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FEBRUARY 2021

www.nationalcollisionrepairer.com.au

THE

NATIONAL

CollisionRepairer News, views & information for the Collision Industry Professional ACKNOWLEDGED BY THE INDUSTRY AS THE LEADING MAGAZINE

Part 1 of our report on the Aston Martin marque and the rise of the DB model Saint Gobain’s Michelle Morgan, our latest Entrepreneurial Woman in Automotive Ford Australia presents the 2020 Ford Transit Custom Sport to Alan Perry


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E D I T O R I A L

with Joe McFadries

Courage Determination in the face of adversity I have always believed that the collision repair industry is a microcosm of society as a whole, and in fact have alluded to this on several occasions in this column since 2017. So, as we move into 2021, I again reflect on this and see that the industry is awash with so many wonderful people from all walks of life. There are creative people, ambitious people, adventurous people, innovative people – I could go on and on. However, it is the courageous people within our industry who inspire me more than any other group. Not to be mistaken for bravery, which is the ability to confront danger without feeling fear, courage is the ability to confront an overwhelming difficulty despite the unavoidable presence of fear. This may seem like a subtle difference, but it is an important one. Fear comes in many guises: fear of the future, fear of failure, fear of dying – basically fear of the consequences of your actions. So, what has this got to do with our first issue for 2021? Well, it’s all related to the tenacity and determination of several people that we feature in this issue, people who have had courage in the face of adversity and not let the adversity get the better of them. So, opening on more sombre note, we remember Garry Clear, TAFE Teacher, WorldSkills judge, Lifetime Achievement Award inductee and, more importantly, colleague, mentor, friend, husband and father, who

succumbed to cancer on Christmas Eve. Garry’s courage in facing this insidious disease is how he would want to be remembered. On page 28 we meet Alan Perry, winner of the 2020 Ford Custom Transit Van, who has faced tremendous professional and personal challenges over his 40 years in the industry to become a pillar of the Gisborne community. In addition, we visit Jason Case of Specialised Collision Repair centre in Sunbury, who had the courage to maintain his focus on delivering safe and proper repairs through 2020 while simultaneously taking on the challenges of achieving I-CAR Gold Class certification. Read Jason’s story on page 32. We also feature our most recent Entrepreneurial Woman in Automotive who is extremely well known “around the traps”, Michelle Morgan of Saint Gobain. On page 14, Michelle shares her journey, speaks openly about the challenges she has faced and how she THE

had the courage of her own convictions to overcome adversity. We also have part one of a great feature on the Aston Martin marque and its connection to the James Bond franchise on page 18; Barry Edney delivers part two of his Marketing Insights for the collision repair industry on page 36; and Owen Webb takes us behind the scenes of the first ever Summernats Slam from Western Sydney Dragway on page 40. Finally, we induct Bella Turrise as our latest Future Leader of the Industry on page 38. And, of course, we have all the latest local, global and product news from across the industry. Stay safe and well, and as always, happy to chat. The National Collision Repairer magazine – Making a difference in our industry

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C O N T E N T S THE

NATIONAL

CollisionRepairer Special Reports

Latest News Local news

4

Get all latest news from around the country as we all get back to business in 2021.

Global News

22

Keeping you up to date with the latest news and information from around the world.

Updated Events and Training Contacts

Entrepreneurial Women

44

46

Regular Features Talking Shop 14

We meet Jason Case of Specialised Collision Repair Centre who tells us about his recent experience achieving I-CAR Gold Class.

18

Future Leaders

This month we meet Michelle Morgan of Saint Gobain, who shares her journey from her days as an apprentice.

Aston Martin Special

Rev Rock and Roll Van Nationals Hot Rod and Custom Expo

Product Showcase

2021

32

38

Part 1 of our feature on this unique marque and the DB model’s ongoing connection with the James Bond franchise.

We induct 21-year-old Autobody Refinish apprentice, Isabella Turrise of Q-West Collision Centre in Castle Hill.

Ford Transit Van Winner 28

Custom Corner

Ford Australia presents its awesome 2020 Ford Transit Custom Sport to Alan Perry of Gisborne Collision Centre.

Owen Webb takes us behind the scenes of the first ever Summernats Slam at Western Sydney Dragway.

40

A summary of some of the latest products specifically designed to enhance your business.

Marketing Insight Barry Edney discusses Targeting, the second of his series on STP and how it can work for the collision repairer.

John brings us highlights from a recent industry forum where collision repairers, insurers and OEMs weigh in on key issues impacting the industry.

EDITOR: Joe McFadries 0458 588 333 joe@nationalcollisionrepairer.com.au

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2 – CONTENTS


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Axalta renews its partnership with WorldSkills Australia Axalta, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, is proud to announce the renewal of its Gold Partner sponsorship with WorldSkills Australia, a not-for-profit organisation focused on skills excellence in vocational, technological, and serviceoriented careers. Axalta will support the 2021–2022 regional competitions with an intention for the partnership to be extended into 2023 for the National Championships post 2021. Each regional event is designed to help improve competitors’ skills, build their confidence, and expose them to the latest technologies and techniques. For the regional events, Axalta will supply its Standoblue product, which is the latest offering in its waterborne coatings portfolio, and the new generation Sagola spray guns, for which Axalta is sole distributor in Australia. “At Axalta, we are passionate about training the future of our industry by encouraging excellence in young professionals and promoting sustainable practices,” said Paul Polverino, National Training Manager

for Axalta in Australia. “Axalta and WorldSkills Australia share a common goal to continuously improve the quality of training and educational outcomes for young people who dream of becoming the ‘best of the best’ in vehicle refinishing. We are committed to supporting events and initiatives that promote the industry’s sustainability and longevity.” Axalta has supported WorldSkills Australia competitions for more than a decade, offering support and resources such as product training, exposure to

the latest work practices, and sustainable techniques, problem solving strategies, teamwork development and leadership skills. A key focus area of the Axalta Bright Futures program is providing educational opportunities to students of all ages. The WorldSkills Australia National Championships were rescheduled to August 2021 due to COVID-19, making 2021 an unusual year for competitors with both regional competitions and the National Championship occurring in the same year.

Axalta WorldSkills.

Fair data access one step closer The release of draft legislation to mandate access to motor vehicle service and repair information in Australia is unprecedented, according to the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) and its national body, the Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA). As with the original heads of agreement between the five peak automotive bodies, MTAA provided a pivotal role in facilitating industry and government consultations on the development of the draft legislation, which incorporates provisions on how the legislation will be implemented. MTAA facilitated and organised major workshops involving peak automotive organisations and provided contacts for government officials with organisations and officials in the United States and Europe, and also worked with other automotive sector organisations. MTAA CEO, Richard Dudley said the release of the draft legislation follows a

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recommendation by the ACCC for a mandatory scheme for car manufacturers to share technical information with independent repairers. ‘‘The draft legislation would not have been possible without the Morrison Government acting on the ACCC’s findings, and recommendations, the Opposition’s support for action and, in particular, the commitment and work of Assistant Treasurer and Housing Minister Michael Sukkar.’’ The news follows two years of peak body lobbying efforts, as well as intensive investigations and wideranging consultation by the Treasury Department and other government portfolios. “Industry welcomes the release of the draft legislation. It is a milestone for automotive and a huge step forward for independent Australian businesses, as well as being in the best interest of consumers,” said VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym. The mandating of access to motor vehicle service and repair information is world-leading. “While the European

Parliament passed laws to provide for access to service and repair information, some aspects of these arrangements are yet to materialise fully. And in the United States, while there is effective jurisdictional legislation that has provided the catalyst for national collaboration and cooperation by stakeholders, there is no uniform federal law. This draft legislation will be of significant interest to the world automotive community,” added Dudley. The MTAA and state-based peak industry bodies will now carefully examine the draft legislation and look forward to continuing to work with government to fulfil implementation.

The Hon. Michael Sukkar, MP.


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When TAFE students wanted to show their Vibrance, PPG delivered! Vibrance Collection finishes take centre stage as PPG’s training team provides specialised custom paint training that engages and inspires! As part of PPG’s close, long term relationship with TAFE colleges around the country, the Queensland refinish training team makes regular visits to TAFE NSW Wollongbar, in northern NSW, to provide specialised training for budding spray painters in the first, second and third years of their course. When a group of third year students were given the choice of course content, the answer was unanimous – custom paint techniques. As a result, Queensland Refinish Training Manager, Mark Haywood, swung into action preparing a series of panels for the group and its two TAFE teachers. “I have never seen a group so engaged and enthusiastic as we progressed through a range of custom paint techniques, including marbleising, holographics, aged patina, overlays, scaling, line work, etc. They even worked through their

lunchtime and breaks and stayed late in the day,” said Haywood. “We challenged them to come up with their own custom designs for their work. The star was Radiance II Candy, but they also took advantage of a host of other special effect finishes from the Vibrance Collection, along with Envirobase High Performance waterborne basecoat.” “When people look at an amazing custom paint job, the tendency is to think, ‘I could never do that’. However, the reality is that it’s not that difficult with a little training, along with easyto-use Vibrance Collection products that create incredible finishes. Let’s face it, run-of-the-mill refinish work

can get a bit mundane so, hopefully, this extra skillset might inspire these young tradespeople to take on a little custom work on the side. All of the students were incredibly enthusiastic and engaged and at the end of the two-day course they were blown away and totally inspired by what they were able to achieve!” From mild and intense to totally wild, the Vibrance Collection offers unprecedented creative possibilities. Now with a range of specialist primers and a clearcoat, there is everything you need to bring any project to life by staying within one paint system. For more information, go to www.vibrancenetwork.com.au

The students showing off their work.

OEM approved – or is it? In the middle of last year, I wrote a piece on the risks associated with the accelerating growth of e-commerce, specifically focusing on some of the general and industry-specific risks associated with online purchasing. The point of the article was to highlight how easy it was – and still is – to carry out online scams and frauds, with the plethora of available malware, and in particular spyware, “in the market”. To reiterate, the industry-related risks are those that revolve around the increasing availability of automotive parts through online platforms and the challenges facing the collision repairer in identifying “genuine” genuine parts, and in turn, ensuring that they are getting what they pay for. With the increasing engagement of the car manufacturers in the collision repair process and the growth of approved repairer networks, this issue continues to demand your ongoing diligence.

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A corollary to the importance of genuine parts is the importance of approved repair equipment, which in the main is a prerequisite of becoming an approved repairer for many car manufacturers. With the ongoing instant asset write-off scheme, it is all too easy to get caught up in the accelerated depreciation and not pay as much attention to your real needs. Interestingly, it also appears that the list of equipment approved by car manufacturers is growing at such a rapid rate that perhaps it is timely to highlight the issue and, once again, suggest that you pay particular attention to how you spend your hard-earned cash on capital equipment. So, to ensure you are not influenced into buying surplus equipment, we strongly recommend that you do your own due diligence on the specific

piece of equipment to ensure it is indeed approved by the car manufacturer. The OEM does not necessarily approve all equipment from any given supplier and so it is not safe to assume that this is the case. If your supplier attempts to sell you equipment on the basis that it has an OEM approval – and it does not – this is misrepresentation and is illegal under Australian contract law, for which you may well have legal remedy. Remember, as I have pointed out in various forums, the onus is on the directors of collision repair businesses to ensure they complete a safe and proper repair and if you claim to be an OEMapproved repairer – which requires the use of approved equipment – then, notwithstanding any misrepresentation, I once again recommend: buyer beware!


