Nippon Paint To Buy Australia’s DuluxGroup

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.

BSI Appoints Dean Lander As Chair Of Automotive Standards Committee

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.

Axalta’s 2019 ‘Think Sustainable!’ Winner Announced

Axalta has concluded its ‘Think Sustainable!’ promotion in Australia by announcing the winner to be Robbie Manson from Apex Smash Repairs.

The promotion offered purchasers of a promotion kit that included a range of Axalta premium branded clears and Finixa paint processing products an entry in a draw to win up to $20,000 towards a solar panel system installation.

“We are excited to offer this promotion and encourage customers to ‘Think Sustainable’,” said Steven Brett, Managing Director of Axalta Coatings Systems in Australia. “Not every business can afford to install a solar panel system, so we are giving customers the chance to win one. At the same time, we encourage body shops to look at the technologies currently available that can minimise energy consumption, reduce waste or increase efficiencies.”

Manson said he is looking forward to seeing the impact the solar panel system will have on sustainability in his shop.

“I am so excited to have won this competition,” said Manson. “A big thank you to Axalta for supporting us by supplying a solar panel system and encouraging body shops to think about sustainability. I can’t wait to have the system installed so I can see the impact it has on my business.”

Axalta says it has a number of other initiatives in place to promote and support body shop sustainability. The Axalta Services team works with customers in achieving their sustainability goals through better, safer and sustainable business practices and actions. In addition, Axalta presents the “Axalta Business Excellence Award” each year to recognise businesses that have achieved a competitive advantage through sustainable initiatives.

American Honda Gets Welding Training At Pro Spot

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.

Motoring Clubs Launch ‘My Money. My Transport’ Election Campaign

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has launched a nationwide campaign that lets voters communicate directly with their federal election candidates on priority road and transport issues.

The AAA says the ‘My Money. My Transport’ campaign seeks to enlist voters to hold all political candidates to account and ensure road and public transport users secure a fair share of funding for safer roads, expanded and more affordable public transport options, and policies to keep costs down for motorists.

AAA Chief Executive Michael Bradley said when it came to lobbying political candidates, motorists were one of the few groups that brought their own money to the table.

“Last week’s budget confirmed that no matter who wins the May election, the federal government is planning on collecting nearly $56 billion over the next four years from fuel excise alone. That means this year, the average household will pay $1288 in fuel excise,” said Bradley. “Yet transport costs are rising at twice the rate of inflation. Our roads have never been more congested and about 100 people die on Australian roads every month.

“That’s why the AAA wants people to directly engage with their candidates during the campaign about how and where they want their money invested in transport. Through the “My Money. My Transport” campaign, voters can fill out a survey and tell their candidates of their local priority issues.”

The “My Money. My Transport” campaign is hosted on the websites of the AAA’s state and territory clubs, including the NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAA, RAC, RACT and AANT.

“Through these clubs, the AAA represents about eight million members across Australia,” Bradley said.

The AAA and its member clubs are calling on all political parties contesting the federal election to commit to:

  1. Developing federal leadership in making Australian roads safer
  2. Developing a “land transport white paper” to address the challenges of the future
  3. Investing in priority transport projects in every state and territory
  4. Reforming transport funding so it is fairer for motorists and provides sustainable government revenue
  5. Introducing real-world driving emissions testing to give more accurate information about fuel use
  6. Eliminating unfair car taxes that discourage upgrading to newer, safer and cleaner cars.

Volvo To Reduce Emissions With New Torslanda Paint Shop

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.

CIECAst Webinar Will Feature Raj Pofale

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.

Killen’s Smash Repairs Strikes Gold With I-CAR

I-CAR Australia Gold Class Coordinator Gary Wood announced that Killen’s Smash Repairs in Armidale, New South Wales has been awarded the prestigious I-CAR Gold Class Collision status.

“I am extremely pleased to award Killen’s Smash Repairs I-CAR Gold Class status,” said Wood. “Michael and the team have been regular participants in I-CAR training for a number of years. They made the decision to join the Road to Gold 12 months ago and have now successfully met all the requirements for I-CAR Gold Class status.

Through a combination of virtual classroom sessions, ITA training in conjunction with PPG and participation in the I-CAR welding certification, they fully deserve the recognition. Well done to everyone at Killen’s Smash Repairs.”

“Killen’s Smash Repairs are very proud to have achieved I-CAR Gold Class,” said Michael Killen. “We have valued I-CAR training since it began in Australia and believe that it provides direct benefits to our business, in helping us to ensure that our repairs are completed to the highest possible standard and our clients can be confident that we are delivering the safest possible repair.

“We are also very proud of the fact that as part of our Road to Gold training, all of our panel technicians have achieved structural weld certification. We look forward to continuing our training commitment with I-CAR into the future.”

Leading UK Body Repair Expert To Present At 2019 Collision Repair Expo

UK-based co-founder of Auto Industry Consulting Limited, Andrew Marsh, will share his expert body repair knowledge during the 2019 Collision Repair Expo (CRE) seminar series.

During his keynote presentation, Marsh will focus on ADAS and the new static, dynamic and self-calibration demands that such systems bring to collision repairers, while also discussing the challenge of repair complexity and the need to enhance collision repairer software skills. Vehicle manufacturer and motor insurer perspectives will be covered, including the rapidly-expanding number of vehicle models, the reducing number of key architectures, and the impact of unique body shape parts.

Marsh will give his presentation at 11:30am on Saturday 6 April.

The 2019 CRE, held concurrently with the 2019 Australian Automotive Aftermarket Expo, will run from 4-6 April at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Entry is free to all members of the trade, including all seminars and keynote presentations throughout the three-day event.

Fix Auto Australia Appoints Scott Holden As Regional Head Of Sales

Fix Auto Australia has announced the appointment of Scott Holden to the role of Regional Head of Sales, effective immediately.

Holden brings to Fix Auto over 30 years’ experience in the automotive industry. Having started his career in the sale of paint and consumables, he moved on to manage his family’s body shop for almost 20 years before assuming ownership in December 2007, running through to 2017.

In addition to his real-world repair experience, Holden possesses business consultancy and project management skills, working with TTi Global in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as with luxury OE manufacturers. As a consultant, he delivered business improvement coaching, along with dealership assessments to the OEM core standards while providing recommended action plans for attaining OEM ‘approved’ status.

In his new role, Holden is responsible for supporting network development for Fix Auto in Queensland and New South Wales, and helps liaise with and manage relationships with work providers and various industry stakeholders.

Holden says he believes Fix Auto’s value proposition is a sure point of difference for independent repairers looking for the benefits of joining a managed network.

“Following my onboarding with the Fix Auto Australia team and network, as well as a recent visit to Fix Automotive Network Canada, I know I have joined an organisation with a genuine interest in delivering value for its members. I look forward to bringing more quality-driven repairers into our fold and growing as a national solution,” he said.

“Scott is a welcomed addition to our team, he has in-depth understanding of our industry and can navigate the complex mechanics and business needs of independent repairers in a time of change,” said Stuart Faid, Regional Head of Business for Asia, Australia and New Zealand at Fix Auto.

“We are pleased to welcome him onboard.”