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 / [email protected], or Adam Hogg on 0418 572 199 / [email protected].

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.



Essendon Panels


Sheen Panel Service Bayswater
Sheen Panel Service Bulleen


Royans Melbourne


Complete Body Craft




Complete Body Craft


Complete Body Craft


CAARS Smash Repairs


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.

Martin Stone Receives AM In Queens Birthday Honours

Charitable Work Recognised In Honours

Sheen Group Owner and Director, Martin Stone, has been made a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia. Stone received the honour for his service to the community through support of charitable organisations, and to the automotive industry.

Stone has made a significant contribution to several charities over many years, including Variety, Life Education Australia, and the Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria.

In addition to operating Sheen Group, Stone is also a long-time member of VACC and the Society of Automotive Engineers.

As well his AM, Stone is a three-time recipient of the Dick Smith Award for the highest fundraiser in Victoria (2013, 2015 and 2016), and was the second highest fundraiser for the same award in 2014.

Heartfelt congratulations from all of us at BodyShop News Australia.

Car Manufacturer Use of the Word ‘Autonomous’ Dangerous: Thatcham Research

Thatcham Research and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) issued an urgent call to car manufacturers and legislators for greater clarity around the capability of vehicles sold with technology that does more and more driving on behalf of motorists. The call comes in the wake of growing reports of people crashing while over-relying on technology which is not yet designed to drive the car independently.

The risks to drivers have been outlined in the new ‘Assisted and Automated Driving Definition and Assessment’ paper, which has identified dangerous grey areas associated with some driver support technologies. These include misleading names, like Autopilot and ProPilot, given to systems by car manufacturers, how and when drivers should take back control of their vehicles and systems which are designed to work in specific situations only (e.g. on motorways) but can also function anywhere.

Matthew Avery, Head of Research at Thatcham Research said, “We are starting to see real-life examples of the hazardous situations that occur when motorists expect the car to drive and function on its own. Specifically, where the technology is taking ownership of more and more of the driving task, but the motorist may not be sufficiently aware that they are still required to take back control in problematic circumstances. Fully Automated vehicles that can own the driving task from A to B, with no need for driver involvement whatsoever, won’t be available for many years to come. Until then, drivers remain criminally liable for the safe use of their cars and as such, the capability of current road vehicle technologies must not be oversold.”

Avery continues, “It begins with how systems are named and described across car manufacturer marketing materials and the driver’s handbook. Names like Autopilot or ProPilot are deeply unhelpful, as they infer the car can do a lot more than it can. Absolute clarity is needed, to help drivers understand the when and how these technologies are designed to work and that they should always remain engaged in the driving task.”

James Dalton, Director of General Insurance Policy at the ABI, said, “Insurers are major supporters of efforts to get assisted and autonomous vehicles onto the UK’s roads. Given the part human error plays in the overwhelming majority of accidents, these technologies have the potential to dramatically improve road safety. However, we are a long way from fully autonomous cars which will be able to look after all parts of a journey and in the meantime, it remains crucial that all drivers are alert and ready to take back full control at a moment’s notice. Manufacturers must be responsible in how they describe and name what their vehicles can do, and the insurance industry is ready to hold them to account on this.”

Axalta Celebrates the Winners of the 2018 WorldSkills National Championship for Vehicle Painting

Axalta Coating Systems congratulates the seven men and women who showed exemplary drive and determination at Australia’s largest vocational education competition, the 2018 WorldSkills National Championship for Vehicle Painting. The competition was held at Skills Show Australia 2018, from 2 – 4 June at Ultimo TAFE in Sydney, with Kaine Corpuz from Queensland being crowned the best vehicle painter in Australia.

As Gold Partner and long term supporter of WorldSkills Australia, Axalta has been fully focused on supporting each competitor’s journey to become the best vehicle refinisher in Australia.

In June competitors Aidan Hasler, Lional Stapleton, Maxine Colligan, Kaine Corpuz, Luke Alexander, Amber Gabelich and Kyle Little took on the greatest challenge of their lives at the WorldSkills National Championship. They all demonstrated extreme calm under very challenging conditions. And, despite the strict marking criteria for each module, the competitors were all able to complete each stage successfully, showcasing their mastery in refinishing, from spot repairs right through to the intricate panel design work, including colour matching accuracy.

“For more than 10 years Axalta has strived to mentor and nurture all up and coming talent with product training, providing exposure to the latest work practices and techniques, problem solving, development of teamwork and leadership skills,” said Paul Polverino, National Training Manager for Axalta. “To see these extraordinary young men and women excel under such challenging circumstances, whilst producing outstanding levels of craftsmanship, was an absolute delight to watch.

