Industry Support Results In Autocare Show Sell-Out

In what can only be described as an overwhelming vote of confidence by the industry, the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) is delighted to advise that the inaugural Autocare 2018 Convention has sold out all sponsorships and trade show spaces.

The Autocare Show welcomes all members of the automotive and collision repair trade to attend this important two-day event absolutely free of charge, to see the latest products and technologies from 100 of Australia’s leading automotive aftermarket companies, take part in live training sessions delivered by local and international experts and benefit from the vast networking opportunities that only an industry event of this size can provide. Members of the automotive trade and their staff can register to attend Autocare 2018 at no charge by visiting www.autocare.org.au

This extraordinary industry interest and involvement has been achieved with just over three weeks remaining before the Autocare Show takes place at the International Convention Centre located at Sydney’s Darling Harbour on May 4 and 5.

An education led event designed specifically for automotive service and repair professionals, parts manufacturers, suppliers and their collision repair industry colleagues, Autocare 2018 has also seen an outstanding number of trade show registrations for this information packed two-day industry event.

According to Stuart Charity, Executive Director of the AAAA, these results are extremely encouraging given that this is the first major automotive aftermarket industry event to be held in Sydney for five years.

“We are more than delighted to see so many leading companies of the Australian automotive aftermarket industry supporting this new and important educational event,” Charity stated.

“The fact that all of our corporate sponsorships and show areas are now sold out reflects the clear intention of these companies to assist their customers, the automotive service and repairers of Australia, as the industry makes the transition to a technology led future. Never before has our industry seen such disruption, innovation and rejuvenation, which is also the theme of this inaugural convention.” He added.

Presented by Platinum sponsor Repco and Diamond Sponsor I-CAR, the inaugural Autocare Show is proudly supported by a host of the industry’s most successful companies including Brown and Watson International, Ryco Group, ASV Euro Car Parts, Burson Auto Parts, Hella, Pedders Suspension, SAPE Group, Lowbake, DNS Technology and CESA Products, together with over 80 Silver and Bronze Autocare 2018 partners.

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.

AkzoNobel To Sell Specialty Chemicals To The Carlyle Group And GIC For $16.3 Billion

AkzoNobel has announced the full sale of its Specialty Chemicals business to the Carlyle Group and GIC for an enterprise value of €10.1 billion ($16.3 billion). The transaction creates two focused and high performing businesses – Paints and Coatings, and Specialty Chemicals – as part of Akzo’s strategy announced in April 2017. The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of 2018.

The AkzoNobel Board of Management and the Supervisory Board concluded that a private sale to Carlyle and GIC is in the best interests of AkzoNobel, Specialty Chemicals and its respective stakeholders, including employees, shareholders and customers. The company said it is the outcome of a thorough dual-track process during which the boards of AkzoNobel carefully considered both a legal demerger and a private sale.

According to Akzo, Carlyle has a global presence and the financial capacity to enable the Specialty Chemicals business achieve its full potential, with extensive experience investing in chemicals, unlocking long-term potential and creating value in its portfolio companies.

“Today is a key milestone in creating two focused, high performing businesses to generate value for all stakeholders, said Thierry Vanlancker, CEO of AkzoNobel. “We delivered on our commitment to separate the Specialty Chemicals business and did so ahead of schedule.

“We are very pleased to announce the sale of Specialty Chemicals to the Carlyle Group and GIC. We believe the business is well positioned to capture growth opportunities and further improve performance. Carlyle has significant experience in the chemicals industry and a proven track record when it comes to health, safety, innovation and sustainability.”

“We are pleased to invest in the Specialty Chemicals business and proud to support a business with such a strong heritage,” added Martin Sumner and Zeina Bain, Managing Directors at the Carlyle Group. “We are committed to growing the business and building upon its innovation capability, high quality work force and asset base, as well as its world-class sustainability and environmental practices. We look forward to working with the management team to transition the business to a successful independent company.”