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Vale Garry Clear We start the year on a sombre note with the sad passing of Garry Clear, much loved and respected head teacher of Autobody Repair at Ultimo TAFE in NSW. Garry had been courageously fighting cancer in recent years and, in his usual style, did so privately with the support of his family while continuing his commitment to his team and his students. Garry began his lifelong connection to our industry as a panel beating apprentice, and on completion also qualified as a journeyman spray painter. He worked in his father’s smash repair business in Lidcombe for a long time before taking over the business. As a business owner, he was always supporting and promoting young people into the industry, a passion that extended to part-time teaching at TAFE, initially in North Sydney, moving onto Wetherill Park, Ultimo, and eventually as a full-time teacher at St George TAFE where he rose to become Head Teacher in the panel beating department. Throughout Garry’s career he has been a great advocate for WorldSkills and has promoted and mentored many young people to compete at all levels, taking on several roles with WorldSkills Australia and the TAFE NSW Skills Excellence unit. He demonstrated an

exceptional level of interpersonal, negotiation and teamwork skills whilst leading both small and large teams of students and TAFE NSW personnel. His commitment and dedication to our industry was self-evident through volunteering his time and knowledge to advise and train young professionals coming through the competition cycles in NSW and Australia. Adam Lucas, State Manager, TAFE NSW Skills Excellence and WorldSkills Australia Program, said: “Garry’s happy-go-lucky attitude, jovial sense of humour, commitment and dedicated outlook to everything he undertook will be greatly missed. He was a good friend to all and someone you could rely on. Garry was a great person who went above and beyond to help others, whilst asking for nothing in return. His passing is a huge loss to all who knew him.” Garry was instrumental in identifying several Future Leaders of the Industry and in 2018 was recognised by his peers when he was inducted to the National Collision Repairer Lifetime Achievement Award Honour Roll. David Newton-Ross, the founder of these awards, said: “I was saddened to hear about the passing of Garry, a great friend of the industry. I have known him for many, many

years and always found him to be so positive about the industry and passionate and enthusiastic about the training and education of young people. He has trained and mentored many young people over the years, especially in WorldSkills, and it was an honour to nominate him for the Lifetime Achievement Award. The industry will mourn the loss of Garry as I do, and my condolences go out to his family at this time.” Garry passed on Christmas Eve and was laid to rest on what would have been his 60th birthday. We at the National Collision Repairer pass on our most sincere condolences to Garry’s family.

Garry Clear receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award with his son.

PartsCheck acquires PPG Business Manager and FlexiQuote PartsCheck has confirmed the recent acquisition of two quoting platforms – PPG’s Business Manager and FlexiQuote. The team has now informed current customers of the expansion after PartsCheck closed negotiations with the two businesses late last year. PartsCheck is an online parts sourcing platform that was founded by David Taylor in 2010. With a deep history in the repair industry, Taylor started out as a spray painter before going on to own and operate various repair businesses. He often thought there must be a better way for repairers to source and manage parts seamlessly, and from this idea he founded PartsCheck, the innovative software that helps repairers easily

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connect with suppliers. Over the years, there were many requests for PartsCheck to create a quote package for repairers, and during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Taylor had a lot of time to think about the future of PartsCheck, particularly how he could help build a better future for the repair industry. “The acquisition of these two quote systems is just the beginning of some great things for our company, now we have a larger team of designers, developers and product experts all working closely with repair industry professionals to improve our products and services,” he said.

Taylor also promises to continue the legacy of what these brands have established for over two decades. Part of the roadmap for the future is to identify improvements and to continue developing some other exciting new products to coincide with the purchase of these two systems.


5

Minutes with ...

Brett Pentecost Capricorn Society When did you join the industry? February 2020 What was your first job in the industry? Risk Account Manager What do you do now? Risk Account Manager What do you like about the industry? Diverse member base where you get to deal directly with business owners

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Takata recall website reaches 12 million The FCAI has reported that Australians have made over 12 million vehicle checks on the industry’s Takata airbag compulsory recall website: www.ismyairbagsafe.com.au These checks have identified more than two million vehicles equipped with faulty Takata airbag inflators that have the potential to kill or seriously injure vehicle occupants. The 12 million milestone represents more than 67% of the 17.8 million passenger cars and light commercial vehicles on Australian roads. “The website has been an outstanding success in helping people identify whether their vehicles are affected by the national Takata recall. The heavy usage of the website clearly demonstrates that vehicle owners appreciate being able to readily access important safety information,” said Tony Weber, FCAI chief executive. Across Australia, car manufacturers have replaced faulty Takata airbags in more than 2.72 million passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, and Weber said that while the deadline for the Takata airbag campaign had passed,

What don’t you like about the industry? Those who don’t look at the technological changes coming to the industry and how it will adapt. What music do you like? Hard Rock Your Favourite Artist? Guns n Roses Your favourite food? Seafood Your favourite drink? Beer Your hobbies? Going to the football (when there were crowds) Who in the world would you most like to meet? Richard Branson

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manufacturers were committed to ensuring ongoing support for affected vehicle owners. “We will continue hosting the website through early 2021 to ensure vehicle owners can readily check the recall status of their vehicles. If owners identify any outstanding faulty airbags, manufacturers and dealers will replace them free of charge.” Weber warned vehicle owners that state and territory governments were now deregistering or refusing registration of vehicles fitted with unrectified Takata airbags. “Don’t let your vehicle be taken off the road by the authorities,” he said. “Vehicle owners can easily avoid the inconvenience and serious legal risks associated with deregistration by making prompt arrangements for free replacement.” Vehicle owners unsure of the recall status of their vehicles can immediately check by visiting the website or by texting the word TAKATA to 0487 247 224. Unregistered vehicles can also be checked by contacting the relevant brand directly.


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Darwin Crash Repairs achieves I-CAR Gold Class status I-CAR Australia Gold Class Administrator Kelly Blyth recently announced that Darwin Crash Repairs in Darwin, NT, has been awarded the prestigious I-CAR Gold Class Collision status. “It is fantastic to see Darwin Crash Repairs now become the first repairer in the Northern Territory to achieve Gold Class with I-CAR. Achieving this accreditation by completing fully online training in a short period of time highlights Darwin Crash Repairs’ positive attitude toward ongoing training for all staff members that ensures a high level of quality and safety to all customers. Well done to everyone involved,” said Blyth. “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 program. This has allowed us the opportunity to commit to ongoing training, which ensures our team stays up to date with motor vehicle technology, and broadens their skills and knowledge on repair and refinishing processes to deliver quality workmanship,” explained Director Vincent Grass. As a shop focusing on insurance repairs, it was essential to be part of

the I-CAR accreditation process and the team worked hard to achieve the I-CAR Gold Class status. Combined with decades of experience in the industry, the I-CAR Gold Class Status has further developed the knowledge and skills required to repair modern vehicles to manufacturers’ standards. “We want to see our customers

leaving in a safe-to-drive vehicle and ICAR will contribute to this with their excellent training for our staff. We thank I-CAR, and especially our staff for having such a great work ethic,” concluded Grass. For further information, contact I-CAR Australia on 0424 144 787 or goldclass@i-car.com.au or .

A U S T R A L I A

The team at Darwin Crash Repairs.

I-CAR Gold Class for Douglas & Miller Motor Body Repairs I-CAR Australia Gold Class Coordinator Gary Wood has announced that Douglas & Miller Motor Body Repairs in Currajong, Queensland, has been awarded the prestigious I-CAR Gold Class Collision status. “We are extremely proud to be Townsville’s first I-CAR Gold Class repairer. Obtaining this status formalises Douglas & Miller’s commitment to providing its customers with the reassurance that their vehicles are being repaired by tradespeople who have been trained in the most up-to-date manufacturers’ repair methods, giving our customers the highest level of repair standards,” explained David Douglas. “Douglas & Miller has confirmed their commitment to being part of the GM Certified Collision Repair Network

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by achieving Gold Class status with I-CAR Australia. The entire team deserve recognition for their efforts to meet the requirements over the past year. They have taken advantage of the various training options on offer, including virtual online delivery, the I-CAR welding certification, and product-specific training from their paint supplier, Glasurit, to ensure the training was accessible, relevant, and beneficial to all concerned. Great work and congratulations to everyone at Douglas & Miller,” said Wood. “We thank I-CAR for delivering their training in a way that has made the program an enjoyable experience for all of our staff, and we look forward to continuing our training needs with I-CAR well into the future,” concluded Douglas.

For further information, contact I-CAR Australia at goldclass@icar.com.au or on 0424 144 787.


Dents R Us PDR training is open for business! When it comes to paintless dent repair (PDR) training, Laury Chibnall, founder of Dents R Us, has found flexibility is the key to his success, training new PDR technicians all over Australia and internationally. Following a career as a panel beater and owner of his own panel repair shop for almost 20 years, Chibnall was a true innovator in the PDR market. He travelled to the US in 1997 to gain full certification and accreditation as a PDR technician and brought the expertise back to Australia. “The training programs assist panel shops to become more profitable by upskilling their employees to implement PDR in the workshop, providing opportunities for large repair centres to have their staff trained without the additional expense of travelling to Victoria,” said Chibnall. “I’ve incorporated a business management module in my training programs to ensure trainees who are looking to be self-employed are aware of the key issues required to run a successful business,” he added. For almost 25 years, Chibnall has been providing PDR services for hail damage, car park dents, and dent repairs on luxury vehicles, saving the owner or dealer significant amounts of money. He is not only a certified PDR trainer but also has a Diploma of Business and a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment. The Dents R Us Training Academy offers a one-stop shop training facility for panel shops and individuals,

including a comprehensive 10-day training program, full kit of tools and equipment, ongoing advice and support, and now the new T-Hot Box PDR training option. Course availability is subject to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, so for more information on the Dents R Us Training Academy, call Laury Chibnall on 0438 383 555.


E N T R E P R E N E U R I A L

W O M E N

Michelle Morgan Business Development Manager, Saint-Gobain WE CAUGHT UP WITH MICHELLE MORGAN, THE CREATIVE, DYNAMIC BUSINESSWOMAN BEHIND THE NORTON BRAND AND DISCOVERED THE TRAILBLAZING CAREER PATH THAT HAS PAVED THE WAY FOR THE CURRENT GENERATION OF WOMEN IN OUR INDUSTRY. While Michelle is relatively well known in the industry, we kicked off the discussion by asking her to take a walk down memory lane and tell us a bit about herself and her journey in the industry. “My connection with the industry began once I completed my formal education. When I was young, I was always creative and loved to draw and paint,

so after secondary school I completed a Diploma in Fine Arts at the Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE. I subsequently found an interest in airbrushing, which led me to the collision repair industry.” Her first job was a “prepper” at the RACV Accident Repair Centre in Nunawading. She went on to take up a spraypainting

Michelle Morgan

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apprenticeship at Kangan Institute in Richmond, which she was able to fasttrack, and continued to work in the industry for seven years. In addition to her time at the RACV ARC, Michelle had the opportunity to work in some great panel shops, including Gary McMillan Toyota, Summerhill Crash Repairs and Lacey Panel Works. With the decision to start a family, Michelle looked to take a step back from spray painting and jumped at the opportunity to join PPG, initially as a customer service technical consultant before moving on to a product specialist role looking after PPG’s consumable brands. “This gave me the opportunity to work directly with distributors and end user customers. Training on our product portfolio was one of the things I loved most about the role. However, after 10 great years with PPG I decided to specialise in abrasives and took my career on a different path.” Michelle further developed her skills in product management and expanded her horizons by moving into a sales role where, once again, she was attracted by the front-line customer interaction. “Three years ago I joined Saint-Gobain, where I moved into my current role as Business Development Manager Automotive Aftermarket, and I have never been happier.” When I ask what it was that attracted her to Saint-Gobain, Michelle is unequivocal. “I’ve known Saint-Gobain and their brands since my days as an apprentice, but as I learnt more about the company’s principles of conduct and action, they


really resonated with me. As a global organisation awarded employer of the year, I was confident that this would provide a stable future with opportunities to grow and develop, and the opportunity to make a lasting contribution.” We briefly reflected on last year, and in Michelle’s own inimitable style, she is able to see the silver lining in a year like no other. “What a roller coaster year, especially here in Victoria. I, like so many others, have been working remotely and although I’ve adapted to the home office environment, I really missed the interaction with colleagues and customers as the restrictions dragged on.” We touch on the impact on the Abrasives Division, and find that notwithstanding the commercial impact, there have been some significant upsides. For example, the team has quickly adapted, introduced new programs and implemented new ways of working. “The whole organisation has developed strong technological capabilities as we all adjusted to video conferencing and the field sales team became better connected to our central team at head office.” Saint-Gobain expects that there will be lasting benefits with so many streamlined processes and procedures, along with the development of new skills throughout the year. Although the team appreciates the impact that the pandemic had, and is still having,

Michelle in her apprentice days.

on the personal and business lives of so many, there is still much to take away from the unexpected journey that was 2020. We move on and I ask Michelle, as a professional businesswoman, what she sees as the highlights of her career thus far. She has no hesitation in going back to her apprenticeship days, citing completion of her apprenticeship as a key milestone as this is where it all began, particularly as the body shop environment was not as attractive a place to work then as it is today. However, it is in the various product, marketing and sales functions that she really made her mark on the industry. “Launching new product ranges from start to finish has always given me great satisfaction. Creating a solution to improve or omit a process step for the ultimate customer, the end user, is really rewarding. Seeing the positive impact it can have on productivity and the bottom line really is a key driver for me.” Michelle has also had the opportunity to travel the world for further training to bring new skills, techniques, technical knowledge and, of course, new products back to Australia, which has also given her a real buzz. “When I reflect on my career journey, it's rewarding to see the process improvements that I have been able to implement in my various roles and organisations, bridging the

connection between the technicians and the suppliers to improve the productivity and communication, and ultimately enriching the customer experience with that brand.” Michelle believes that her shop floor experience enables her to better understand the needs of the end user, and building these into the value proposition really does make a huge difference as Saint-Gobain engages with the customer. In essence, like all good organisation, they start with the end in mind. “Something that I am passionate about is developing pathways for the next generation of technicians to be connected, as well as further developing the skills of those who are already in the industry. I think most manufacturers of products supplied into the industry would agree that it is our responsibility to positively contribute to the future generations of the industry.” As with all careers and journeys, there have been challenges along the way, although Michelle is keen to focus on how she overcame them to become the person she is today. “The biggest single challenge has been working in a male-dominated industry, especially in the early years when at times I found it difficult to navigate. In addition, even as my career developed, there were times when it also felt like ‘a bit of a boy’s club’. However, I never really let it get to me as I love what I do and I’m passionate

The 2019 WorldSkills Nationals.

