant and is one part of a broader investment plan for the plant. Construction will begin in 2020.
“We have identified our paint shop operation as one area in which we can achieve significant reductions in energy consumption and emissions,” said Javier Varela, Senior Vice President Manufacturing and Logistics at Volvo Cars. “Volvo Cars is committed to our vision for a more environmentally sustainable business. This investment also strengthens our plans for the Torslanda plant to remain globally competitive.”
In addition to addressing energy consumption and emissions throughout its global manufacturing network, Volvo Cars said it is also working to make greater use of sustainable material in its products. By 2025, it wants at least 25 per cent of the plastics used in every newly-launched Volvo car to be made from recycled material.
Volvo Cars had originally made a commitment to electrify all new Volvo cars launched after 2019, with the company since saying that it now aims for fully electric cars to make up 50 per cent of its global sales by 2025.
CIECA has announced that its next CIECAst webinar will feature Raj Pofale, founder and CEO at Claim Genius. Pofale’s presentation, “Photo Estimating and AI (Artificial Intelligence),” will be held on Tuesday, 9 April at 11 am CST (USA time).
During the one-hour live broadcast, Pofale will address why insurance needs AI and photo estimates, and share how “Photo Estimatics” is bringing innovation to the claims and recycling industry.
According to the CIECA, Pofale is a senior technology executive and product development leader with more than 20 years of experience in large-scale enterprise platforms. With a passion for technology and entrepreneurial skills, Raj invented a “disruptive AI product” with “the intent of making touchless claims a reality.”
To register for the CIECAst, visit https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/720986453775913731.
During the 2019 Collision Repair Expo (CRE) being held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 4 to 6 April, Luehr will give an account of his book, “The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops”, in his presentation titled “The Six Secrets Revealed.”
Throughout the book, Luehr, along with co-author and BodyShop News US Correspondent Stacey Phillips, share lessons along with real-world stories of collision repairers who “have discovered the secrets that have propelled their businesses to a much higher level than their competitors.”
“The concepts are very simple in nature, but often contrary to common beliefs and traditional practices,” said Luehr. “It is my promise to you that if you are willing to challenge traditional methods and apply the lessons contained in ‘The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops,’ you will transform your business in ways you may not have thought possible.”
Throughout his presentation at Australia’s major collision repair industry trade exhibition, which will take place at 1:00pm on Friday 5 April, Luehr says he will challenge smash repairers to think differently and understand that anyone with the right mental attitude can achieve incredible levels of success. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear lessons learned from Luehr’s industry experience as well as those from several successful repairers worldwide.
By applying some of the information contained in the book, as well as the stories he shares during his presentation, Luehr says smash repairers can grow a sustainable and profitable business in an industry experiencing unprecedented rapid change.
Luehr’s paperback book will be offered to 2019 CRE delegates at a discounted rate, while electronic versions are also available on Amazon, Audible and iTunes. For more information, visit bodyshopsecrets.com.
The 2019 CRE is concurrently being held with the 2019 Australian Auto Aftermarket Expo (AAE), forming Australasia’s largest automotive industry. Along with international guest speakers, a comprehensive free seminar program has also been organised specifically to assist the collision repair industry throughout this bumper three-day biennial trade exhibition. This combined with the products and services from some 400 local and world leading companies, makes the 2019 CRE and AAA Expo a priority to take part in this April. Pre-registration to attend is available at www.collisionrepair.com.au.
Axalta has opened its largest and most advanced refinish training centre, spread over 20,000 square feet (nearly 2,000 square metres) in India. The state-of-the-art training facility was inaugurated by Sobers Sethi, President, Emerging Markets, Axalta. The company now has four dedicated training facilities in India.
“The opening of this new training facility demonstrates the confidence we have in the opportunities for growth in India,” said Sethi. “The coatings industry, especially waterborne coatings, in India has been growing at a rapid pace. The new refinish training facility will provide our customers with the most advanced painting techniques to help them be more efficient, productive, and profitable. And, we are helping our customers drive these improvements while being mindful of the environment with sustainable techniques and products. Our customers’ success is our success and we are proud to be the refinish leader in India and around the world.”
Axalta says it expects to train approximately 1000 technicians at the new training centre this year. Customers will use the company’s latest coating technologies, as well as industry-leading training techniques and advanced digital tools. Axalta says it will also demonstrate the most advanced spraying application systems that use less energy and reduce waste, have fast-drying finishes, and use superior colour matching technologies. Through this centre, the company says customers in India can stay on the cutting-edge of coating technologies and techniques that are designed to deliver benefits to their businesses immediately and for the long-term.
The training centre is also equipped with an advanced virtual reality (VR) training room, digital colour matching tool, and an online training facility for customers that cannot be physically present at the centre. Axalta says the VR training duplicates the paint spraying activity and experience, and enables customers to gain the benefits of the training without actually using the paint material.