SAPE Group Becomes Australian Distributor For POR-15

The Sydney Automotive Paints and Equipment (SAPE) Group has announced that it is now the authorised distributor for POR-15 high performance coatings in Australia.

According to the company, POR-15 is the trusted brand in the paint and coatings industry that stands for superior quality control, durability, and customer service. Best known for the POR-15 Rust Preventive 3-Step System, POR-15 also offers a wide variety of specialty products to include POR-15 Top Coat, High Temp Heat Resistant Paint, Engine Enamel, and Brake Caliper Paint.

Paul McMartin, Director for the SAPE Group, said: “This is an exciting industry and we are constantly looking to improve and establish a better position and of the key ways to do so is working with companies like POR-15.”

“There’s no doubting that Australia has a love affair with the car, and restoring a classic car is the ultimate labour of love. POR 15 products are a must have for any automotive restoration.”

“No other paint is as permanent as POR-15. When others have chipped, scratched, flaked and peeled, POR-15 will still be preventing rust.”

POR-15 products are now in stock at SAPE headquarters in Condell Park, as well as Automotive Colour & Equipment in Newcastle, Prestige Paints & Equipment in Brisbane and The Paint Depot in the Gold Coast. POR-15 products can also be purchased through an extensive reseller network throughout Australia.

Symach And DCR Systems Form Strategic Partnership

Symach has announced a strategic partnership with DCR (Diversified Collision Repair) Systems. As part of the new collaboration, the two companies will combine their strengths to build what Symach CEO Osvaldo Bergaglio refers to as “tomorrow’s workshop.”

“It’s clearly a relationship that will allow us to develop tomorrow’s workshops and utilise the strengths of each company not only to put together the ‘super shop’ but also the ‘super team’ to operate it,” said Michael Giarrizzo, CEO and President of DCR Systems. “It’s exciting to be on the cutting edge and be able to work with another forward-thinking company.”

“DCR uses a fantastic process-based production system that standardises and streamlines each procedure and eliminates many of the inefficiencies associated with auto body repairs,” said Bergaglio. “It is very complementary to the Symach system and we are really excited about working together.

Founded in 2001, Symach offers a complete range of body shop equipment for the collision repair industry, including its unique FixLine repair process, SPAP (Symach Paint Application Process) and DryTronic robotic technology for drying paint in a less than a minute.

DCR Systems was founded in 2004 and is owned by Giarrizzo and partners. The Ohio and Atlanta-based business sets up accident repair facilities based on lean manufacturing principles for automotive dealerships looking to outsource their operations.

Moving forward, Symach plans to sell new collision repair facilities in the USA market that will operate under the DCR standard model. In addition, DCR Systems will offer a turn-key franchise-like model for dealers. In both scenarios, Symach equipment will be utilised and training will be provided.

When Giarrizzo first met Bergaglio a couple of years ago, he said he was impressed with the robotics technology being designed, manufactured and sold by the Italian-based company. The two business owners spent time in body shops set up by DCR Systems as well as some recent installations by Symach in Canada.

The business owners said they soon discovered the commonalities of the two companies. For example, the DCR System’s proprietary model involves the layout of the rail system, which allows vehicles to move through the paint line. This is similar to what Symach does as well in its layout process.

“It was really eye-opening seeing what the company has already done,” said Giarrizzo. “We started to feel the synergy between the two companies.”

Both Symach and DCR Systems say they focus on continuous workflow in the body shop and a process-centered environment. The goal is to ensure the team understands the required pace so that the steps of the process are interdependent and must work in sequence. The desired outcome is to have all vehicles go through the shop uninterrupted and ensure they are repaired in a very predictable amount of time.

“DCR Systems specialises in fostering a team environment with very strict validation stages that maximises touch time and minimises waste,” said Bergaglio. “It’s about speed and first-time quality, so nothing has to be redone.”

“As an industry, we can never stop seeking improvement not only in technology, but also in the way we do work,” said Giarrizzo. “This is truly tomorrow’s technology and groundbreaking for the industry. The folks at Symach are innovators – they are engineers and inventors and so are we, making it a powerful relationship.”

Axalta Names Trip to Germany Promotion Winners

Franco Missaglia from Stylefinish Auto Body in Mentone, Victoria and Craig Hall from Craig Hall Bodyworks in Canberra, ACT have won Axalta’s 2018 Win a Trip to Germany promotion.