The National Collision Repairer – 1 5


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about the refinish industry, which is what really keeps me going.” When she looks back, she says it is so good to see how far the industry has come in support of women, which makes the path for the next generation of women much more equitable – as it always should have been. Michelle even admits to being a little bit jealous of the girls today when she thinks back to what she had to go through, but it’s actually because of women like Michelle who laid the foundation for this current generation of women in our industry that it is a much more exciting and positive space in which to build a career. Michelle is also quick to point out that she has been inspired by so many people throughout her journey, having been fortunate to have had many mentors during her career, all the way back to one of her early supervisors with whom she is still friends today. In the corporate world, she says she has also been fortunate to work with some amazing managers and leaders who encouraged and inspired her. “It was the support I received from my early mentors that gave me the confidence to always try and approach projects from a different angle and look outside the box for innovative solutions. I never imagined when I finished studying fine art that I would spend the next 20 odd years in the refinish industry covering such diverse roles as technical support, product management, marketing and sales through to my current position as a business development manager.

W O M E N

I wouldn't change any of it. I have really enjoyed each and every role and all the people I have met along the way.” I then ask Michelle to share some of her wisdom in terms of advice she would give other women considering a career in our industry. Unsurprisingly, she is direct and straight to the point. “Go for it! Take the initiative. If you think working on cars may be of interest, visit the local panel shop and ask to do some work experience and get a real taste of what the trade has to offer. If you like it – go for it! Believe in yourself and then anything is possible. Don’t let anyone else's pre-conceived ideas of the industry get in the way. Try it for yourself and make up your own mind. It can be a truly rewarding experience.” Michelle highlights that women can really enrich the industry by bringing a different perspective, much of which comes naturally with the diversity between men and women. “This, of course, leads to a plethora of opportunities in all aspects of the industry. Within the workshop there are technical trade roles or various administration and supervision roles, through to running the business. Outside of the body shop there’s the supply side of the industry – where I’ve spent the latter half of my career – with opportunities such as sales, demonstration, training, marketing, manufacturing, R&D, management – the list is endless.” We return to discuss her current organisation and what it is that differentiates the Norton brand from

Australasian Head Office.

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the competition. “Saint-Gobain is a global company that is 355 years old, and today employs over 170,000 staff. Globally, the Abrasives Division is top 3 in the market segments in which we operate". Michelle goes on to say that it is the decades of innovation, product development and investment in the Norton brand that has placed Saint-Gobain as a pillar of the industry, and it is the reliability, consistency and quality that sets them apart. “Our support, training and technical expertise complement the product quality. We have always focused on the value-added approach and will continue to do so into the future.” As I always do, I invited Michelle to provide a final message for you, our readers, and she sums it up in one word: opportunity. “In the collision repair sector of the automotive industry there are no shortage of exciting career paths available today. These opportunities are open to both women and men, whether you are ‘on the tools’ or running the business, whether you are trade qualified or tertiary educated, the industry is dynamic, forward-looking, and very much a hi-tech industry of the future.” She goes on to say: “If you’re not sure where to go, ask someone. One of the strengths of the collision repair industry is the great people you meet along the way, always happy to offer advice and guide and mentor others to help them achieve their potential.”

At the 2019 Collison Repair Expo.


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S P E C I A L

R E P O R T

with Jan Janssen

Aston Martin: DB and beyond PART 1

DB2 at the 1000 Miglia in Brescia, Italy in 2018.

FROM CONTINUING ITS PARTNERSHIP WITH ARGUABLY THE MOST FAMOUS FILM FRANCHISE IN HISTORY, TO MAKING A SPECTACULAR RETURN TO THE WORLD OF FORMULA ONE, ASTON MARTIN’S FORTUNES CONTINUE TO BE SPEARHEADED BY ITS UBIQUITOUS AND INSTANTLY RECOGNISABLE DB MODELS.

Introduction Following its recent acquisition of the Racing Point (formerly Force India) team, Aston Martin announced that it would be returning to Formula One in 2021 after a 61-year absence. Flush with cash following Canadian billionaire Laurence Stroll’s £262 million investment and 20% stake in the company, and an additional £250 million from two other investors, Aston Martin will not only be able to survive the precipitous decline in car sales owing to the coronavirus pandemic but also re-enter F1 racing under its own brand. It’s a remarkable reversal of fortune for the British carmaker, one of most legendary marques in the

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history of automobile manufacturing. It’s also a tribute to the remarkable corporate turnaround engineered by Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer, who took charge of the company in 2014 and under whose leadership Aston Martin recorded record sales of 6,441 cars in 2018 followed by modestly disappointing sales of 5,809 vehicles in 2019.

Apart from its Formula One relaunch, the company is also rejigging its product line with the introduction of the Vantage Volante Roadster and the V12 Speedster open-top sports cars. The latter is an inspired hybrid of the Vantage and DBS/DB11 chassis and other parts and intends to outflank Ferrari and other high-end sports car brands. In fact, Palmer has declared his intention of turning Aston Martin into the “British Ferrari”. Palmer’s plan is to use the formidable power of the brand to attract an elite clientele by shrinking supply while hopefully driving up demand. Aston also intends to imitate Ferrari’s long-established strategy of allowing customers to order vehicles


according to individual specs as part of building up a custom order book. The V12 Speedster is merely the latest and most brilliant iteration of the Aston Martin line at whose core is the venerable DB series that owes its iconic stature to the 1964 film Goldfinger, which saw Sean Connery as James Bond take the wheel of the newly minted DB5. Of course, the real DB5 came without the optional passenger side ejection seat, revolving licence plates, and retractable rear bullet proof metal screen that were the invention of Goldfinger production designer Ken Adams, but it was nonetheless a powerful and exciting car to drive. First there was the distinctive throaty growl of the 5.9 litre engine, then there was the sharp cornering capability that required a deft touch on brakes, throttle, and steering wheel – very deft, if one has ever had the white-knuckle pleasure of actually driving the thing. But the real pleasure came in watching the DB5 in action as Connery’s 007 took audiences and car enthusiasts around the world on a spirited chase sequence over a winding mountain road. Goldfinger was a global boxoffice smash upon its release in 1964 and had the twin effect of immediately transforming the DB into one of the world’s most famous sports cars and boosting its sales by 60%. Most auto historians believe that the only reason Aston Martin has survived into the present, unlike so many other classic British marques that have fallen by the wayside, is the branding appeal generated by Goldfinger and its intertwined legacy with the Bond film franchise. Certainly, there are few other car brands that have had a greater impact on the popular imagination than Aston Martin’s DB series. Under the ownership and direction of David Brown (hence the “DB” model designations), the venerable Aston Martin Motors Ltd began a steady evolution towards speed and styling in the 40s and 50s.

The evolution of the DB Series DB2 (1950–1952) The launch of the DB2 series in 1950 represented the first true David Brown Aston Martin and it was an instant hit. The DB2 introduced the familiar sleek front and fast-backed rear design and was designed with the goal of capturing the market as the world’s outstanding Grand Touring car. Aston Martin also saw the DB2 score impressive class victories at Le Mans in 1950 and 1951, thereby giving the model the kind of motor racing gravitas and marketing buzz that translates to sales of the streetcar version.

DB2-4 Mk III (1957–59) The DB3S paved the way for the introduction, in 1957, of the DB2-4 Mk III model, which was defined by its sensationally curvaceous grille. It was former Lagonda designer Frank Feeley (Lagonda was a small auto factory that David Brown acquired in 1941, hence the “Lagonda” design appellation of various Aston Martin models) who came up with the distinctive styling of the DB2-4 Mk III series.

DB2-4 Mk III (1957–59)

DB2(1952–52)

DB3, DB3S (1952–1957) The success of the DB2 was such that Brown proceeded with the development of the DB3 race car (only ten were ever built, five for the factory race team, five for customers) and its more powerful successor, the DB3S, that would go on to dominate sports car competitions in the 1950s. The DB3 featured a more powerful version of Aston’s straight six engine that was built onto a brand-new tubular steel chassis and given a sleek, lightweight Spider aluminium body. The first DB3 models were powered by the Lagonda 2.6 litre engine that delivered 133 hp before being replaced by the more ferocious DB3S that featured a 3.0 litre powerplant with 159 hp and turned Aston Martin into a dominant racing team.

DB3S (1952–57)

DB4 (1958–1963) Aston Martin started work on the DB4 in 1956, at the same time as the DB Mark III series. Every major component in the DB4 was new and by the time it was launched in 1958 the car constituted a significant upgrade and received rave reviews from car lovers. One key element to its success was the radical new Carrozzeria Touringdesigned “Superleggera” aluminium body that was fitted onto a tubular space chassis. But the DB4 was no paper tiger, either. It was powered by a new 3.7 litre straight six powerplant producing 240 bhp that turned the DB4 into one of the fastest road cars of its time. Under David Brown’s direction, the DB4 also marked the introduction of two revolutionary new body styles. The first, the lightweight DB4GT, was the direct forerunner of the classic DB5, while the second, the DB4GT Zagato, served as the historic initial collaboration between Aston Martin and the Italian design firm, Zagato. The latter model was conceived with the express purpose of surpassing Ferrari on and off the racetrack and helped launch Aston into Formula One competition. Though it lacked the funds to challenge the major teams, the engineering and design innovations Aston Martin brought

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to the development of its F1 cars would find their way into the iconic DB5 “Bond” car. DB4 (1958–63)

DB5 (1963–65) The DB5 is the car that has come to define Aston Martin. It was a classic example of British design and engineering, a tradition that has been continuously refined over the course of six decades with models like the Lagonda, the Zagato, the silver-grey Aston Martin V12 DBS 530 bhp model featured in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace with Daniel Craig in the driver’s seat, and the Vanquish S. The iconic DB5 model would endow Aston Martin with the lustre of a global brand whose name is synonymous with automotive excellence. Apart from its stylistic brilliance, the DB5 engine came equipped with a 4.0 litre straight-sixcylinder engine that delivered 282 bhp and a top speed of 135 mph. Another game-changing improvement was the introduction of a full synchromesh ZF 5-speed gearbox that delivered power much more smoothly than any Aston previously. The DB5 also brandished other upgrades over its DB4 predecessor, including the adoption of the Girling disc brakes that had only been used on DB4GT, the introduction of 15” wheels, and the welcome installation of electric windows. Of the 1,023 DB5s that were produced, an elite group of 65 came equipped with the high-performance Vantage engine that was capable of 325 hp and boasted a top speed of 135 mph (210 kph). The DB5 Vantage was also offered as a convertible model and came equipped with three Weber carburettors and different camshafts to offer a higher level of performance. The convertible was also available with an optional steel hard top for the

