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March 2018



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

Successful generational change at Parramatta Smash Repairs Damian Cahill discusses Holden’s business transformation We tour Kangan Institute’s Automotive Centre of Excellence

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Succeed together … or fail as individuals We are all too aware of the changing environment in which we operate and, as I move around the country, I hear people say that “the accelerating rate of change is the biggest single challenge facing the industry”. We cite technological change, structural change, the changing nature of materials and the changes taking place under the bonnet. When we look at all these factors, it’s no wonder that they can become overwhelming to some and this, in turn, leads many to believe they are in a fight for survival. Make no mistake – we are in the fight of our lives. We are fighting each other for market share, we are fighting work providers for better rates, we are fighting each other for the limited talent pool of new technicians and we are fighting against the wave of change sweeping through the industry. But does it need to be this way? This is our industry and we are all in it together. It is only by coming together as an industry that we will be successful. In every aspect of our business lives, we are dealing with people just like ourselves. Sure, we all have different perspectives, but fundamentally we are all looking for a better future. On page 12 we meet the three generations at Parramatta Smash


Repairs where they look for ways to improve their business environment and ask themselves what they can do to attract and retain the next generation of technicians. Not coincidentally, they have nurtured and developed two Future Leaders of the Industry. In a similar vein, on page 20 the spotlight is on the team at Kangan Institute’s Automotive Centre of Excellence, which operates a partnership model whereby they work with industry and I-CAR to develop career paths for the apprentices. They understand the need to create tailored apprenticeship programs that work for everyone: the apprentice, the employer and the RTO. On page 16 we present another Future Leader of the Industry, Maxine Colligan of Gemini Smash Repairs in Campbelltown, a second-year apprentice who recently won the Regional WorldSkills competition in the Vehicle Painting category. The team at Gemini, the local TAFE and BASF all work together to ensure Maxine has a training program that meets everyone’s needs. On page 28 we look back 30 years to the introduction of I-CAR into New Zealand, which is the result of the commitment and foresight of individual

pioneers, the New Zealand industry association and I-CAR in the USA as they all worked toward a common goal. On page 40, Mark Czvitkovits also highlights the importance of their partnerships with industry and the RTOs and discusses how this enhances the I-CAR vision to ensure the industry has the required information, knowledge and skills. We also chat with Damian Cahill on page 18. Damian is the man responsible for the collision business at Holden as they undertake a significant business transformation. The Car Guy takes us behind the scenes at the LiquiMoly Bathurst 12 hour on page 32 and we review Summernats31 in Custom Corner on page 38. So, as we look forward into the unknown, throughout this issue we can see real success will indeed come from those who work together for both their own benefit and the benefit of the industry. As always, happy to chat.

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“Staying connected to our industry” The National Collision Repairer – 1



CollisionRepairer 2018

Contents Latest News

Special Reports

Local news


Global news




General Motors’ mixed-material strategy trims down the new Silverado.

Events Update and Training Contacts




Regular Features

Talking Shop


We visit Parramatta Smash Repairs to learn what makes this thirdgeneration business so successful.

The Car Guy Movers and Shakers


Damian Cahill of Holden Australia discusses the Holden transformation.

John takes us behind the scenes at the recent LiquiMoly Bathurst 12 hour.


Custom Corner


A look inside Kangan Institute’s Automotive Centre of Excellence in Melbourne.

Product Showcase

We take a walk down memory lane as I-Car NZ celebrates 30 years.




Two mid-size MSOs share their thoughts and ideas.

EDITOR: Joe McFadries 0458 588 333


ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Josephine McFadries 0406 421 902

Josephine McFadries 0406 421 902

EDITORIAL CONSULTANT: David Newton-Ross 0418 298 572

PRINTED BY: Bright Print 02 9757 3000

ART CONSULTANT: Chris Stone (Stone Dezine) 0407 939 668


Mark shares his view on the importance of partnerships .


Summary of the latest products designed for your business.


Owen gives us the inside story on Summernats 31.

I-CAR Update Trans-Tasman

SUB EDITOR: Joanna Dolan


We meet Maxine Colligan of Gemini Smash Repairs in Campbelltown.

PPG’s John Hristias shares his tips on dealing with leftover colour.