“Axalta’s passion for our industry and desire to secure its future through young professionals is what drives us at Axalta” said Polverino. “We are very proud to support these exceptional young Australians and provide them with new opportunities for growth. We especially would like to wish Kaine Corpuz, whose goal is to represent Australia in 2019 at the 45th WorldSkills International Competition in Kazan, Russia, the best of luck!”

Nippon Paint Arrives In Australia

Nippon Paint, Asia’s number one Paints and Coatings group, has partnered with AHG to bring its globally recognised paint brand to Australian shores.

Nippon Paint, the fourth largest coatings group globally in terms of revenue and Asia’s No.1 Paints and Coatings Company, said it is pleased to introduce its world class, state-of-the-art automotive refinish brands to Australia.

Established in 1881, the Nippon Paint group said it is well recognised for its advanced paint technology, innovative brands and customer focus. With a strong impetus on smash repair shop productivity and eco friendliness, the group’s refinish products are widely used by many of the world’s most preferred car brands.

“Our foray into the Australian market is a natural extension of the group’s endeavour to provide [the] best of the products and services to discerning customers. Our extensive portfolio, powered by Japanese technology and refined through international experience provides ideal, comprehensive solutions to meet Australian market requirements,” said Shae Toh Hock, Senior Vice President of the NIPSEA Group, the subsidiary of Nippon Paint Holding Co., Ltd., Japan that is spearheading the Australian venture.

Nippon Paint has partnered with AHG, Australia’s largest motoring group, to bring its products and solutions to the market. Represented under the trade name ‘Perfect Finishes Australia’ (PFA), the collaboration complements what is already an extensive automotive portfolio for AHG and looks to enhance the car refinishing segment of Australia’s automotive aftermarket industry, besides providing great products for the commercial vehicles and light industrial customer segments.

“Our partnership with AHG provides an ideal platform to introduce our Leading, Eco-friendly, Accelerated, Performance (LEAP) solutions and products to the Australian market,” said Diwakar Mehrotra, NIPSEA Group’s Automotive Refinishes Business Director for Australia and New Zealand. “Developed using top of the line Japanese technology, our focus is on compliance, productivity and performance, to ensure value enhancement across the entire trade chain.”

The product solutions bring to the Australian market the latest developments in Nippon Paint’s Japanese waterborne technology, which have key attributes such as ease of application, ease of colour matching and a refinishing product to match original coatings used by some of the world’s top OEMs.

“We have partnered with Nippon Paint because we saw a significant opportunity to bring products and solutions to the Australian market that provide overwhelming benefits to the customer. Its ease of application provides time efficiencies as well as better colour matching results for both spray painters and vehicle owners,” said Martin Watts, General Manager of PFA.

Based in Sydney with a national sales and technical team and plans underway for establishing a colour lab, PFA already has stocks of a large repertoire of the latest paint and non-paint solutions. PFA is now looking and working to broaden its customer reach through a dedicated distributor network and progressive distribution strategies.

“We are confident that the Australian market will get behind our brand due to its ease of application, great quality and not to mention its widespread success in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Watts.

“We are already starting to see a strong brand following with shop trials and installations, and also the feedback flowing on from the official launch of Nippon Paint at Autocare in May 2018.”

Supported by a national distribution network, PFA in partnership with Nippon Paint will provide customers with full technical support, advanced colour retrieval tools and IT based solutions, as well as national warehousing and distribution capabilities for the Nippon Paint system and product portfolio.

For further information on Nippon Paint’s complete range of automotive refinishing paints and solutions or to enquire about becoming a PFA distributor, contact PFA on 02 8795 8588 or visit

I-CAR Awards Gold Class Status To Keith Burrows Auto Body Repairs, NSW

I-CAR Australia’s Gold Class Co-ordinator, Gary Wood, announced that Keith Burrows Auto Body Repairs, in Brookvale, NSW, has been awarded the prestigious I-CAR Gold Class Collision status.

“We are very proud to have achieved I-CAR Gold Class status and thank the team at I-CAR Australia for providing such a well-structured training programme. This has allowed us the opportunity to commit to ongoing training which ensures our team stays up to date with motor vehicle technology, broadening their skills and knowledge on repair and refinishing processes to deliver quality workmanship” said Sharon Bendall.

“Having been active members with I-CAR Australia for over six years, Keith Burrows Auto Body Repairs entered the Road To Gold program 24 months ago. The company’s commitment to the training programme ensures that the entire staff are trained to the highest level within the collision repair sector, and the business is well positioned to deal with the new technology and materials found on today’s vehicles. Well done to all those involved, it is very well deserved,” added Wood.