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cold winter months. Ironically, the DB5 was never supposed to be used in Goldfinger. Originally, Connery was going to be driving a Jaguar E-Type but when Bond producer Cubby Broccoli was told that he would have to pay Jaguar for the cars to be used on the production, he reportedly told the company to “get stuffed” (or more colourful Italian words to that effect). This was the historic, brand-altering moment when Aston Martin gladly stepped into the breach and offered the DB5 at no charge. As a result, the British automaker scored the kind of worldwide advertising coup that caught the attention of Enzo Ferrari and Ferdinand Porsche and obliged them to demand major upgrades from their respective design and engineering teams while calling on their marketing departments to find similar opportunities for product placement. DB5 (1963–65) DB5 (1963–65)

DB6 (1965–1970) The DB6 represented a marginal upgrade over the DB5 with its main structural difference being a longer wheelbase and higher roof that offered its wealthy, fussy drivers more headroom. Although the DB6 can easily be mistaken for its more famous predecessor, one way to spot the difference is the Kamm tail, which was introduced to provide for improved stability at high speed (According to Sean Connery and others, the DB5 was notoriously twitchy to drive and even more so at maximum velocity). DB6 (1965–70)

DBS (1967–1972) The DBS was introduced as a companion model to the flagship DB6 touring car. It was originally supposed to feature a high-powered V8 engine upon launch, but when the Touring firm went bankrupt, Aston was forced to hire William Towns to build the V8 engine from scratch and it was finally introduced into the DBS in 1969. The DBS achieved recognition for being the fastest four-seater production car of its era and its powerful V8 would serve as the standard Aston powerplant for decades to come. Carrying on with the Bond tradition, the DBS was showcased in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the 1969 film that saw George Lazenby replace Sean Connery and make his first and only appearance as 007. Lazenby, who according to revisionist film historians, was a far better Bond than he was originally given credit for, drove a green, six-cylinder DBS and, unlike the DB5, there were no wild gadgets attached to this car. The DBS was also used in the TV series The Persuaders (1971–1972), in which Roger Moore’s character, Lord Brett Sinclair, drove a Bahama Yellow 6-cylinder DBS – although the car was fitted with alloy wheels and different badges that made it resemble the higher-powered DBS V8 model. DB5 (1967–72)

In the next issue, we continue the Aston Martin journey, including how their financial difficulties in the early 1970s impacted the production of the DB series. They went on to survive a two-decade challenge to remain commercially viable and returned to the top echelon of the motoring world. We even look at their first ever SUV, the DBX.

This article was written by Jan Janssen exclusively for the National Collision Repairer in Australia.


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G L O B A L

N E W S

Axalta releases its 68th global automotive colour popularity report Axalta Coating Systems’ 68th annual Global Automotive Colour Popularity Report reveals the most common automotive colours on the road today are white (38%), black (19%) and grey (15%). Grey increased by two percentage points worldwide during the past 12 months and is at a 10-year high. Holding steady at 38% of the total global market for the last three years, white has been the most frequently purchased automotive colour globally for 10 consecutive years. Silver continues to decline in all regions and its popularity is now in the single digits at 9%. Black holds steady year-on-year and remains a favourite in luxury vehicles. Axalta’s Global Automotive Colour Popularity Report draws on data from every country where consumer

vehicles are produced and provides detailed production data to enable automakers to observe trends and patterns across the globe and in particular markets. “The consumer purchasing trends reflected in the report drive our development of innovative colours for the future,” said Nancy Lockhart, global product manager of colour at Axalta. “We’re pleased to share this data with our customers and bring together our industry-leading colour technology, deep market experience and trend data to work with our customers to bring dynamic colours to life.” Axalta is actively working to provide innovative colour choices for automotive buyers that are on the leading-edge of design. Recent automotive trends are in sync with the

latest home, fashion and product trends, including an interest in green-blue and green-yellow shades. Also noteworthy is the increasing global use of grey and the colour nuances that bring these colours to life, such as fine flake effects and hints of colourful flakes. The results of Axalta’s Global Automotive Colour Popularity report are based on Axalta’s analysis of 2020 automotive build data and are an indicator of current market trends. Axalta began reporting on the industry’s coating colours in 1953 and continues to report on colour trends. The future landscape of automotive colour continues to change as vehicle and consumer preferences evolve. Axalta designs conceptual colours that are aesthetically and functionally beneficial to the vehicle surfaces.

“ElectroLight” – Axalta’s 2021 Global Automotive Colour of the Year Axalta, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, announced its 2021 Global Automotive Colour of the Year – “ElectroLight”. ElectroLight is an expressively refreshing green-yellow hue with inspired bold, contemporary flavours that echo style, energy and flair. The unique personality of ElectroLight evokes a blend of sporty design elements with functional performance and offers great versatility when combined with two-tone charcoal colour accents or matte finishes on a variety of mobility solutions. Further, ElectroLight is formulated with reflective properties that make it highly visible to light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems, while its layer structure and pigment content are easily transmissible by radio detection and ranging (radar) systems. “Offering innovative products that are ahead of the curve is what we live and breathe every day at Axalta,” said Hadi Awada, a senior vice president at Axalta. “ElectroLight is another step toward illuminating a path for a green future for all types of vehicles, including autonomous vehicles. Formulated with mobility-sensing technology, ElectroLight combines a passion for individualisation with coating science into a functional, expressive and dynamic colour.” Fully autonomous vehicles are closer than ever to becoming a reality and will increasingly rely on LiDAR and radar technology to see and interact with the world around them. ElectroLight meets industry safety standards and improves the performance of both types of systems, making it a stand-out colour option in both trend and technology. While Axalta’s 2020 Global Automotive Colour Popularity Report shows that white remains the most frequently purchased automotive colour globally, automotive colours with a more customised and personalised look are becoming increasingly

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desired by consumers. Green has influenced both blue and yellow colour palettes within today’s vehicle market trends, driving colours into a more eco-centric theme. This includes Sea Glass – a green shade of blue and Axalta’s 2020 Global Automotive Colour of the Year – and now ElectroLight – a yellow shade of green. “Our 2021 colour evokes sustainability, happiness and safety. ElectroLight is at the forefront of today’s colour trends, while anticipating emerging technology advances,” said Nancy Lockhart, global product manager of colour at Axalta. “Consumers are looking for a breakout colour, and ElectroLight manifests this while bringing a progressive approach to automotive styling and design.” Axalta actively works to continue to provide innovative colour choices for automotive buyers and refinishers that are on the leading edge of design, and also create conceptual colours that are aesthetically and functionally beneficial to vehicle surfaces. For more information on ElectroLight, visit: axalta.com/colour.


BETTERTOGETHER

Aussies know a thing or two about how to take a good thing and make it better. From slip, slop, slapping on zinc at the beach, to downing an ice cold pint of beer with your Parma, there are some things that just work better together. At Fix Auto Australia, we’re all about building partnerships so that your business goes from good to great.

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G L O B A L

N E W S

Global acquisitions to benefit all Thanks to several acquisitions, PPG is set to further expand on the technologies, products and capabilities it is able to offer to its global customer base. PPG’s incredibly diverse coatings portfolio is gearing up to grow even further due to several exciting acquisitions that are currently in progress or just completed. Each is expected to add a complementary layer to the company’s position as the world’s leading coatings manufacturer. As a global leader in pavement markings and traffic safety solutions, Ennis-Flint is considered to be an excellent fit with PPG. The completed acquisition brings a wide range of products, including traffic paint, hotapplied and preformed thermoplastics, raised pavement markers and intelligent transportation systems, along with approximately 1,000 employees globally, a network of manufacturing facilities, including in Melbourne, and the company’s AsiaPacific headquarters in Sydney. Expected to be completed in the first half of 2021, the acquisition of

Wörwag adds a global manufacturer that specialises in developing sustainable liquid, powder and film coatings for industrial and automotive applications. “Wörwag’s industry expertise in powder and liquid coatings for industrial and automotive applications is highly complementary to PPG’s business and will help to further expand our product offering,” said Rebecca Liebert, PPG Executive Vice President. “The addition of Wörwag will also enhance PPG’s waterborne, direct-to-metal, liquid and powder coatings offerings and allow us to further expand current customer distribution in key geographies.” VersaFlex is another specialist coatings manufacturer that is being acquired by PPG. It specialises in polyurea, epoxy and polyurethane coatings for water and wastewater infrastructure, flooring, transportation infrastructure and industrial applications. “VersaFlex’s attractive segment mix with strong growth outlook, unique product offering, broad expertise and manufacturing capabilities in polyurea and flooring coatings will complement and expand

upon PPG’s current product offering,” said Ram Vadlamannati, PPG Senior Vice President, Protective and Marine Coatings and President, Europe, Middle East and Africa. “This acquisition supports PPG’s commitment to growing our industryleading technology portfolio and customer touchpoints.”

PPG's Michael H. McGarry.

PPG launches “Traffic Solutions” business unit Following its late 2020 acquisition of specialist coatings manufacturer Ennis-Flint, PPG has taken the opportunity to establish an all-new business unit called Traffic Solutions. Along with approximately 1,000 employees globally, the recent acquisition has injected even more specialist coatings capabilities, resulting in the creation of the Traffic Solutions business, which will be responsible for manufacturing and supplying a broad, global portfolio of pavement-marking products. This includes paint, thermoplastics and other advanced technologies to a diverse range of customers in government, military, contracting, commercial infrastructure, engineering and architecture. In addition, the newly formed business unit will partner with PPG’s mobility team to identify opportunities to supply innovative coatings to help

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support infrastructure needs that enable autonomous driving and enhance future autonomous, connected, electric and shared vehicle solutions. Traffic Solutions joins PPG’s existing strategic business units – Architectural Coatings, Aerospace, Automotive Refinish, and Protective and Marine Coatings – as part of PPG’s Performance Coatings reportable segment. “We are excited about the

new capabilities and growth opportunities in Traffic Solutions and the business unit’s complementary fit within PPG’s portfolio,” said Michael McGarry, PPG Chairman and CEO. “As we strive to enhance our existing mobility technologies, the Traffic Solutions business unit will expand our capability to support improved infrastructure for safer driver-assisted and autonomous driving systems.”


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G L O B A L

N E W S

BASF 2020 Colour Report The BASF 2020 Colour Report for Automotive OEM Coatings shows the automotive colour palette shifting in unconventional ways, unveiling a wider range of chromatic colours rolling off the world’s assembly lines. Diverse shades like blue and yellow are making gains in some regions, while red and violet are slowly cutting the lead held by the achromatic colours – white, black, silver, and grey – in other parts of the world. The expanding colour spaces made the overall spectrum broader than 2019 and also added a flash of brilliance. Despite the shift in colours, the achromatic colours followed a familiar pattern, coating most of the vehicles produced. EMEA Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) follows the global movement of chromatic colours. In 2020, about 11% of new vehicles in EMEA were coated in blue, making it the most popular chromatic colour. Violet is a newcomer to the market, increasing diversity even more. Other chromatic colours are also gaining popularity, especially on smaller SUVs as their market segment grows. Part of the variety comes from the diversity of shades, as automakers used more than 160 distinct shades of blue, while grey was second with 140 shades.

Asia Pacific Asia Pacific is home to the largest volume of automotive production in the world, and a microcosm of global colour popularity. While every region is different, Asia Pacific’s preferences mirror global data, and its bright colours mirror the awakening that chromatic colours are experiencing elsewhere. White is still the most popular colour in the region at 48%, and black and grey continue to improve, following a three-year trend that eats away at the dominance of white. South America Colours such as red and blue, which are so popular in other regions of the globe, are still players in South America, especially among car buyers who are trying to express their individuality with sportier cars. What’s more significant is the market’s love of achromatic colours. Historically, South American car buyers have chosen more traditional, less flashy colours, and like other regions, white is by far the favourite at 39%, although the popularity of grey and silver is higher than in other regions, with 18% for each. Unlike other regions, red stands out as the top chromatic colour with 9%. The BASF Colour Report for Automotive OEM Coatings is a data analysis from BASF’s Coatings division and is based on global automotive production and paint application to light vehicles in 2020.