Each winner will take in the sights of some of Germany’s most beautiful cities, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich, whilst visiting museums and automotive manufacturing plants, including Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and BMW. The tour will also focus on Automechanika, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary.

“Axalta would like to sincerely thank its customers for their continued support,” said Steven Brett, Axalta Coatings Systems Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand. “Our aim is to make the tour, which includes Automechanika, a wonderful experience but also an opportunity to gain insight into the advancements happening in our industry and the impact they may have on the Australian automotive repair market now and into the future.”

Missaglia was thrilled to have been named a winner.

“I would like to thank Axalta for the great opportunity this promotion has given me to not only visit Germany but to travel with likeminded professionals,” he said.

Paul Wake, Axalta’s Sales Director, presents Craig Hall from Craig Hall Bodyworks with his winning certificate.
Paul Wake, Axalta’s Sales Director, presents Craig Hall from Craig Hall Bodyworks with his winning certificate.

Terrence Hahn Appointed New Axalta Chief Executive Officer

Axalta Coating Systems today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Terrence Hahn as Chief Executive Officer, effective 4 September, 2018, succeeding Charlie Shaver, who served as Axalta’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since 2013. Hahn will also serve on Axalta’s board of directors, expanding the board’s size from eight to nine directors.

Hahn was most recently President and Chief Executive Officer of Honeywell International Inc.’s Home and Building Technologies group. Shaver, who has chosen to step down as Chief Executive Officer to pursue a unique professional opportunity, will remain on Axalta’s board and serve as Non-Executive Chairman, working closely with Hahn to ensure a seamless leadership transition.

“On behalf of Axalta’s board, I want to welcome Terrence Hahn to the company,” said Shaver. “We are confident that Terrence is a great choice to lead Axalta going forward. His accomplishments as an executive with over a decade of domestic and international experience across multiple business groups at Honeywell, along with his nearly two decades of previous experience in a variety of leadership roles at air products and chemicals, make him a terrific fit for Axalta.

“Since I became CEO more than five years ago, we have prudently managed Axalta’s business and balance sheet, positioning the company to capitalise on opportunities as they arise and generate long-term shareholder value. I am very proud of our achievements as well as our excellent prospects for the future. I recently informed the board that I was considering stepping down as CEO and, consistent with our long-term succession planning, the board commenced a search for a potential successor CEO to build on Axalta’s accomplishments and lead the company forward. We identified Terrence as having a proven track record of success, and the right expertise, experience, and personality for Axalta. I look forward to a successful transition of the Chief Executive Officer role to Terrence and a wonderful partnership with him in my role as Chairman.

“Serving as CEO of Axalta has been an honour and a privilege. It was an extremely difficult decision to step away from an executive role at Axalta, but I am confident that Terrence has the right skillset to take Axalta to the next level of growth and development.”

“I am honoured to join Axalta at this dynamic time for the company and the coatings industry,” said Hahn. “Axalta has leading positions, a terrific executive team, strong global presence and top brands. I am excited about the tremendous opportunity at Axalta to drive organic growth through innovative and value-add offerings that will deepen existing customer relationships and attract new customers, as well as add inorganic growth through strategic acquisitions. I appreciate the board’s confidence in me and look forward to working with Charlie and the Axalta leadership team to help drive the next phase of Axalta’s growth and build shareholder value.”

Mark Garrett, Presiding Director of Axalta’s board, added: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Charlie for his outstanding service to Axalta. As CEO, he led the company’s separation from its former parent and oversaw Axalta’s initial public offering and listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Under his leadership, Axalta has made tremendous strides, driven by a resolute commitment to customer service and innovation. We are very pleased that he will continue to serve as Chairman. We are confident in a seamless transition of leadership to Terrence Hahn. With his experience and impressive track record he is well-suited to lead Axalta’s continued growth in the coatings industry.”

Suncorp Simplifies Quoting For Non-Recommended Repairers

Suncorp has launched a new online portal to simplify quoting by non-recommended repairers (NRR).

Executive Manager, Assessing and Repair at Suncorp, Brett Wallace, said the new AudaBridge portal provides opportunities for a more robust and consistent approach to NRR assessments.