Future Leaders

PUBLISHED BY: JMF Solutions Pty Ltd PO Box 3183, Dendy, Vic 3186 Australia 0458 588 333




Hammer Dolly


Collision Repair A s s o c i a t i o n the benchmark for quality

DISCLAIMER The National Collision Repairer is published by JMF Solutions Pty Ltd, 452 Victoria Street, North Melbourne, Victoria 3051.This publication is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism and review under the Copyright Act (1968), no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission. Enquiries should be addressed to the publisher. The publisher believes all the information in this publication to be correct at the time of printing, however is not in a position to make a guarantee to this effect and accepts no liability in event of any information proving inaccurate. Prices, addresses and phone numbers were, after investigations and to the best of our knowledge and belief, up to date at the time of printing. It is also not feasible for the publisher to ensure that advertisements which appear in the publication comply with the Competition and Consumer Act (2010). The responsibility must therefore be on the individual, company or advertising agency submitting the advertisement for publication. Whilst every endeavour has been made to ensure complete accuracy, the publisher cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Copyright © JMF Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 117 914 235


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Blackstone targets the AMA panel business AMA Group Limited referred to a recent article in the Australian Financial Review and confirmed that it had received a confidential, nonbinding, conditional, indicative proposal from Blackstone Private Equity in relation to its panel business. The AMA group owns 100 collision repair centres in Australia and New Zealand, with reported sales of AU$323.8 million last fiscal year. This indicative proposal values the panel business at $530 million on a cash-free, debt-free basis and is subject to numerous conditions including completion of satisfactory due diligence and internal approvals by Blackstone and agreed transaction structure and documentation. In the early stages there is no certainty that a transaction with Blackstone or any other party will eventuate, or of the nature of any such transaction. More recently however, the Australian Financial Review reported that it understood Blackstone was nearing the end of its exclusive due

diligence and provided nothing untoward is discovered late in proceedings, could be finalising a binding offer for AMA's biggest business unit. From all reports, Blackstone likes what it has seen s o far. Jonathan Chamberlain, a managing director in the firm's Sydney private equity team, is understood to be spearheading the deal and lining up funding to finalise the bid. The panel business accounted for 90 per cent of AMA Group's gross profit last year and the bulk of the company's $583 million equity value. AMA Group's crash repair business has grown rapidly to 100 vehicle repair centres around the country after an aggressive expansion, having added 33 additional panel facilities in the past 16 months. Blackstone owns a similar business in the United States, the Service King Collision Centre

chain, and brings some knowledge of the sector and business model to the situation. The AMA Group granted Blackstone exclusivity, having tested market appetite late last year, and interestingly sources said former country head at The Carlyle Group Simon Moore, a man that knows how Blackstone would be going about its business, is giving advice to AMA Group's board. Meanwhile, AMA Group's investors have turned their attention to what the company would look like without its panel business. AMA Group is expected to continue trading on the ASX, albeit as a much smaller and less profitable company than it is currently, with analysts,estimating that AMA Group's gross profit would drop to about $30 million following the sale, however it is likely to be closer to $40 million once it can extract the most out of its recent acquisition of Automotive Solutions Group. AMA will continue to inform shareholders and the market in accordance with its continuous disclosure obligations.

Axalta Services announces new courses for its refinish customers Axalta Services has recently launched its 2018 training schedule for its customers in Australia and New Zealand. This year’s program will provide several courses that focus on effective business strategies, customer relationship management and change management. From repair planning, leadership and recruitment to SMART repairs, participants will be provided with valuable insights into the latest tools, techniques and methodologies needed to increase throughput and decrease cycle times within the auto repair process. “We’re about working with refinishers to implement solutions that drive productivity and profitability in their body shop,” said Robin Taylor, Axalta Services Manager. “Our training courses are designed to help body shops who are busy working in their business to take the time to effectively work on their business. By leveraging the depth and breadth of our experience, participants will leave with a renewed focus on their businesses’ goals. And, as a member of I-CAR Training Alliance, all courses are I-CAR certified.” Axalta’s Training Alliance with I-CAR means that, upon completion of any Axalta Services’ course, you will be awarded credit hours that can be applied towards the I-CAR Gold Class Professionals and Platinum Individual

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designations or be used to meet role-relevant annual training requirements. Each credit point earned will be submitted to I-CAR and recorded on your personal training record. Axalta Services provides value-added services designed to help Australian and New Zealand body shops operate to their fullest potential. Services include personalised consulting and coaching, training courses on “best practice” procedures using lean and pre-lean concepts, industry networking opportunities and access to tools that can help improve the way a body shop manages their business. To find out the latest training schedule for 2018 and how Axalta Services can help strengthen your bottom line, visit