North America North American car buyers have fewer choices for chromatic colours, but that doesn’t mean they’re choosing fewer chromatic cars, trucks, or SUVs. Blue gained more popularity as an automotive colour in North America, edging out red, while beige and brown have dropped off the list. That leaves green as the only other chromatic colour in significant numbers in the region. BASF designers could see this coming. As early as 2016, they described blue as “a major colour direction for the automotive industry that will gain market share in upcoming years.”

Per Madsen retires from Car-O-Liner Per Madsen, the former Managing Director of South East Asia and Pacific markets for Car-O-Liner, has announced his retirement. Per is no stranger to Australia, having visited our shores a great many times over the past two decades, predominately whilst supporting the Car-O-Liner Australia business from his regional office in Bangkok. In addition, he conducted Car-O-Liner training programs, attended trade shows, and made numerous presentations about global technology at several of the National Collision Repairer Industry Forums, as well as at specific seminars and workshops. He also spent a great deal of time with OEMs in Australia

2 6 – G LO B A L N E W S

and overseas and was always eager to share his knowledge with the industry, specifically on correct repair methods and new and evolving technologies. Per’s extensive background in the automotive industry extends to his early years when he ran a large collision repair facility for a decade prior to joining the Car-O-Liner Group, and his contribution to the industry in Australia has been tremendous. Julie Thomas, Car-O-Liner Australia Managing Director said: “Per was not only a great supporter of our business here in Australia but also had a wealth of knowledge which was second to none. Most importantly, he is without doubt a true gentleman of the industry.”

Per received a National Collision Repairer Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 in recognition of his contribution to the Australian collision repair industry. We wish him well in his well-earned retirement.

Per Madsen.


S P E C I A L

R E P O R T

Ford Transit Van presentation 1st Prize

Alan Perry – Gisborne Collision Centre Between March and September 2020, Ford Trade Club members had the opportunity to win a 2020 Ford Transit Custom Sport which, with a suite of standard tech features and bold styling, makes it the Van that Can! An enhancement to 2020 was the five x $10,000 regional runner-up prizes. The “Win a Ford” Ford Trade Club program has been running for three years and is designed to encourage the use of new genuine Ford parts sourced from authorised Australian Ford Dealers. Ford reminds us that new genuine Ford parts have been used to build your car. They have been made or selected by Ford and rigorously tested as an integral component of the vehicle to meet high quality, safety and performance standards. This ensures that your Ford

Alan with Ford's Michael Ferguson.

2 8 – SPECIAL REPORT

will drive, function and protect you the way it was intended. And they fit right first time, every time! Out of 116,000 entries, the winner of the grand prize of the 2020 “Win a Ford” program is Alan Perry, owner and Managing Director of Gisborne Collision Centre. Incredibly, of the approximately 180 Ford dealerships in Australia, for the second time in the three years the program has been running, the winning entry was sold by Rex Gorell Ford in Geelong, Victoria. Dealer Principal Paul Gorell once again hosted the event and opened

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proceedings by recognising the longstanding relationship between the Gorell Group and Ford Australia: “We are proud to be able to say that for the past 25 years we have been Ford Australia’s largest volume dealer in Victoria. Today is not only a special day for Alan Perry but it is also a

Paul Gorell.

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special day for the Gorell Group, as we celebrate our 40th anniversary.” “We are proud to be involved in this great program once again. From one family business to another, we congratulate Alan on winning this exceptional vehicle,” said Gorell. Michael Ferguson, Southern Region Manager, Ford Australia, presented the keys to Alan, thanking him for his support and recognising that he has been a customer for the past 15 years. Ferguson also presented a letter of congratulations to Paul Gorell on the occasion of their 40th anniversary as a Ford Dealership (to the day!), on behalf of Ford Australia CEO Andrew Birkic. Alan Perry was (almost) lost for words when presented the keys to his new Transit Custom Sport Van; he did compose himself to say: “I just couldn’t believe it when they told me, and it’s still a bit surreal. I’ve never won anything in my 40 years in the industry, so I thank Ford Australia for running the ‘Win a Ford’ program and making this day possible.” Alan also thanked Rex Gorell Ford for supporting him through one of the toughest years of his life as he manages several personal challenges. Interestingly, Alan Perry is a stalwart of the Gisborne community as he is a local Justice of the Peace,

Alan found his voice.

Bail Justice, and is deeply involved in Gisborne’s Dingo Discovery Sanctuary and Research Centre. Clearly, there is more to this man than meets the eye. Ford Customer Service Division Marketing Manager Chris Trewin, who oversees the program but was unable to be present on the day, expressed his delight that the “Win a Ford” program continues to be a huge success. “We continually look for ways to improve the program to ensure all Ford Trade Club members can be engaged. The industry continues to experience growing

pressure on fitting genuine parts due to the influx of parallel and non-genuine parts. At Ford, we have the highest confidence in the quality, durability and performance of all our products, and this competition was designed to encourage the use of Genuine Ford Parts in all repairs. If safety is important to your customer, then genuine parts is the solution,” said Trewin. With the addition of five regional $10,000 runner-up prizes in 2020, Trewin added that he was thrilled to be able to reward even more loyal

Off to the photo shoot.

In the driver’s seat.

The National Collision Repairer – 2 9


S P E C I A L

customers, particularly in the tough year that was 2020. The runners up from around the country were: Northern region: Megan and Daniel Leishman, Gold Coast Collision Centre, Burleigh Heads, Qld Eastern region: Deni Shmeissen, Spray Fever Smash Repairs, Campbelltown, NSW Southern region: Noel McBride, Berwick Motor Body Repairs, Officer, Victoria

Gold Coast Collision's Daniel and Megan Leishman.

R E P O R T

Central region: Kym Webber, Waikerie Crash, Waikerie, SA Western region: Neil Pollock and Robert Ettridge, Wanneroo Smash Repairs, Wangara, WA “Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all Ford Trade Club members for your continuous support and efforts to make safety paramount for your customers,” concluded Trewin. As we wrap up the “Win a Ford” competition for 2020, it was great to

see one of Ford’s oldest dealers once again playing a key role, and that Ford continue to offer rewards for their loyal customers. It was such a thrill to see how overwhelmed Alan Perry was with the grand prize – you just couldn’t get the smile off his face. The 2020 Ford Transit Custom Sport really is a sensational vehicle! Once again, well done to all at Ford Australia. We look forward to what is planned for 2021.

Sharon from Peter Warren Ford (Centre) with Deni Shmeissen and Pam of Spray Fever Smash Repairs.

Noel McBride of Berwick Motor Body Repairs and Ron Sherriff of Berwick Ford.

Revisiting past winners 2018 Ford Ranger Raptor (above) We caught up with the inaugural “Win a Ford” competition winner, Brendon Waring of Waring’s Auto Electrical in Geelong, Victoria. “I am so happy with the vehicle. It does everything I expected and more. From towing to off-road, the Raptor has never missed a beat. I’ve decided that my next vehicle will also be a Raptor!”

2019 Ford GT Mustang (below) We also reached out to the 2019 winner, Jason Treleggan from Southern Collision Repairs in Seaford, South Australia. “The GT Mustang is just beautiful and continues to turn heads. I’ve even taken it out to The Bend [Motorsport Park] to put it through its paces and found it to be sensational. I couldn’t be happier.”

Kym Webber of Waikerie Crash with Trevor Cash of Stillwell Ford.

Neil Pollock and Robert Ettridge of Wannaroo Smash Repairs.

3 0 – SPECIAL REPORT

Brendon Waring in the Ranger Raptor in 2018.

Jason Treleggan in the GT Mustang in 2019.


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T A L K I N G

S H O P

Specialised Collision Repair Centre WE MEET DIRECTOR AND OWNER JASON CASE, WHO TELLS US ABOUT HIS JOURNEY, THE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF BEING ON THE METROPOLITAN–REGIONAL FRINGE, AND HOW THEY WILL ADAPT TO THE EVER-CHANGING COLLISION REPAIR INDUSTRY. Background Jason began his apprenticeship as a panel beater in Mount Gambier in 1990, where he worked for two years before “the recession we had to have” hit hard. However, as it happens, he was offered a job in Victoria, so he jumped in the car and went on to complete his apprenticeship at John Batman TAFE in Coburg which, of course, was “absorbed” into what has become the Kangan Institute of TAFE. “I originally worked at another smash repair business in Sunbury for about 10 years before the partnership dissolved and they went their separate ways. I moved on with one of the partners who established Specialised Collision Repair Centre (SCRC) here at our current site, and about nine years ago I bought into the business. In 2018, my partner retired, and I bought his share, making me the sole owner of the business.” Since taking equity in the business and subsequently buying out his partner, Jason still has the desire to pick up the tools and keep things ticking over. Although the transition from the hands-on role has been challenging at times, he is all too aware of the importance of letting go and working on the business. “In the initial years, my wife Bobbie-Lee was instrumental in making our venture a success, but over the years her involvement has reduced – but she still works one day per week, predominately on the accounts.”

3 2 – TA L K I N G S H O P

The changing nature of the industry Jason and Bobbie-Lee are all too aware of the ongoing trend of consolidation and can see the impact it’s having across the industry. So far, it has not directly affected them, but they are somewhat cautious. “The growing franchise model still allows you to be your own boss, but when the bigger groups come knocking, I believe

Bobbie-Lee and Jason.

they have two different approaches. They acquire well-run businesses, and pay accordingly, or they acquire poorly-run businesses to fix them up – and pay accordingly. We’ll just keep doing what we do, monitor the situation and see what happens.” The ever-changing involvement of the two big insurer groups continues to be of interest. As we all know, Suncorp was


divesting its interest in Capital SMART as IAG was taking an equity position in Repairhub. It was not that long ago when things were going the other way. “Clearly, they run different models and I’m sure there are people in both camps who know what’s best for them and their stakeholders. It does have an effect on us as it can make the work a bit more variable than we would like, but being on the fringe of metro Melbourne, at this stage we are still okay. We get most of our work from Suncorp and Allianz, with some from IAG, mainly because we believe in having good working relationships with the work providers.” Jason believes that the insurers have raised the bar and set standards that preferred repairers are required to meet, which in turn requires them to ensure they have all the right equipment which, of course, is great for the entire industry. “We also see the growing influence of OEMs regarding authorised repair procedures and the use of genuine parts. We rely on the manufacturer, or a credible

Great street frontage.

Where it all happens.

independent such as Thatcham, for the correct procedures, but when it comes to parts, we are influenced by the insurer, who in turn reverts to the terms and conditions of the individual’s policy.” SCRC endeavours to stay up to date with the technology in today’s vehicles, starting with diagnostic tools, and what they can’t rectify in-house they send out to the dealer, usually to Melbourne. Of course, there is some work that is mandated to go to the dealer, so that takes the decision out of their hands. This can impact cycle times, but in the main they have no choice. Ultimately, they take the view that if the manufacturer’s dealer does the work, then it is correct. Back to the operation Other than Bobbie-Lee, there are no other family members in the business, although there are several employees who have been in the business for well over a decade, including the key roles of the painting foreman and the mechanical assembler. “It’s the people

who are the foundation of the business and we are fortunate to have so many ‘long termers’,” said Jason. One of the major challenges, however, is the lack of good apprentices – which is, of course, an industry-wide issue – and one that Jason doesn’t see being resolved any time soon. I was able to speak with some of the staff and the consensus is that SCRC is a great place to work and that Jason and Bobbie-Lee will do anything for their staff. With this endorsement, it’s no wonder the business continues to be successful under Jason’s leadership. “We were thrilled when SCRC was a finalist in the 2018 VACC Victorian Industry Awards, in the Best Body Repair Passenger Vehicle Large Business category, although it was bitter-sweet when we were a very close runner up.” With 12 or 13 staff on the payroll, and completing 25 to 30 cars per week, the efficiency of the operation is self-evident and the recognition at the 2018 awards was well deserved. “Last year, we took the decision to focus on, and invest in, fulfilling the training requirements of the prestigious I-CAR Gold Class accreditation. Being part of the Suncorp approved repairer network, Gold Class status will become mandatory later this year, but we wanted to get ahead of the game. With the knowledge and skills gained from the process, we are sure that our customers will continue to receive the highest quality service and workmanship,” said Jason. We turned our attention to the key supplier partners to the business and Jason is immediately proud to mention that they have been with PPG “forever”. “We are extremely happy with the quality and reliability of the Envirobase high performance paint system, which delivers ground-breaking waterborne performance characteristics, combining low VOC ‘green’ credentials with speed, productivity and user-friendliness. In addition, the PPG Roundtable discussions have been, and continue to be, invaluable.” Jason also speaks fondly of their Snap-on diagnostic tool and their

The National Collision Repairer – 3 3


5

Minutes with ...

