Body & Paint Championships In South Africa: Taking The ‘Big Five’ To The Finals

With a lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhinoceros on the bonnet, Etienne Dutoit is heading to the finals of the Automechanika Body & Paint World Championships in Frankfurt. The painter was named the national winner by the jury in South Africa on 21 September 2019 with a car bonnet displaying an impressive interpretation of the South African flag.

For Dutoit this means one thing: he’s going to Frankfurt! The professional painter won the second round of the international Automechanika Body & Paint World Championships, which took place in Johannesburg, South Africa. The competition was supported by SATA, Kansai Plascon, Launch Technologies and Kapatal Brands.

The top three finalists all chose the South African flag as their motif, yet their different interpretations and approaches to the subject matter gave rise to three unique car bonnets. Whereas Hannes Trollip played with various textures, Thomas Holder focused on a flag with gentle transitions on a black background. The winner’s design was notable for its creativity, symbolism and precision. In addition to the ‘big five’, Dutoit integrated a variety of elements into each colour zone of the flag in order to emphasise the significance of each – from the country’s beauty and cultural diversity to its dark past. He poured approximately 135 hours into his creation.

Dutoit, who works for Plascon, explains: “I wanted to create something that illustrates South Africa’s diversity and its history. You rarely get the chance to create something like this in your daily work. Designing this car bonnet was a time-consuming and nerve-racking process, but I wanted to do it right, and to create something that I could be proud of. I gave it my all.”

The bonnets were evaluated by a panel of experts according to criteria that include the uniqueness of the design, its relevance to the theme, harmonious colours, the use of environmentally friendly products, the operational safety and management of the workshop, the type and configuration of the spray guns used, and much more. The panel comprised Wolfgang Auer, Editor-in-Chief of FML and co-founder of the international Automechanika Body & Paint World Championships, Michel Malik, CEO of BodyShop News International, Ian Groat, publisher of Automotive Refinisher South Africa, and Joshua Low, Managing Director of Messe Frankfurt South Africa.

Dutoit’s remaining competitors at the finals in 2020 will be chosen in the months ahead. Great Britain’s national winner was selected back in June, while the participants from China, Mexico, Dubai and Germany will be determined in the upcoming rounds. The next round will take place from 3 to 6 December 2019 at Automechanika Shanghai.

With his car bonnet, the national winner from Johannesburg has succeeded in telling a piece of South Africa’s history. To do so, Dutoit used a variety of techniques and created elaborate templates. The blue area of the flag, with ornaments and white accents, symbolises the sky and the sea. Various shades of green illustrate the beauty of South Africa’s forests, yellow depicts the sun and the country’s rich trove of natural resources, and when the black area of the flag is viewed from a certain angle, a silhouette of South Africa’s former president, Nelson Mandela, can be seen.

To create his shade of red, Dutoit mixed a variety of reds and integrated water-droplet effects. “This symbolises the blood and tears that were shed during South Africa’s struggles on the road to freedom,” he said. The bonnet also depicts South Africa’s ‘big five’ animals, spread out over the outline of the African continent: the lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhinoceros.

While the panel has already chosen a winner, voting is still ongoing for the People’s Choice Award. Hundreds of trade visitors to Automechanika Johannesburg seized their chance to view the bonnets and vote for their favourites. Now, other interested individuals and paintwork fans can vote for their own favourites online – voting is open until 2 October 2019. The participant with the most votes will receive the People’s Choice Award, as well as a surprise package from SATA valued at approximately €700. Vote for your favourite at

More information is available at:

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.

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.

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.”

Robayne Goes Into Voluntary Administration

A Perth-based national distributor of paints and coatings has entered voluntary administration owing $12 million to creditors.

Robayne, which operates 14 outlets in WA, the Northern Territory, South Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria, called in administrators from FTI Consulting following action by a major supplier.

Robayne listed $5 million owing to trade creditors and another $7 million to lenders. The action puts 86 jobs at risk.