“Specialty Chemicals is a strong and profitable business with highly skilled and motivated employees serving our customers every day with essential chemistry,” said Werner Fuhrmann, CEO of AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals. “As a focused chemicals company, we will concentrate our efforts and resources to accelerate profitable growth.

“With this transaction, our business has an opportunity to achieve its full potential and we will continue to fulfil the current and future needs of our customers throughout the world.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including the relevant regulatory approvals and consultation with the relevant employee representative bodies. AkzoNobel obtained shareholder approval for the separation at an extraordinary general meeting held on 30 November, 2017.

On the basis of the year-end balance sheet, AkzoNobel expects to receive a cash payment of €8.9 billion ($14.4 billion). Following deduction of deal and separation related costs, as well as other previously announced liabilities, the net proceeds are expected to be around €7.5 billion ($12.1 billion). The majority of net proceeds will be distributed to shareholders, with further details to be announced at a later date.

Equity will be provided by Carlyle Partners VII, Carlyle Europe Partners IV, Carlyle’s longstanding investment partner GIC (which manages Singapore’s foreign reserves) and co-investors.

The Carlyle Group previously acquired Axalta Coating Systems in 2013 for US$1.35 billion, locking in a US$4.5 billion profit on the investment when it broke up its stake and sold it to several investors over 2015 and 2016. The Group made an annual 80 per cent return on its investment over the four years of ownership.

Gemini Raises Over $33,000 For Variety

Gemini Accident Repair Centres has directed its franchisees to raise funds for Variety – The Children’s Charity of Queensland by doing what they do every day – repairing cars.

By leveraging its partnership with parts supplier Auto Parts Group, which offered a donation for each of its parts used, Gemini Accident Repair Centres across the nation raised over $33,000 to support Variety Queensland in its mission.

Variety Queensland, known for the Variety Bash, provided nearly $1 million in assistance last year to families in need.

“We are very excited to be partnering with two giants of the car repair world,” said Variety Queensland CEO, Steve Wakerley. “It was a fantastic example of businesses supporting each other to take a leadership role in their community and we look forward to engaging in this exciting campaign in the future.”

Gemini Accident Repair Centres Chief Commercial Officer, Peter Bubeck, and Auto Parts Group Managing Director, Stephen Campbell, presented Variety Queensland Board Chairperson John Wadley with a cheque for $33,424.00 at the Gemini Accident Repair Centres head office on 6 March, 2018.

“On behalf of the Gemini Group, I’m honoured to be giving back to the community that has supported our own success. The buy in from our front-line staff and supplier partner Auto Parts Group in making this a reality was just amazing. Thank you,” said Bubeck.

Autocare 2018 Free Training Programme Released

Visitors to this year’s Australian automotive industry event, Autocare 2018, can look forward to a series of free informative training sessions focusing on the latest collision repair technological advances in equipment, systems and processes, according to the event organiser, the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA).

These training sessions will be conducted on the I-CAR Training Stage across the two days of the inaugural industry convention, which takes place at the International Convention Centre in Sydney on 4 and 5 May.

Along with the free Autocare 2018 training sessions, over 100 of Australia’s leading automotive aftermarket suppliers and service providers will also be out in force at this convention (including BodyShop News), offering customer assistance, advice and training. In addition, the free Lowbake Spray Booth will see major refinish companies demonstrating their technology live and interactively during sessions throughout the two-day event on the outdoor deck.

The AAAA said collision repair business owners, panel repairers, technicians and apprentices are invited to join industry colleagues at Autocare 2018 to learn about the latest industry trends and technological advances that are shaping the future of business success.

Autocare 2018’s series of free training sessions start at 9:00am on Friday 4th May and will be repeated on Saturday 5th May on the I-CAR Training Stage. They include the following presentations:

  • UV Paint Curling – GPI Automotive Products
  • Collision Energy Management and New Technology Impact – I-CAR Australia
  • How To Turn Body Repair Into Smart Repair – Henkel Australia
  • Reduce Costs, Not Quality with Akemi – CESA
  • Ford Ranger and Ford Raptor Overview – I-CAR Australia
  • Big Dent Attack – Adhesive Collision Repair Techniques – Smart PDR Tools
  • Gold Class – Everything Explained – I-CAR Australia

To view the full program of presenters and session times, visit https://www.autocare.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Collision-Repair-Training-Stage.pdf.