Mitch Prentice RepairHub When did you join the industry? January 2020 What was your first job in the industry? Trailer fabrication What do you do now? Currently studying at RepairHub Training Academy

What do you like about the industry? I enjoy learning about the different ways of doing things What don’t you like about the industry? “High-school” gossip What music do you like? Rap/Rub and hardcore Your Favourite Artist? Kid Ink

T A L K I N G

Autorobot measuring equipment, which in both cases is easy to use and makes their life so much easier. SCRC’s two spray booths are the locally manufactured Seetal brand, Australia’s oldest established manufacturer of Combination Convection Spray Booth Baking Ovens. Interestingly, Jason takes pride in the fact that he manages the facility without the assistance of body shop management software, which he puts down to how close he keeps to what goes on in the business. When we turn to what really differentiates the business, Jason is typically modest, somewhat reluctant to “talk himself up”. However, when pressed he speaks about the quality of the finished repair and treating every vehicle with the same care and attention – irrespective of the age of the vehicle. The team goes the extra mile and delivers personalised service, which is not only typical of a regional business, but clearly inherent in Jason’s nature. They really care about what they do. As we kick off 2021, Jason reflects on the challenges of last year. “We reduced our operating hours, utilised staff leave and, of course, completed the I-CAR Training as previously mentioned. We firmly believed it was crucial to keep the doors open and the business ticking over, which we were able to do, and the really great thing was that we were able to retain all our staff, even during the most severe restrictions.” Jason even bought and old Mini Moke as a project car to ensure he had something to do if things got really quiet; however, it’s yet to be completed. “With the worst behind us – fingers crossed – we look forward to

S H O P

a more productive and more profitable year ahead.” Where to from here? Looking down the track, Jason, like all good businessmen, is considering the strategic direction of the business. “While growth is always an attractive option, it will need to be profitable growth as there are implications for the business. The current footprint is sufficient for today, but any increase in throughput will require further investment and/or relocation. Then, of course, there’s the impact on your own personal work-life balance – how big do you want to be and at what cost?” The other major opportunity is to ensure they stay ahead of the rapidlychanging technological landscape, which will become a necessity to survive and thrive in our industry – although the industry may already be at that point. With a keen eye to the future, Jason sums it all up: “If we were able to attract a greater volume of cars on a consistent basis, we would seriously consider the best way to accommodate them – all options would be on the table. We’ve built a great business here in Sunbury and would look for the best way to continue to serve the local community.” Editor: Josephine and I got to know Jason in 2019 when both our cars were involved in minor collisions. We can attest first-hand to SCRC’s professionalism, quality of workmanship and what I like to call “the care factor”. Recently achieving I-CAR accreditation was the trigger for us to get to know what really makes the business tick.

Your favourite food? Kebabs Your favourite drink? Iced coffee Your hobbies? Taekwondo and planting trees to save the planet Who in the world would you most like to meet? Well, there’s this girl…..

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Jason and the team with the I-CAR Gold Class Award.

3 4 – TA L K I N G S H O P


L I F E T I M E

A C H I E V E M E N T

Criteria for induction into the National Collision Repairer Lifetime Achievement Honour Roll 1. 2. 3. 4.

A minimum of 10 years in the collision repair industry Contributions to the collision repair industry beyond the scope of their local area Contributions to the collision repair industry beyond the scope of their direct employment Nominations shall come from within the collision repair industry on the nomination form with supporting rationale.

A nomination form can be obtained from: The National Collision Repairer PO Box 1258, Kyneton Victoria 3444 Email: joe@nationalcollisionrepairer.com.au Tel: +61 458 588 333

The National Collision Repairer thanks and acknowledges the ongoing support of our sponsors

GROUP

Honour Roll Richard Nathan ................................ David Weatherall ................................ Terry Flanagan OAM ................................ Marshall Duncan ................................ Graham Winter ................................ Jeff Hendler (Int) ................................ Max Chanter ................................ John Howes ................................ Robert Renwick (Int) ................................ David Newton-Ross ................................ Wayne Phipps ................................ Richard Pratt ................................ Bob Rees ................................ Lance Weiss ................................ Mark Brady ................................ Don Wait OAM ................................ Tony Farrugia ................................ Bob Christie ................................ John Zulian ................................ Tom Vukelic ................................ Robin Taylor ................................ Ray McMartin ................................ Colin Edwards ................................ Ian Wilkinson ................................ Julie Thomas ................................ Brian Johnson ................................ Terry Feehan ................................ Owen Webb OAM ................................ Phil Nixon ................................ Trevor Parkes ................................ Tony Warrener OAM ................................ Brenton Abbott ................................ Michael Killen ................................ Carl Tinsley ................................ Per Madsen (Int) ................................ Rex Crowther (Int) ................................ Michael Wilkinson ................................ Garry Clear ................................ Cec Simpson ................................ Mark Czvitkovits ................................ Martin Stone AM ................................ Julie Wadley ................................ Walter Zuber (Int) ................................ Brad Franklin ................................ Jeff Williams ................................ Jim Vais

The National Collision Repairer â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 3 5


M A R K E T I N G

I N S I G H T

with Barry Edney

Marketing basics once more In this series of articles, I have been looking at marketing for smaller “noncorporate” businesses and outlining the key concepts that you will, hopefully, find useful. Just as a recap, in my view the key areas of marketing are segmentation, targeting and positioning, or STP. Segmentation: identifying meaningful groups of customers interested in a particular service or product. Targeting: identifying which of the segments that you want to sell to (and those you don’t!). Positioning: how you go about selling to your chosen segments and how you communicate what your service offer is. Targeting This month, I will discuss targeting in more detail – selecting who you want to sell to and, just as importantly, who you don’t want to sell to. Targeting should be done from the perspective of the segments that you have identified and those that have most opportunity or are easiest to serve. Balance this with your business capabilities, such as your facilities, skills and so on. If you should decide to change your targeting as circumstances or external pressures dictate, you will need to consider the impact on equipment, staff numbers, required skills and any finances to invest in these areas. As I’ve previously stated, although these concepts are explained as a sequence of activities, each of the key marketing areas support and complement each other. That means that, ideally, all should be reviewed and adjusted over time as you learn more about how well your chosen approach is working.

3 6 – MARKETING INSIGHT

So, where to start? After completing the segmentation activity, you should end up with several customer groups (segments) that you have identified in your catchment area. It is unlikely that you will be able to serve all the customer groups you identify as it’s not possible to be all things to all people. So, you need to select a small number of segments that you are going to focus your resources on. Remember, you can’t please all the people, all the time. For a customer segment to be useful, it needs to pass several tests. You should be able to satisfy the needs of everyone in a segment with the same service/product offer – the “value proposition”. One reason for creating the segments in the first place and then deciding which segments to target is the overall objective of serving as many people as possible with the fewest number of different value propositions. The segment should be unique. It should react specifically to the value proposition that you are offering. The segment should be expressed in clear terms that are relevant to the purchasing decision and which guide you in selling to them. For example, for an insurance broker “female drivers over 35 without a recent claim” is useful while “left-handed female drivers” is not. The segment should be identifiable and quantifiable. By that I mean you can find data on the segment. I’m sure insurers can easily Objectives (examples) Few competitors Potential for better margins Growth potential Mainly large organisations Total

sift their data to find female drivers over 35 and without a recent claim. However, data on the number of lefthanded female drivers probably doesn’t exist in detail, so it would be impractical to identify a list of “lefthanded female drivers”. Of course, the segment must be large enough for you to make a profit and cover your costs of communicating to them and attracting their business. Any group that does not meet all these criteria should be rejected because it will not warrant the changes to your product or service, special promotional activity and general hassle factor needed to attract them to your business. All the segments that do pass the test should then be subjected to further evaluation in relation to your objectives to assist you to prioritise. I suggest a simple table and scoring system such as the following example. List your business objectives on the left and score each segment against them. The simplest scoring system is 1 to 3 where 3 is the most attractive, but you can choose any scale that you are comfortable with. In the example below, the segment that best meets the business’ objectives is B. Segment A 1 2 2 1 6

Segment B 2 1 3 3 9


Once this exercise is complete, you should have a small number of segments that you can target with your marketing and sales activity. As I have previously mentioned, that doesn’t mean you turn work away from the segments you did not select. Rather, you simply focus your sales activity, resources and staff skills on the segments you have selected. Any other business should be managed, in an opportunistic way, as it comes along. What next? Having identified which one or two customer segments you are going to target, you now have to find out where your new prospects are and how to reach them. There are several ways to do this. You could build your own list of prospective customers through business networking and research. You could buy a list from commercial sources using the segment profiles you have generated to help you define the list characteristics. Using the insurance broker example, you could identify females over 35 who live in a certain postcode. Creating your own list may be time-consuming but you then have control over how you use and develop it as part of your plan for growth. All the usual online and offline resources can help get you started, including: • search engines • online directories • social media interest groups • exhibitions and trade shows • trade associations • local sponsorships. Lists you buy are becoming more accurate as the quality of data improves. Even so, buying a list can be expensive and you may be limited in the number of times you can use the

information. If you do buy a list, think about the cost using the final “cost per response” calculation rather than the initial “cost per contact”. Assume that 10% of people you contact on the list respond in some way, and that 20% of those bring their car to you. This is a 10% response rate and a 2% success rate. So, if 2% of names on the list bring you their car, what is that in profit, based on the average repair cost? If the expected profit is significantly more that the cost of the list, then it’s likely to be a good investment. With the ever-developing privacy rules around people’s personal data, finding relevant information quickly and easily can be extremely difficult. Reputable data companies can provide lists, gather the data in compliance with the regulations, and will have done so in a way that allows them to use the data for marketing purposes. They are able to collate and pass on the level of detailed data that you need. Add to that, the time and effort it can take you or one of your staff to build your own list is a key reason why I prefer buying lists wherever possible or financially feasible. A number of clients I work with buy an initial list and then maintain or add to it over time as they track their contact with the customer and record the communication they have with them. This is a way of starting with enough data to be successful but without the ongoing cost of regular updates. I would recommend a simple CRM (customer relationship management) system to track these communications. In addition to keeping all the data in one place, it helps you comply with privacy rules and standards. And now ... You can now put your target customer list to use. You need to decide how to STP Flowchart

initiate contact with those on the list and what process to use to take them through from initial contact to generating a job sheet. Once this is defined, you can then reach out to your target customers using advertising, PR, direct marketing, personal selling or other promotions. You may have heard these promotional activities referred to as the “marketing mix”. However, before you go ahead with any of these activities, you must think about what you are going to say and how you will say it. That is the “positioning” – the key message or messages about your services, which includes consideration on branding, pricing and the customer experience itself. Positioning is the final part of my short series on “marketing for noncorporate businesses”, which I will cover in more detail next time. So, until next time I trust this guide has been useful and you have found time to apply some of the guidance I have shared to your businesses already. There are many, many resources online that will give you further examples and further reading. Here are some examples, which in turn have links to further resources: https://tinyurl.com/yxbsglm6 – Broadcast: The official blog of Crucial https://tinyurl.com/y5mghyml – Why You Need a SWOT Analysis for Your Business https://www.mindtools.com/pages/arti cle/stp-model.htm – Mind Tools: Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning (STP) Model If you have any specific questions on any of the information or recommendations that I have shared or the examples that I have used, please provide feedback to the editorial team at the National Collision Repairer. Barry has extensive collision industry experience across Australasia, Europe and Asia Pacific. He is currently located in the UK and can be contacted on barry.edney@triple888.co.uk

The National Collision Repairer – 3 7


F U T U R E

L E A D E R S

Proudly sponsored by IAG

Future Leaders of the Industry THE LATEST FUTURE LEADER OF THE INDUSTRY PRESENTATION WAS MADE TO 21-YEAR-OLD THIRD YEAR AUTOBODY REFINISH APPRENTICE AND REGIONAL WORLDSKILLS WINNER, ISABELLA TURRISE, AT Q-WEST COLLISION CENTRE IN CASTLE HILL. Troy Johns, IAG’s Industry Relations Manager and MC for the occasion, welcomed the guests and thanked Joanne and Mohammad Dandan for hosting the event. He then invited Carl Tinsley of Campbelltown TAFE to say few words. Tinsley is not only Isabella’s teacher but her mentor in her WorldSkills experience. “It is such a thrill to be part of Bella’s journey this early in her career. She has exceptional talent and drive, and I am sure she has a long future in the industry.” Paul Polverino, National Training Manager Axalta, a WorldSkills Gold Sponsor, reinforced Tinley’s comments. “We are really proud of Bella’s commitment to her own development, as we see how much time and effort she puts into every task.” Polverino then presented Bella with a Sagola 4600 Xtreme spray gun, adding: “A good technician can never have too many guns.” Gary Maher, one of the most experienced I-CAR instructors in NSW added that I-CAR was honoured to support the awards and encouraged Bella to never stop learning. “It’s clear that you have already established a commitment to self-development, and I encourage you to keep this up throughout your career.” Johns returned to “the podium” and invited Isabella to come forward for an impromptu interview: TJ: Tell us what drew you to the automotive sector.