Why have 500+ shops recently changed to

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Access: or contact Steve O’Brien on tel: 0418 736 443

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Capricorn searches for rising stars of the industry Capricorn has kicked off the new year with a new and exciting member promotion that seeks to locate star apprentices among its 17,000 plus member workshops across Australia and New Zealand. The Capricorn Rising Stars competition seeks to recognise and reward the talented young people who represent the future of the automotive repair industry. With a shortage of qualified mechanics and technicians, Capricorn is looking to encourage apprentices who show initiative and commitment to learn along with passion for the auto industry. Capricorn Members are asked to nominate their apprentices, with a group of finalists and the winner to be selected by a panel that consists of some of the most experienced professionals in the Australasian automotive aftermarket industry. The Capricorn Rising Stars judging panel includes David Fraser, CEO Automotive – Capricorn, Sean Rahaley, General Manager – Castrol, Stuart Charity, Executive Director – Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA), Jeff Smit, Technical Editor and Director – TaT Biz, Rachael Sheldrick, Director – Workshop Whisperer, and Gavin Cribb, Business Development Manager –

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Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) Kangan Institute. The apprentice automotive technician who is selected as the winner of the Capricorn Rising Stars competition will take their workshop boss and two friends on a trip to the spectacular 2018 Vodafone Gold Coast 600 Supercar race event, which will be held on the streets of Surfers Paradise from October 19 to 21 thanks to major sponsor, Castrol. The Capricorn member who nominates the winning Capricorn Rising Star apprentice will also receive industry renowned Workshop Whisperer customer service training for their business and their apprentice as part of the winner’s prizes. All Capricorn Rising Star competition finalists will win a $1,000 tool kit from Repco, rewarding and assisting them during this important early stage of their careers. All finalists will also receive an AutoMate online training program to keep them

updated on the latest vehicle technology, providing integral technical assistance in the constantly developing automotive service and repair sector of the industry. The Capricorn Rising Stars winner and finalists will also receive tickets to the Capricorn Gala Dinner & Tradeshow in their region, along with a profile story in Capricorn’s member magazine, Ignition. This competition is supported by long-term Capricorn preferred suppliers and strong supporters of apprentice career development in the automotive repair industry: Castrol, Repco, AutoMate, TaT Biz and the Workshop Whisperer. According to Greg Wall, Capricorn Group CEO, the Capricorn Rising Stars competition is set to reveal and reward some of the most outstanding young individuals of the industry from Capricorn’s Australasian member base. “The Capricorn Rising Stars competition is all about promoting and encouraging the people who represent the future of the automotive repair industry. We strongly encourage our members to nominate their apprentices, who will then be in the running for our top prize along with our range of finalists’ prizes. It is a great way to reward the apprentices who are displaying outstanding commitment so early in their automotive repair careers,” Wall stated. Capricorn members can nominate their star apprentices quickly and easily online at, with entries closing on April 30, 2018. The highly detailed selection and judging process will see the finalists announced by July 1 and the Capricorn Rising Stars winner will be announced on August 1, 2018. For more information, connect to:

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I-CAR announces Gold Class for Stanleys Panel Works, Queensland

I-CAR Australia’s Director – OEM & Industry Relations, Jason Trewin, recently announced that Stanleys Panel Works in north Queensland has been awarded the prestigious I-CAR Gold Class Collision status. “Modern day crash repair technology is rapidly changing and evolving. It is critical to be aware of, and up with, the latest trends and repair methods. To deliver the absolute highest standard of repair, investment in training must be undertaken. I-CAR Gold Class reflects the commitment of Stanleys Panel Works and, more importantly, their team members, to further develop their skills and their ability to deliver excellence in collision repair," commented David Leszczewicz of Stanleys. Jason Trewin said: “Stanleys Panel Works in Cairns made the commitment to achieving I-CAR Gold Class two years ago and have recently received their accreditation. It’s fantastic to see a front-runner in the industry setting the standard for all those to follow, and by achieving I-CAR Gold Class, Stanleys Panel Works joins an elite group of repairers to be recognised with this certification. Well done to all those involved.”