“We are calling all members of the collision repair sector of our industry to take advantage of the detailed training being offered free of charge at Autocare 2018 on May 4 and 5 in Sydney. Never before has the industry faced such an important need to stay up to date with technology as the Australian car fleet continues to grow in size and complexity,” said AAAA Executive Director Stuart Charity.

“We are fortunate to have so many companies who are Australian and international leaders in their field taking part in these free training sessions and trade displays, demonstrating their commitment to ensuring that the industry is kept up to date on the rapid developments that are currently disrupting the collision repair sector at an unprecedented pace,” Mr Charity added.

Autocare 2018 is presented by Platinum Sponsor Repco and Diamond Sponsor I-CAR. The convention is also supported by several industry companies including SAPE Group, Lowbake, DNS Technology and CESA Products, together with over 80 Silver and Bronze Autocare 2018 partners. The event also includes a gala dinner sponsored by Pedders Suspension and a special outdoor feature car display at the newly constructed International Convention Centre located at Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

The AAAA anticipates that over 3000 automotive professionals will attend the two-day free entry trade display and onsite training activities, with many also electing to attend the Autocare 2018 convention education programme. More information about the convention key note addresses and panel discussions can be found at www.autocare.org.au. Free registration can also be performed via the preceding website link.

Make ‘America First’ In Pedestrian Protection, Global NCAP Tells Donald Trump

In response to President Donald Trump’s claim last week that a so called ‘bowling ball’ test is preventing US automobiles from entering the Japanese market, Global NCAP has written to the US President urging him to make ‘America First’ in pedestrian protection by adopting the same global standard applied by Japan. In its letter, Global NCAP explain the purpose of the United Nation’s Global Technical Regulation on pedestrian protection (GTR No 9) which aims to mitigate the risk of head injury by encouraging deformation of the hood.

Applied in Japan and in the European Union (EU) since 2005, a similar test was proposed by the National Highway Safety Administration in December 2015 to be included in the US New Car Assessment Program. At the time NHTSA noted that pedestrian protection measures in Europe and Japan “have likely contributed to a downward trend in pedestrian fatalities” and argued that “including pedestrian protection in the NCAP program would be a step toward realizing similar downward trends experienced in regions of the world that include pedestrians in their consumer information programs”. To date this proposed update of the US NCAP has not happened.

Global NCAP also points out that pedestrian fatalities in the USA have risen for two years in succession now amounting to 6000 lives lost per annum and accounting for 16 per cent of total road deaths. The organisation, therefore, “strongly agrees with NHTSA’s 2015 assessment that improved pedestrian protection in the USA could help reduce the number killed in such crashes each year”.

3M To Host Chip Foose At Meguiar’s MotorEx

3M announced it’s bringing Chip Foose to headline Meguiar’s MotorEx in May at the Melbourne Showgrounds.

Foose, star of hit TV show Overhaulin’, is arguably the preeminent car designer of his generation, and has inspired millions through his companies Foose Design and Foose Wheels. Foose has received an incredible four ‘Ridler’ awards, the world’s most prestigious custom car building award.

It’s a rare and special opportunity for the Australian public to get up close and personal with a global industry champion, with fan signing sessions, drawing workshops and panel chats across the weekend. Chip will also be just hanging out at the event, admiring the cars or meeting people on the 3M stand.

3M will also be presenting a special Chip Foose breakfast workshop with local apprentices and TAFE students where he will inspire the next generation. This is an important part of 3M’s continued commitment to inspiration and innovation in the Aussie automotive aftermarket industry.