Isabella with Troy Johns.

3 8 – FUTURE LEADERS

IT: I initially went to Western Sydney University to study animal welfare, but found it far too theoretical. I had completed a VET automotive course at school, which I really enjoyed, so I picked up where I left off. TJ: So, what is the best thing for you attending TAFE at Campbelltown? IT: The camaraderie and friendship in the class is just fantastic. We all learn so much, not just from Carl, but from each other. TJ: Tell us a bit about your WorldSkills experience. IT: Carl thought I could do well, and it was his belief in me that allowed me to excel. Now I’m looking forward to honing my skills at Axalta and competing at the Nationals later this year. TJ: And you’re enjoying your role here at Q-West Collision? IT: Working with the team here is just fantastic and Mohammed and Joanne cannot do enough for me. It really is a great place to work, learn and grow as a person. TJ: And where do you see yourself in say, five years? IT: It’s still too early to say, but I really have a strong interest in the custom side of our industry – it would be great to work in this space. TJ: And finally – what is your dream car? IT: I’ll give you my top three. An SLR 5000, a ’67 Impala, and either a ClubSport or a Senator. Johns then congratulated Isabella on her achievement and presented the certificate and the award of two I-CAR training courses. He concluded: “IAG is proud to work in partnership with the National Collision Repairer on the Future Leaders of the Industry initiative, as such recognition is strongly aligned with IAG’s own values.” On receiving her award, Bella said: “I am extremely grateful to Q-West Collision, the team at Campbelltown TAFE, Axalta and, of course, I-CAR and IAG for their support of this award.” Editor: We IAG’s commitment to our congratulate next generation and their Isabella and wish ongoing support and her every success sponsorship of this program in the WorldSkills is greatly appreciated. Nationals in Perth.


Nominations The search is on for the

2021 Future Leaders of the Industry Recognising the young, driven emerging talent across our industry. If you know someone who fits the bill, we would love to hear from you. Contact: joe@nationalcollisionrepairer.com.au or call 0458 588 333


C U S T O M

For the first time in 33 years I wasn’t in Canberra in January for the annual pilgrimage to Summernats, but on Friday 8th, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th I saw the re-emergence of a car event in Sydney with the Summernats Slam at Western Sydney Dragway. As the annual Canberra Summernats was postponed until January 2022, the team put together a COVID-safe, scaled down version of the ever-popular event. It still attracted over 200 entrants and 5,000 spectators on the Saturday and Sunday.

C O R N E R

with Owen Webb

Scrutineering and pre-judging kicked off on Friday around lunch time and we got through over 100 cars for the Show and Shine, Burnouts, Skid Row and Drag Racing. Friday also saw the complete drag racing program run with the sportsman and pro slammer categories well supported. The pro slammer category was won by the AC Delco team, although driver Mark Hinchlewood tore his Achilles tendon on the first run and completed two more runs where he had to be helped into the car before taking out the win.

Mark Hayes also ran a PB of 6.68 seconds @195 mph to take out the modified sportsman category. He also won Top Competition, Top Engineering and made Top 10 in the Show and Shine with his awesome LC Torana. Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny with the set up for over 150 cars to be displayed in the Show and Shine. The majority of these cars parked up until final judging and then competed in the “grudge” drag racing, skid row and general cruising. Fourteen cars nominated for the Slam

Aaron Gregory’s Street Machine of the Year.

Slam Champion - Jonathon Danaskos 65 Mustang Coupe.

Top Muscle Car - 71 Camaro.

Top Custom Classic - 57 Chev.

4 0 – C U S TO M C O R N E R


Champion where they had to enter the judging, run in the Motorkhana on Saturday afternoon, and complete a ¼-mile pass on the drag strip on Sunday morning. Saturday afternoon saw the burnout cars hit the pad for qualifying and full competition on Saturday night. There were over 50 cars for the burnout comp, with the Top 15 running off on the Sunday afternoon for the three Masters spots for Summernats. Quite a few of the heavy hitters from interstate couldn’t make it due to border closers and quarantine on return so it gave some new entrants a shot at winning. Sunday morning also saw the 14 cars do their ¼-mile pass to determine the Slam Champion. After the judging, Jonathon Danaskos was awarded the overall Slam Champion, having finished 2nd in Saturday’s Motorkhana and 2nd on the drag strip with his 65 Mustang coupe. It was close with Simon Makdassi, Mark Hayes and Peta Psaris also doing well in the driving events. In fact, only four points separated the top cars.

Not all cars elected to compete in the driving events, with Daniel Wickham’s new Barra powered XM Falcon taking out the Top Sedan, Top Engine Bay and a Top 10 place for the static show. This was one of the cars we were planning to unveil at MotorEx but with that show being postponed again he just had to bring it out and show it. Another real feature was the addition of Skid Row after the introduction at Summernats 32. Most of the entrants cruising chose to have a run down the strip and come back the return road through skid row where they could do a controlled skid in front of the grandstand with the crowd cheering them on. After weeks of COVID-19 discussions with authorities, the event only got the go-ahead during the week leading into the show. I must congratulate the team for persevering with the changing conditions and restrictions to get the event up and running. The entire staff wore masks and entrants and the public were encouraged, but not mandated, to

also wear masks. The team has proven they can put on a COVID-19 safe event with Red Centre Nats and now Summernats Slam, so they will push forward to give car enthusiasts a platform to showcase their builds and enjoy their creations. MotorEx had to be postponed until 20–21 November 2021 mainly due to entrants and traders being unable to get across borders into Victoria in February. Canberra Rev Rock & Roll in March had to be cancelled altogether, also due to border restrictions. Rockynats, Red CentreNATS, MotorEx and Summernats 22 are well and truly in the planning and will be huge events on the custom car calendar. We are all looking forward to seeing you at one of these awesome events in 2021. Owen is a leading figure within the auto re-styling and vehicle modification industry and a Lifetime Achievement Award inductee. He is Technical and Training Manager at Concept Paints.

It was all happening on Skid Row.

The really impressive ACDelco Pro Slammers.

Just warming up ...

Simon Makdassi’s XY King lining up for ¼ mile pass.

The National Collision Repairer – 4 1


S T A T E S I D E

with John Yoswick

Are OEM repair procedures

Subjective? Collision repairers, insurers and OEMs weigh in on this and other key issues. Collision industry events in the United States continue to be held “virtually” early in 2021, bringing together panel discussions including collision repairers, manufacturers and insurers. The moderator of one such online panel discussion asked manufacturer representatives to respond to the view – which he said was put forth by insurers on another panel discussion – that OEM repair procedures are “subjective.” George Irving, senior manager of service and collision operations for Toyota, said he’d use the same oneword response that World War II Army General Anthony McAuliffe did to a German surrender ultimatum at the Battle of the Bulge: “Nuts!” “How somebody can see the technology that we have in a vehicle and say they’re smarter than the Toyota engineers who put it together is totally beyond me,” Irving said. “Fix ’em the way the engineers tell us to fix ’em.” He noted that anyone viewing Toyota procedures online can use a “bubble in the upper right-hand corner” of the screen to give the automaker feedback on the procedures. “Anyone who says they don’t have a voice in them hasn’t been looking at Toyota repair procedures,” he added. John Eck, a collision manager for General Motors agreed. “To say you don’t have to follow the OEM procedures [from those who] designed, built and engineered those vehicles doesn’t make sense,” Eck said. “It’s just something that’s nonnegotiable, and I would challenge anyone having their own vehicle repaired to question whether or not they would want the OEM repair procedures followed.” Andy MacDonald of Lucid Motors, the California-based company whose

4 2 – S TAT E S I D E

first electric vehicles are expected to be released in the United States in March, said the company is developing a portal for its repair procedures with “information that’s critical to our own customers’ well-being”. If someone “takes a subjective view and thinks they know better, I’d be interested to hear it, but I wouldn’t want it practiced on my vehicle,” he said. MacDonald, who previously helped build collision shop programs for Aston Martin and Tesla, said he is developing a similar program for Lucid, with an eye toward ensuring a return on investment by participating shops. “That means doing more than one car once every six months,” MacDonald said. “I don’t need 5,000 body shops tomorrow. We’ll work with a select few in the beginning just as we begin to roll things out. Then as the Lucid vehicle population grows, we’ll open that up and bring shops on as appropriate.” Certification programs During another panel discussion, some “mid-sized” multi-shop operators (MSOs) were asked about their views on several topics, including such manufacturer certification programs. Steve Kelly, chief operations manager for Mike Rose’s Auto Body in the San Francisco Bay Area, said his company doesn’t have many OEM certifications, but has considered its Ford aluminium certification a good move, given that the company wasn’t equipped and trained for aluminium repair prior to the introduction of the aluminium F-150. “Our 17 shops are all within a 64 km radius, so we picked a couple of locations that had excess capacity and put those Ford certifications in there,” Kelly said. “So I would say our return on investment

would be the ability to repair the Ford F-series.” Darrell Amberson said the business model at LaMettry’s Collision, which has 10 collision shops and two mechanical shops in the MinneapolisSt. Paul market, includes many dealer relationships, so OEM certifications have been a priority even if a return has been limited. “We look at it as a long-term investment. It’s part of our character,” Amberson said. “Some of the high-end OEM programs, in particular, take a long time to get a return on investment, if you can get it at all, because some of them are quite expensive. But we do measure how many customers say they came to us because of our certification, and that number has grown significantly in recent years. So we know it’s going in the right direction.” Growth The panellists were asked about their future growth plans. Matt Ebert, CEO

Chris Evans.


of Crash Champions, said the company had added 10 shops in 2020, giving it 50 overall across six US states. He believes the pandemic and economic downturn have played some role in the company’s growth. “I think there are shop owners who are having conversations with us about maybe selling that wouldn’t have talked a year ago, just because of the uncertainty,” said Ebert. “Maybe before they wanted a few more years before they considered it. Now they might have that conversation. I don’t think they’re selling any cheaper than they would have before COVID, because why would they? They could just wait it out. But I think people are considering it now who maybe wouldn’t have before.” The other MSOs on the panel said they are currently less focused on acquisitions. “I frankly see it as a pretty good place in the market to be,” Amberson said of his company’s footprint in the Twin Cities market. “I would see our company continuing to grow but at a more modest pace, growing more within our region, a shop or two every year, something along those lines.” Stephen Kendrick Jr., CEO of Kendrick Paint and Body, which has seven shops in two states, said he too is more focused on internal growth

Darrell Amberson.

within the company. “I think COVID has brought some opportunities; I was able to bring some very talented people on board who were laid off to help us grow as a better organisation,” Kendrick said. Steve Kelly said his company “looks for opportunities” to add shops but is being “real selective” currently. “I want to grow revenue back to where we were pre-COVID first,” he said. The virtual world Insurers in the United States have been handling virtually all claims remotely during the pandemic, and insurance company representatives on a panel said that is likely to continue. “Prior to COVID, we were scratching our heads, wondering how much customers would accept a touchless claims experience,” said Chris Evans of State Farm, the largest auto insurer in the United States. “We went to 99.2% virtual inspection activity toward the end of March, and it’s just phenomenal how we were able to make that transition. There’s a lot more customer acceptance. I think, long term, we’ve proven that virtual works, and I think you’re going to see more of it.” Sandee Lindorfer, auto line director for Allstate, the fourth-largest auto insurer, focused on what she sees

Sandee Lindorfer.

as the benefits of virtual claims handling for shops. “We’re not in their shops, which helps keep them healthy, and it also offers them efficiency gains,” she said. “ If you think about adjusters coming into a shop, they interact with the folks in the office. Many know the folks who work in the shop, so they stop and chat with them to be friendly. Then they work with an estimator or manager. You think about all the time that adjuster takes from a shop throughout the day. When we do a virtual interaction, it’s a one-on-one interaction, and it’s very efficient. Shops also can reach us when it’s convenient for them. When we physically inspected cars, we were more on our schedule rather than the shop’s schedule. So, there are lots of wins for the shop.” Editor: There is no doubt that 2020 has changed the way we work. However, our ongoing commitment to following OEM procedures must continue to be of paramount importance. John is a freelance writer based in the United States who has been writing about the automotive industry since 1988, he is also the editor of the weekly Crash Network www.CrashNetwork.com

Andy McDonald.