Joint administrator Ian Francis said FTI was working closely with Robayne’s management team, customers, suppliers, and employees as it sought to find the best way forward. Options for the business include a restructure or sale.

Francis said the company is working with its financier and a third party to restructure the existing debt facilities to longer term loans, which will create less pressure on cash flow in the short term.

Established in 1974, Robayne turned over $36.4 million last financial year. The company distributes paints and protective equipment to body shops, as well as industrial and commercial graphic sectors.

PPG To Build New Paint And Coatings R&D Centre In Tianjin, China

PPG has announced the acquisition of land in Tianjin, China where it plans to build a new, state-of-the-art paint and coatings research and development (R&D) centre.

Plans for the facility, which will be located in the Tianjin Economical and Technological Development Area (TEDA) and is scheduled to be completed in 2021, are currently being finalised.

The company says the new facility will be part of its efforts to continue strengthening its R&D footprint to better serve customers in China, across the Asia-Pacific region and globally. It will service all of PPG’s strategic business units.

“PPG continues to enhance its research and development capabilities to ensure consistent, ongoing innovation and service to customers,” said David Bem, PPG Vice President Science and Technology, and Chief Technology Officer. “The new Tianjin R&D centre will best position the company to leverage scale, promote collaboration and continue enhancing our capabilities.”

Tander To Launch At Automechanika Frankfurt

A new internationally-distributed brand for automotive paint professionals, Tander, will be launched at Automechanika in Frankfurt, Germany next month.

Tander’s wide range of products will cover the complete paint process, from personal and spray booth protection to paint application products. The company says it aims to deliver innovative high-quality products that are affordable and convenient to use.

Tander says its personal protection products are comfortable, convenient and guarantee personal safety throughout the working day.

To prevent paint contamination, the company’s spray booth coatings will feature a ‘tacky’ formula that makes dust and dirt cling to the booth’s walls and floor, while leak-free covering products protect parts and ensure a spotless surface.

Tander says its products are offered in manageable packing units to suit all sized businesses.

A new teaser website has been set up at, with the full site likely to go live once the brand launches.

AkzoNobel Puts The Blue Back Into Bluebird

The restoration of Donald Campbell’s record-breaking hydroplane, Bluebird, is complete thanks to AkzoNobel and its marine brand, International, which supplied the project with Perfection Pro paint in the vessel’s original shade of blue.

“We spent 10 years being supplied with samples of nearly, but not-quite versions of Bluebird blue, RAL 5009, however it wasn’t until we uncorked our tins of Perfection Pro that we actually clapped eyes on her true colour. Now that was impressive,” said Bluebird restoration project leader, Bill Smith.

Bluebird crashed on Coniston Water in 1967. Decades later, diver and enthusiast Smith took a keen interest in the story and conducted extensive searches over a period of four years. He located and salvaged the wreckage in 2001. Together with a team of volunteers, Smith restored Bluebird at a workshop in the northeast of England.

The hydroplane was blasted and coated with AkzoNobel’s International Interzinc 72 protective coating and Interpon 610 TGIC-free polyester powder coating. The bodywork was rebuilt and completed using Cromadex 903 Etch Primer, Cromadex 750 Grey Primer and International Perfection Pro yacht topcoat.

“I’m very proud that we’re able to be part of this incredible restoration project,” said Chris Panton, Area Sales Manager, AkzoNobel Cromadex Newcastle. “The Cromadex team has been a part of the project for several years, supplying various products from AkzoNobel’s extensive portfolio of liquid and powder coatings.”

Fifty years after Campbell died trying to break his own water speed record, Bluebird is making a return to the water this UK summer. The hydroplane will be taken to Loch Fad on the Isle of Bute in Scotland for personnel training in launching, landing, lifting, and piloting, as well as to check for hull leaks. Eventually the team hopes to display the boat at speed on Coniston Water in the Lake District.

PPG Introduces Next Generation Deltron Paint System

The transition to new global branding has provided PPG with the opportunity to introduce next-generation primers, clearcoats, thinners, hardeners and additives to the Deltron paint system.