“Chip is Global Brand Ambassador for 3M, and it’s exciting that he’s coming to Australia and sharing his passion. It’s important to 3M that Chip gets the chance to interact with apprentices, fans and businesses in Melbourne, and that’s exactly what he’s going to do at Meguiar’s MotorEx,” said Andrew King, Business Manager of 3M ANZ Automotive Aftermarket Division.

“There are more than 500 shows in the U.S that would give anything to have Chip at their event, but thanks to 3M, Foose picked Meguiar’s MotorEx,” said Bruce Morrison, Managing Director of Motoractive and Australian distributor for 3M Designer Wraps.

Chip Foose is just one part of the exciting programme that will set the Melbourne Showgrounds alight in May at Meguiar’s MotorEx. Through a partnership with SEMA, 30 US companies are joining over 100 Australian businesses in Performance Garage, a world full of aftermarket, performance and racing industry exhibitors and vehicles.

At the heart of the event are 300 of the craziest custom and modified cars in the country, worth over $40 million dollars. There’s also the Meguiar’s Superstars, House of Kolor Inauguration which sees the unveiling of never seen before custom creations and the Street Machine Hall of Fame display. MotorEx is also getting active with drifting and 4WD displays, live music, dyno testing, massive engine start-ups, celebrity cars and over 400 Real Street cars adding to the spectacle.

This is just some of the action you can expect over the weekend, all combining into a massive 40,000sqm of eye candy laden floor space. To ensure you don’t miss out on the incredible opportunity to see Chip Foose as part of the new look Meguiar’s MotorEx, and to avoid queues at the event, get your tickets at www.motorex.com.au.

Meguiar’s MotorEx takes place May 26-27, 2018 at the Melbourne Showgrounds, Flemington.

A Successful Future With Help From The Experts At Autocare 2018

The major Australian automotive aftermarket industry event of the year, Autocare 2018, welcomes members of the automotive trade from Sydney, regional New South Wales and across the country to take part and learn more about the bright future ahead for their businesses.

Presented by Platinum sponsor Repco and Diamond Sponsor I-CAR, Autocare 2018 will be held at the Sydney International Convention Centre on May 4 and 5.

Autocare 2018 offers mechanical repairers, collision repairers and their automotive parts supply chain colleagues the opportunity to gain the latest information, advice and education to help guide their businesses towards a highly successful and profitable future.

Members of the automotive trade are welcome to register to attend both days of Autocare 2018 free of charge.

More than 100 of Australia’s top automotive aftermarket parts manufacturers and industry service providers will provide Autocare 2018 visitors with their products and services on display along with providing practical demonstrations of modern repair technology and processes designed to make your businesses more efficient, productive and sustainable.

Autocare 2018 will feature the AutoMate Training Stage that will provide regular and detailed technical presentations throughout this two-day education-led industry event. These presentations will reveal and discuss the latest innovations in mechanical and collision repair technology.

Automotive trade visitors to Autocare 2018 will also enjoy a feature car display and experience the latest in refinishing technology courtesy of the Lowbake Australia portable spray booth, which will be located at the spacious outdoor deck of the new Sydney International Convention Centre.

The importance of this Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) organised event cannot be understated.

“Education has never played a more important role in the future of Australia’s independent repairers and service providers,” Stated AAAA Executive Director Stuart Charity.

“The disruption caused by rapid developments in repair and servicing diagnostics, procedures and component technologies, now places enormous importance on the need to be accurately and regularly informed to ensure your business sustainability and long-term growth. This is what Autocare 2018 is all about,” Charity added.

While attendance at the information stream specialised Autocare 2018 convention presentations has a cost component, it is also important to note that members of the trade who wish to visit Autocare 2018, meet with the companies on display and learn from the interactive training displays and take part in the event’s networking opportunities, can do so free of charge throughout this first major automotive aftermarket industry event to be held in Sydney in five years.

You can register to attend Autocare 2018 quickly and easily online at www.autocare.org.au or visit the website to find out more about this premier automotive repair, service and parts supply chain industry event.