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From humble beginnings to the guy you can rely on Forty years ago, rising from the ashes of the soon-to-be discontinued General Paper Industries, Colin Edwards bought out his partners with his life savings, assumed control of the Automotive division and commenced trading as GPI Automotive Products. “I even cashed in my $5,000 super to make it work,” reflected Colin. The business consisted of a 300m2 leased factory in Sunshine and limited plant and equipment. The initial focus was the manufacture of the first Australian lightweight body filler and Tuff Buff sheepskin buff pads. The workforce consisted of one woman sewing buff pads and one woman spending half her time in the office and the other half labelling cans and cleaning buff pads. The biggest single change in the early years was to change the business model from direct to enduser to a reseller model, which in turn lead to the development of a network of long term partnerships. “Innovation was the key in the early days; for example, we were the first to put brown paper rolls in the vans for masking because, at that stage, everyone was using newspaper and the shop owners would complain about the time taken to mask up as the employees would be reading the newspapers! We continued to innovate, later bringing rolls of masking plastic to the trade, and today there would not be a shop out there not using plastic masking,” said Colin. “We also introduced the fold-up workbench and many other innovations over the years,” he added. Colin always believed in

The original GPI building in Sunshine

Colin Edwards

diversification and the first step was into the fitness market – and GPI Sport and Fitness was created in the early eighties. This was the beginning of a strategy that is still alive and well today, with the GPI group of companies having grown into eight entities employing 184 people, over 20 of whom have been with the company for over 20 years. The business has come a long way from those early years in Sunshine and it now operates 14 warehouses Australia-wide, including an 18,500m2 head office and warehouse in Mulgrave, southeast of Melbourne. There are still six warehouses dedicated to servicing the automotive refinish sector. Colin’s contribution to the industry was recognised in 2013 when he was awarded a National Collision Repairer Lifetime Achievement Award. In Colin’s own words: “It proves that dreams are possible, and that opportunity can be the greatest gift given to anyone. If you have the desire to succeed and are given an opportunity, you can create your own future and take it as far as you want.” Editor: We look forward to catching up with Colin again soon as he approaches his 50-year anniversary in the automotive refinish industry.

CAPRICORN TRADE ACCOUNT Fewer bills to pay, less paperwork!

“What did we do before we joined Capricorn? Spent lots of time sourcing different parts and paying different bills. Now, with our Capricorn Trade Account, we get instant credit to use with so many Preferred Suppliers – including the biggest names in the industry – plus the convenience of having just one statement to pay each month. We even earn reward points with our purchases – which we’ve redeemed for some great holidays with Capricorn Travel!”

SVS Autocare - Capricorn Member

JJoin oi n Capricorn C ap ricorn ttoday. od ay. c ap r icor n .co op 18 1800 0 0 560 560 5 554 5 4 | oi n @ c ap r icor n .co op | Participation in the Capricorn Rewards Program is subject to the Capricorn Rewards Program Terms and Conditions which can be found at

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MTA NSW gets real about the true costs of motor vehicle body repair A new cost calculator tool that will assist motor body repair businesses across New South Wales to transparently identify their costs and a charge-out hourly rate for their business has been launched by the Motor Traders’ Association of NSW (MTA NSW). The tool, which has been independently analysed by national business advisory and accountancy firm BDO and examined by the Australian Tax Office, enables all motor body repair business owners to capture all of the costs associated with running their businesses and also includes helpful worksheets for profit and loss, tradespersons costs and has the added potential to highlight areas of business operations where further efficiencies and/or productivity improvements can be made. MTA NSW CEO, Stavros Yallouridis, said: “The cost calculator will help NSW motor body repair businesses not only identify their actual costs of doing business, but assist in determining a fair, reasonable and transparent ‘shop’ or business charge-out hourly rate that

MTA Queensland announced as a mentor to industry apprentices In the 2017-2018 Federal Budget, the Australian Government announced the Industry Specialist Mentoring for Australian Apprentices program (ISMAA). The ISMAA will be managed by the Department of Education and Training. The initiative aims to increase apprentice retention rates, particularly in the first two years of training, and improve completion rates and support the supply of skilled workers in specific industries. The program will provide highly skilled industry mentors to assist apprentices and trainees, who may experience barriers to completing their training, by guiding them through issues and providing face-toface support. The Motor Trades Association of Queensland (MTA