“We currently receive quotes through various channels and formats, some of which require us to manually input the information into our system. This is time consuming and often means our assessors don’t have all the details needed to properly compare repair method, quality and costs,” said Wallace.

“The new web-based platform will give repairers access to relevant claim information, enable them to upload or input quotes, view real-time assessment information and submit invoices. These enhancements will help our team deliver a better customer experience, and ultimately provide the best repair solution for each vehicle. The method repairers currently use to construct quotes won’t change and Suncorp will continue to accept all estimate formats,” he added.

“We remain committed to working closely with NRRs to create a seamless process focused on delivering the highest quality repairs, best service and the greatest value for our customers.”

Repairers can register to use the AudaBridge portal by emailing SuncorpMotorRepair@suncorp.com.au.

American Custom Car Legends To Present At PPG Masters Of Custom 2018

Australian painters will have the opportunity to learn from the best when PPG brings three American custom car icons to Australia for its Masters of Custom event.

Charley Hutton, Paul Stoll and Jeff Matauch will each present at the event which will be held at the PPG NSW Training Centre over two days on 13 and 14 September.

Hutton is an industry icon with a string of award winning builds to his name. Stoll began custom painting in Southern California in the early 1970s, where he was mentored by the likes of Ed Roth and George Barris, and has spent the last 20 years teaching custom paint classes for PPG. Matauch has been a custom painter for almost 40 years and a PPG training instructor for more than 20 years. In addition to custom painting, Matauch builds and restores classic cars and hot rods.

Over a series of PPG Vibrance Collection ‘Custom Creator Sessions’, Masters of Custom participants will learn the skills, tips, tricks and techniques that go into designing, prepping and producing a cutting-edge custom paint finish. PPG says the presenters will ensure all participants fully understand each step as they progress from panel preparation through to final finish.

There are two participation levels with option one allowing participants to watch and learn at all of the Vibrance Collection ‘Custom Creator Sessions’. Option two provides a hands-on experience and an opportunity to attend a special Meet the Masters dinner.

While places are not restricted to PPG customers, they are limited. To register, contact Tony Naughton on 0459 820 395 / naughton@ppg.com, or Adam Hogg on 0418 572 199 / ahogg@ppg.com.

Meguiar’s MotorEx To Stay In Melbourne For 2019

After a record breaking Meguiar’s MotorEx 18 in Melbourne, event owners Out There Productions today announced that the show will stay in Melbourne. MotorEx will celebrate its 19th birthday at the Melbourne Showgrounds on 11-12 May, 2019.

Meguiar’s MotorEx, traditionally held in Sydney, came to Melbourne for the first time in 2014, and alternated between the two cities until today’s announcement.

“Our original plan was to head back to Sydney, and we said as much at the end of the 2018 show. However, the argument to stay in Melbourne has become undeniable. We’ve been able to create a real festival atmosphere, with drifting, music, 4WD demos and freestyle motocross which brings additional colour and noise to the event,” said Andy Lopez, co-owner of MotorEx.

“On top of that, over 400 cars in Real Street showed off the passion in Melbourne’s scene. Also, the SEMA guys are coming back and that’s a fantastic vote of confidence,” said Lopez.

Business is also supportive of the move to stay in Melbourne. Dyno sponsor Mario Pancione of VCM Performance said: “We had a huge weekend and were slammed the entire time. MotorEx is a great way to expose your business to both trade and customers in an effective and affordable way. We’re happy the show is staying in Melbourne.”

Bruce Morrison, MotorActive Managing Director, took Meguiar’s MotorEx to Melbourne for the first time in 2014 and has welcomed the change.

“The car hobby is huge in Melbourne and includes fantastic businesses and a lot of growth opportunities. To the enthusiasts in Sydney, NSW and across Australia, put MotorEx on your annual calendar. It’s grown in leaps and bounds in Melbourne and is well worth the trip,” said Morrison.

The Meguiar’s MotorEx team will be upping the ante in 2019. Lopez said: “We’re going to bring more cars, more businesses, and more enthusiasts to MotorEx next year in Melbourne. Plus, we’re on the Mother’s Day weekend so we want to see more mums and families on Sunday in particular.”