While the tinter formulations and current tinter number system remain the same, PPG says the comprehensive update has added more flexibility, productivity and speed across the board.

Even though the updated Deltron paint system comes with global technology, PPG’s commitment to local manufacturing ensures the system continues to be made locally from high quality raw materials formulated by the R&D team within PPG’s Clayton headquarters.

As part of the process – which involved customer feedback – the products have been specifically tuned to meet local needs in terms of application, performance and long-term durability. For example, the clearcoats have been formulated with plenty of UV absorber to help them cope with harsh local conditions.

PPG says a lot of thought also went into the new global branding, declaring it logical, clear and convenient for painters. Each product type now uses a different colour, as well as product codes that feature two letters followed by three numbers. The first letter is ‘D’ for Deltron, while the second indicates the product type: C – Clearcoat, P – Primer, H – Hardener, T – Thinner, and A – Additive. This logical labelling continues for hardeners and thinners where the last two digits of the product code signify the temperature/speed that it’s intended to be used at. For example, ‘20’ is medium range designed for 20°C to 30°C, or spot repairs at high temperatures.

PPG says that more than ever, the new generation thinners and hardeners are a key feature of the Deltron paint system. Most of the thinners and hardeners (in a variety of temperature ranges) are shared across nearly all the primers and clearcoats. As well as being convenient, it also keeps the entire Deltron paint system compact and reduces customer stock holdings.

In addition, a specialised thinner now provides the option for an accelerated mode which can be used on all three clearcoats and some primers when a job needs to be pushed through quickly.

PPG says the new primer formulations give repairers the ability to tackle any job or substrate with speed and efficiency. As well as the convenience of sharing thinners and hardeners across most of the range, the products also provide excellent Wet-On-Wet (WOW) options and spectral grey shades to help improve topcoat coverage.

The primer range includes:

  • DP618 PrimaBUILD
  • DP602 PrimaPRIME
  • DP620 PrimaSEAL
  • DP612 EtchPRIME
  • DP614 EpoxyPRIME
  • DP616 EpoxyTHANE
  • PrimaGUARD (DP621 PrimaGUARD G1, DP625 PrimaGUARD G5, DP627 PrimaGUARD G7)

To provide the finishing touch, three new clear coats provide an option for every application. In addition to easily recognised naming, all these clearcoats share thinners, hardeners and mixing ratios. There is the option of an accelerated mode (down to as little as 15-minute bake time) by using a specific thinner.

The clearcoat range includes:

  • DC501 OptiCLEAR
  • DC516 GenCLEAR
  • DC527 SprintCLEAR

The new Deltron primers, clearcoats, hardeners, thinners and additives will be arriving soon and will be noticeable thanks to the fresh branding, while the tinter range will switch to new branding once existing stock runs out. While a new look is the giveaway, PPG says customers will quickly find that the updated Deltron paint system gives them everything they need in a proven solvent-borne solution that maximises performance, productivity, ease of use and dependability.

For further information contact your local PPG representative.

Ferrari Introduces The World’s First Low-Bake Paint Technology

Thanks to an on-going collaboration with PPG, Ferrari has introduced an innovative low temperature paint system, making the Prancing Horse the world’s first car manufacturer to adopt the new Low Cure clear coat technology.

The new two-component paint system incorporates a specially formulated clear coat which makes it possible for the car to be baked at 100°C instead of 150°C, cutting energy costs and enhancing the sustainability of the process.

The Low Cure resins contain a new hardener which enhances the chemical and mechanical resistance of the coating. The new formula also boosts cross-coat linking which simultaneously increases chemical hydrophobicity and reduces water permeability.

Additionally, the new solution makes it possible to bake carbon-fibre and composite components together with the bodyshell, resulting in colour uniformity between the various body components.

Thanks to the new technology, Ferrari has industrialised a process to produce at least 61 different basecoat colours by combining metallic basecoats with a gloss or matte pigmented clear coat.