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is verifiable, defendable and in accordance with sound business and accounting practices.” “Too many motor body repair businesses that have heavily invested in training, equipment and tooling are being forced to accept rates and charges demanded by work providers that simply do not reflect the costs of their business. This places them at a significant disadvantage or could even jeopardise their future,” Yallouridis said. “Most work providers to the motor body repair industry have their own calculators or processes that are required to be applied to secure work. These tools or processes rarely capture the complete picture and may even contain elements or parameters designed to produce a pre-determined outcome. This leads to repair businesses with different capabilities or services, different staff levels and costs all being Queensland) is delighted to announce our selection as an ISMAA Provider for the automotive industry following an extensive procurement process. Automotive apprentices in Queensland will be supported by highly experienced mentors who are able to assist apprentices by: • providing support in the development of technical skills; • supporting off-the-job learning needs; • providing career and pathway advice related to the automotive industry; • providing motivation and confidence building to help achieve potential and build resilience; • being a positive role model to help encourage independence, selfreliance and assistance with resolving issues that could pose a threat to the completion of the training; and • providing support and advice to apprentices during periods of personal difficulty. MTA Queensland also have

subjected to a rate that is not reflective of their actual costs, even though they may have already made significant productivity improvements,’’ he added. MTA NSW Motor Body Repair Division Chairman and MTA NSW Board Director, Brian Cowan, said the Association had worked with its members, its national association, the MTAA, and other stakeholders including prominent accountancy firms in developing the cost calculator. “We expect that use of the cost calculator will improve transparency and help the Association to defend its members’ rights to fair and reasonable compensation reflective of the input costs and not some determined rate by a work provider,” Cowan said. “This is one of a range of initiatives being progressively rolled out by MTA NSW to not only improve business acumen during a period of unprecedented change and sustained pressure from dominant market participants, but also ensure consumer confidence, and consumer choice of repairer,” Cowan added. The calculator has already been distributed to MTA NSW Member motor body repair businesses. a dedicated webpage for the mentor program which outlines additional links to resources that are useful to employers and apprentices. Our mentors will support mental health problems and provide a process to assist in dealing with issues and seeking help. Mentoring is available free to any Australian automotive apprentice or trainee in the first two years of their training. Dr Brett Dale, Group CEO for MTA Queensland said, “We are really excited to be delivering this extremely important mentoring program to automotive apprentices and it is integral to the future workforce of the automotive industry. We are also committed to ensuring employers are fully connected to the program to provide positive outcomes for the student, employer and industry.” Please contact to enquire or sign-up.

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Empowering repairers with the strength of a global networkb srtb srtbsr tb After a hugely successful 2017, collision repair franchisor Fix Auto is carrying the momentum into 2018. Having recruited numerous shops in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia and positioning itself to be attractive to Australian insurers and fleet owners, now Fix Auto Australia is well placed for even further growth in 2018. Add to this Fix Auto World’s acquisition of global automotive glass brand NOVUS Glass in June 2017 and it is clear to see that Fix Auto is providing a real platform for entrepreneurial collision repairers to grow their businesses across different verticals. Fix Auto Australia, as part of the Fix Auto World organisation, draws on over 40 years of franchising knowledge with NOVUS Glass as well as Fix Auto’s own 25 years. Combining over 65 years of experience means that Fix Auto and NOVUS franchisees are now better supported than ever before. Working with Fix Auto World means that Fix Auto Australia has access to global best practises and is always at the forefront of innovation. A good idea from another part of the world is swiftly communicated to Australia and indeed, vice-versa, creating the fluid communication that is necessary to thrive in today’s competitive landscape. The addition of NOVUS Glass is also an exciting development for Fix Auto shop owners, allowing them to grow their business by adding a new revenue stream to their location. In

IAG releases first half results

Terry Feehan

Canada, many Fix Auto shops have already seen a real increase in business by adding the NOVUS franchise to their existing collision repair facility. The true key to success for Fix Auto is selecting only the right franchisees for its network. By working with great body shops and providing them with state-of-the-art tools including a real-time performance monitoring dashboard, a revolutionary mobile estimate app and marketing support, the repairer can focus on providing quality repairs and a great customer experience. The appeal to work providers of Fix Auto is clear, dealing with a network of guaranteed quality, but still with independent owners who have a vested interest in being successful and delivering consistently good service to the work providers’ customers. For repairers, it means a strong future, keeping in control of their own business and increasing opportunities for growth.