A total of 29,665 fans descended on the Melbourne Showgrounds in May this year to see more than 700 cars, Australia’s leading aftermarket suppliers, traders from SEMA, celebrities and more as part of Meguiar’s MotorEx 18.

Thatcham Research’s Peter Shaw To Step Down As Chief Executive

Thatcham Research has announced that Peter Shaw is stepping down from his role as Chief Executive with immediate effect due to ill-health.

Shaw, who has been Chief Executive as well as a Board member for seven years, has steered Thatcham Research through a period of notable change, with the organisation increasingly recognised as a global centre of excellence for assisted and automated driving assessment and testing.

He initiated a research strategy which reflected this fast pace of change in the automotive market – and more importantly, kept ahead of it with thought leadership and rapid development of safety standards.

The recruitment process to identify his successor is now underway. Strategic duties at Thatcham Research will continue to be managed by Neale Phillips and Ruth McRitchie.

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.

Graham Gibson, Chief Claims Officer at Allianz Insurance and Chairman of Thatcham Research, said: “Peter has achieved so much for the business and our position in the industry since joining us.

“He has played a pivotal role in driving a new focus upon testing and influencing vehicle safety and security performance to minimise motor insurance costs. This has been hugely important due to the technological advances in active and passive car safety.

“Under Peter’s leadership, Thatcham Research has never been more relevant than it is today, and keeping our members informed and educated will remain vital.

“We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Peter who has been an outstanding Chief Executive and Board member since 2011. I’d also like to extend my gratitude to Ruth and Neale, who have maintained our strategic agenda so strongly in the interim period.”

VACC Honours Victoria’s Best Industry Operators

Victoria’s best body repair businesses were honoured at the 2018 VACC Industry Awards gala ceremony, held at Crown Palladium in Melbourne.

The 2018 awards attracted a record number of applications, each assessed by a panel of judges, whose decisions were audited by an independent standards representative. The assessment criteria included customer service, training, occupational health and safety, and environmental.

VACC Executive Director, Geoff Gwilym, said the VACC Industry Awards were initiated to recognise and promote those businesses who reach high, and attain and sustain business excellence.

“VACC acknowledges the high calibre of all applications. In the face of strong competition, Victorian motorists can be assured that any business winning a VACC Industry Award this year is a genuinely great business. VACC congratulates each of them,” said Gwilym.

VACC INDUSTRY AWARDS – BODY REPAIR INDUSTRY

BEST BODY REPAIRER – PASSENGER VEHICLE (Small Business)

Essendon Panels

BEST BODY REPAIRER – PASSENGER VEHICLE (Large Business)

TIE
Sheen Panel Service Bayswater
Sheen Panel Service Bulleen

BEST COMMERCIAL VEHICLE BODY REPAIRER

Royans Melbourne

BEST HEAVY TOWING (HTT) OPERATOR – STATEWIDE

Complete Body Craft

BEST METRO ACCIDENT (ALLOCATED) TOWING OPERATOR

MackTow

BEST REGIONAL ACCIDENT TOWING OPERATOR

Complete Body Craft

BEST TRADE TOWING OPERATOR – STATEWIDE

Complete Body Craft

BEST RESTORATION PROJECT (Body)

CAARS Smash Repairs

BEST AUTO RECYCLER (Large Business)

Total Auto Recyclers

Blackstone’s AMA Acquisition Scuttled By The ATO

Ruling For Demerger Relief Denies Acquisition

An adverse ruling by the ATO has torpedoed plans by private equity asset manager Blackstone to finalise its purchase of the 113 body shops owned by ASX-listed AMA Group.

Via a press release, AMA Group Limited advised that it had received a formal response from the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation refusing its request for a Ruling for Demerger Relief.

In April, AMA Group Limited announced the demerger of its components, accessories and procurement business into an independently listed entity, and the purchase of the post-demerger AMA Group, which essentially included its crash repair businesses, by private equity asset manager Blackstone for $508 million.

The demerger was proposed to allow the two divisions to adopt the most suitable capital structure and focus on their fundamental proficiencies.

The AMA Board said they were disappointed with the decision, but the business has continued to perform strongly and is still on target with the market guidance released earlier in the year.

In the first half of financial year 2018, the collision repair side accounted for nearly $200 million of the group’s revenue versus $27 million of the other units.