The National Collision Repairer – 4 3


E V E N T S

&

T R A I N I N G

Proudly sponsored by Suncorp

Training contacts 3M Australia George Di Scala Tel: 0400 382 649

Calendar of events KNOWING WHEN IT’S ON AND WHAT’S COMING UP Rev Rock n Roll 5th – 7th March 2021 Canberra Van Nationals 2nd – 5th April 2021 Parkes Hot Rod and Custom Expo 29th and 30th May 2021 Sydney

Suncorp update Suncorp’s Community Café, in partnership with Wesley Mission and Darcy Street Project, celebrated the achievements of 30 students who have completed a full or part Certificate II in Hospitality. Due to COVID-19 restrictions this year’s graduation ceremony was held virtually. Students and guests connected virtually from their home or the office to the Suncorp Discovery Store. Wesley Mission CEO, Keith Garner, acknowledged each student’s achievements and Darcy Street Project CEO and Founder, John Cafferatta treated guests to a virtual coffee tasting and sensory experience. Each student spent time in the Suncorp Community Café to complete a full or part Certificate II in Hospitality. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the program remained open, giving the students hands-on experience in the skills needed to pursue a career in hospitality, such a making quality coffee and providing great customer service. Graduating student, Ayra Dipu, said the experience was more than just a training course. “It was an opportunity to interact with Suncorp

4 4 – EVENTS & TRAINING

customers. I feel like it is not just a cup of coffee, it’s a pathway in my life,” she said. “I can now work in a café or any restaurant as a barista, or even the hotel industry.” Suncorp Regional Manager Geoff Birt added: “The camaraderie and friendships that form between the students and our team members speaks to the tight-knit community that was created. What’s most impressive is that our customers can feel this vibe when they are in store.” In addition, Suncorp is also committed to building financial resilience, and the Community Café enables them to offer a pathway to education and employment, which plays an important role in improving financial wellbeing of Australians through their Financial Inclusion Action Plan.

AkzoNobel Tel: (03) 9644 1711 Axalta Coating Systems Product training Axalta services Tel: 1800 292 582 BASF Australia Ltd James Green Tel: 0402 110 378 Dents R Us Training Academy Laury Chibnall Tel: 0438 383 555 iBodyshop E: seminars@ibodyshop.com Tel: (03) 9548 7444 I-CAR Australia Brisbane Office Admin Tel: (07) 3219 9088 STORKAWD Pty Ltd (Fusor and Farecla) Tel: (03) 9560 6060 Mipa Australia Pty Ltd Tel: (03) 9739 8800 PPG Australia Pty Ltd www.ppgrefinish.com.au/training VIC/TAS: (03) 8586 0000 NSW/ACT: (02) 9854 6600 QLD/NT: (07) 3823 8000 SA: 0412 832 919 WA: 0437 902 125 Protec Tel: 1800 076 466 Saint Gobain Customer Service - 1300 007 650 Michelle Morgan - 0425 516 894 SAPE Automotive Training Academy Tel: (02) 9772 9000 sia Abrasives Tel: 1300 742 123 Thatcham-Escribe www.thatchamescribe.com.au 1300 769 348 U-pol Tel: 0400 366 483 Valspar Automotive Tel: (02) 4368 4054


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P R O D U C T

S H O W C A S E

Car-O-Liner launches new storage cabinet for PointX II Increase technician efficiency and body shop profitability with a flexible, organised and ergonomic addition to your business. Flexible. Move the PointX II easily around the workshop. From your diagnostic bay to the collision repair bay, PointX II can increase your workshop’s performance by always being near at hand. Roll it near your bench or lift and get started! Organised. Keep your PointX II and its accessories organised, making it easier and faster to complete repairs. The storage cart provides a one-stop place to store your PointX II measuring arm, all accessories, a computer, tangent board and screen, as well as many other items. Accessories are easily identifiable, giving improved stock management. Ergonomic. No need to work from the floor or other inappropriate surface. The new storage cart places the PointX II and measuring parts at

a convenient height, ensuring that technicians tire less easily and can work faster with less physical. stress.

stays put, no rolling off the cabinet. For more information, contact www.car-o-liner.com.au or call CarO-Liner Australia on (02) 4271 6287.

Features and benefits: • Side storage – for the PointX II, the extension and 600mm tube. • Screen mount – keeps computer screen at comfortable viewing height. • First drawer – keyboard and mouse storage, even room for a small laptop. • Second drawer – space for extra accessories. • Third drawer – measuring parts and stay organised; tubes, magnetic holder, measuring adapters (including space for extra adapter kits – sold separately). • Cabinet storage – space for computer, electric source etc. (an extra shelf is included in the cart). • WSS side panel – the pattern matches any hooks available from our WSS system. • Rubber mat on top– equipment

Antistatic guns: techno-hype or the professional’s secret weapon? When spray painting cars for a living, eventually you will experience disappointing results. Fixing refinish problems is time-consuming and therefore expensive. Worst case, you need to rub it back and spray again. And that hurts. A key contributor to paint finish problems is static. Static charge impedes paint colour matching, blending and flow. It also attracts dust and other particulates to vehicle surfaces, creating imperfections that must be removed at shop expense. Surprisingly, not many shops use anti-static guns, about which the refinish industry was sceptical when first introduced. There were already anti-static wipes and other products claiming to do the same thing, and the guns looked like blow dryers more at home in a hair salon than a panel shop. Throw in the “too good to be true” claims attached to such products, and consequently it took a while for the guns to catch on. The guns work by neutralising static electricity created through touching surfaces or when handling parts, especially during prep when cleaning and wiping down. Essentially, painters set the car up for problems simply by prepping. U-POL Australia has been appointed agent for leading French anti-static gun manufacturer Star Finish. General Manager U-POL Australia, Damian Cappelluti, says the Australian refinish industry is starting to see the benefits. “At first, paint shops resisted the idea, but we had one customer try one and a few months later ordered another three. They were mightily impressed. The Star Finish gun is a robust unit. Just connect it to an air hose and direct the airstream over the

4 6 – P R O D U C T S H OW C A S E

car just before spraying topcoats or primers. It’s that simple.” While anti-static guns address dust and particle imperfections, many find the main benefit is improved colour matching and paint flow. “Removing static helps with paint coverage, blending, and allows the paint to get into seams and other tight spots.” At close to $2,000, the Star Finish anti-static gun is not cheap. However, when you calculate the cost of rework that could have been minimised with a quick anti-static spray, it will pay for itself many times over. After all, that’s what being a professional is all about – knowing the shortest path to producing first-class results. For more information, visit: www.u-pol.com, call 02 4731 2655, email sales@u-pol.com.au or contact your local U-POL representative.


The Ultimate Collison solution by Opus IVS Opus IVS, leaders in both mechanical and collision diagnostic solutions, offers body shops a unique collision package that is coupled with their legendary IVS 360 live diagnostic support service.

The Opus IVS DrivePro Collison solution includes: • ADAS Calibration Rig – mobile and flexible Autocom car calibration rig/targets (full training provided). • DrivePro – multi brand diagnostic solution. • Autocom – multi-brand diagnostics for cars and light vans from 1988 onwards; includes CDP+ wireless VCI and is installed with PicoScope7, the latest touchscreen software from PicoScope. • IVS 360 – a quick link to access IVS 360 Live Diagnostic Support on both devices. With the ever-increasing advancements in vehicle technology and the continual integration of intelligent driver assistance systems,

workshops need to be equipped to repair and calibrate advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). The Opus IVS Collision solution is essential for body shops looking to implement or improve their ADAS capability. The ADAS calibration component of the overall Opus IVS solution hosts a wide range of benefits such as its easy-to-handle one person operation and capability to test and calibrate vehicles of all sizes. Supporting the overall hardware package, customers also receive unlimited access to the IVS 360 diagnostic support service. IVS 360

offers live repair guidance and remote programming services to help body shops fix complex vehicles safely and fast. All Opus IVS mechanical repair and collision solutions come with live repair guidance from IVS 360 OEbrand-specific master technicians. For more information, call +61 (3) 8561 7600, email sales-au@OpusIVS.com or visit www.OpusIVS.com


P R O D U C T

S H O W C A S E

Two great new products from SAPE Specifications: • Powerful 220W motor • Precise 9mm orbit • No-load speed 1000–3000rpm • 75mm back-up pad • Lithium battery 12v/2.0ah • Charging time 1 hour • Run time 30 minutes (no load). The kit includes a dual action polisher, two lithium (12v/2.0ah) batteries, a battery charger, a foam/polishing/wool pad and a sanding disc. Macroc MR500 Dual Action Polisher New from the Macroc Power Tool range, the MR500 Dual Action Polisher is perfect for paint defect removal, paint correction, and polishing and waxing, featuring both a rotational and orbital action to deliver fast, effective results. Key features of the MR500 are that it eliminates scratches, swirls, and buff marks to give professional results; it has a comfortable and ergonomic design with variable-speed controller; and comes in a premium hard case.

Finished in modern grey for an eyecatching statement, these products allow for the ultimate in control and flexibility, thus speeding up the repair and prep process. The range includes a Rotating Bumper Stand, Bumper Wall Storage Rack, Multifunction Bonnet Stand, Panel Storage Rack, Parts Cart, and T-Bar Stand. There are also plans to expand the line-up in the near future.

Cam Collision Repair Carts, Stands and Racks Check out the new line-up of CAM collision repair carts, stands and racks.

For further information on both these great products, visit https://shop.sape.com.au/ or contact the SAPE Group on (02) 9772 9000 for all your equipment needs.

aprons, but also wood repair and reconstruction, rubber door bonding and, of course, automotive joint bonding. Optimal storage is between 2°C and 8°C, as storage outside this temperature range can adversely affect the product’s properties. If stored properly, this product has a shelf life of 12 months from the packaging date. As with any high-performance engineered product, Repair has its limitations. It is not recommended for

use in pure oxygen and/or oxygen-rich systems and should not be selected as a sealant for chlorine or other strong oxidizing materials. Material removed from containers may be contaminated during use and therefore should not be returned to the original container. For more information, visit https://born2bond.bostik.com/en/h ome, contact Customer Services on +61 1300 364 710, or Ross Lewis at ross.lewis@bostik.com or on +61 411 744 002.

Bostik’s Born2Bond Repair Born2Bond Repair is a patented, gapfilling, instant adhesive and repair product with excellent adhesion to a very broad range of materials and surfaces. Repair is ideal for instant bonding and repairing because it combines the strength of a structural adhesive with the speed of an instant adhesive. One of the key features of this exciting new product is that it has a fixture time of 60 seconds and hardens in 5 to 10 minutes, subject to the type of substrate, of course. Repair provides instant adhesion with high bonding strength, has low volume shrinkage and fills gaps of any volume. Repair bonds a large range of materials (excluding polyolefins), and once hardened is machinable, sandable, paintable and is also impact resistant. The gel consistency is engineered for precise application and is non-sagging for vertical applications. Typical applications for Repair are a range of aftermarket repairs, such as side mirrors, bumpers and spoiler

4 8 – P R O D U C T S H OW C A S E


Solutions In Automotive


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The National Collision Repairer News, views & information for the Collision Industry Professional

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The National Collision Repairer News, views & information for the Collision Industry Professional