IAG achieved an improved underlying performance in the first half of the 2018 financial year, consistent with guidance provided at the beginning of the year. “This is an encouraging result for IAG. It reflects solid like-for-like gross written premium (GWP) growth of nearly 4%, primarily achieved through rate increases in commercial and consumer, along with some volume growth in motor. At a reported level, our comprehensive reinsurance protection in the half saw net natural peril claim costs below allowance while a higher favourable credit spread impact and larger than anticipated reserve releases also helped boost our reported margin. “We have raised our full year reported margin guidance to 15.5–17.5% based on a positive revision to expected reserve releases and credit spreads and we have reaffirmed our low single digit GWP growth expectation. “Operationally, our optimisation program continues to track to plan and we have announced a strategic review of the options for our Asian businesses, which we expect to be complete by the end of the calendar year. “We started to see a favourable impact over the half of a number of initiatives we have put in place. This included programs of work around combating claims inflation through our car hire initiatives and customer choice campaign, accelerating our partnering with global experts to simplify processes and reduce complexity, and the bedding down of the Australia Division, created in July last year.” Peter Harmer IAG Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.

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Cec Simpson – Founder Parramatta Smash Repairs founder, Cec Simpson, began his panel beating apprenticeship at Ashfield Motors in the late fifties at a time when, by necessity, budding young tradesmen learned a bit of everything. Whilst this was invaluable experience, Cec knew he wanted to run his own show and by 1966 he was ready. He rented a property in Junction Road, Parramatta and founded Parramatta Smash Repairs. It was a tough time, as young Cec did the lot – panel-beating, spraypainting, managing claims and maintaining a steady pipeline of work. It was full-on seven days-a-week and, in those early years, Cec’s wife, Irene, ran the office functions of the business. In time, things improved and Cec began to recruit staff to cope with the workflow. Whilst the business was running well Cec had greater ambition, and in 1971 acquired Hodges Auto Repairs in Betts Street (also in Parramatta) – he was astute enough to also acquire the half-acre property as well as the business. This bold step allowed Cec to move out of his rented property and, although he was still very much hands-on, this was the beginning of a portfolio of panel shops. Two other businesses were added to the group: North Rocks Smash Repairs (including Carlingford Towing) and Winston Hills Smash Repairs, which he built on a

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Cec Simpson

Steve Simpson

new site at Seven Hills. Cec continued to run all three shops, although by now he had appointed managers on each site and had stepped back to manage the direction of the business. In 1994, the old cheese factory and Lyons ice cream site on Church Street came up for sale and Cec saw yet another opportunity. He submitted an offer that was initially rejected, although Cec’s patience paid off and a deal was eventually done. He stripped the building and set it up for collision repair, closed the other sites and consolidated Parramatta Smash Repairs into the new facility – and they have been there ever since. This was also the beginning of their relationship with premium brands as they established a reputation for excellence and built

Ryan Simpson

relationships with local dealer principals. “Although BMW was first to come on board, followed by Lexus and then Mercedes-Benz, it has been the partnership with Mercedes-Benz that really made the business. However, this did not come easy, as they have clearly-defined criteria that must be met to maintain the approved repairer status,” said Cec. As Cec reflected on his journey, I asked if he would do it all again. “Absolutely – although there are things that we would do a bit differently. You know what they say: ‘if I knew then what I know now’. Fundamentally though, if you keep the good people, you keep a good business. A number of apprentices from our early years have been with us for decades and are now setting

The current site on Church Street.

the standard for others to follow.” On the future: “We bought the property next door and we are currently finalising the plans to renovate and add more space.” Steve Simpson – Director Cec’s son Steve joined the family business straight from school to become a mechanic and spent his early years at the Winston Hills premises where he learned a great deal about the industry in an estimating role – amongst many other things. Over the years, there have been ups and downs in the relationship with work providers, but in the end the focus is on the long-term relationships. “There’s no value in arguing every point on every car – we prefer to build steady relationships.” Steve also recognises that organisations such as IAG have experience repairing cars and know how to cost the steps in the process. “It’s good to work with an experienced partner, although we will be watching the influence that Mark Milliner will have, particularly with his experience at Suncorp,” he added. The business has grown to a level where it is repairing an average of 300 cars per month, most of which are prestige vehicles. There are 70 staff and every one of them understands their role in maintaining the reputation of the business and the Simpson family impresses this mantra on all employees. “We set the expectations and allow a degree of latitude – within reason. This engenders a degree of ownership in

The Church Street site in 1994.

every job.” Steve reinforces Cec’s view on people management as he highlights that there are several former apprentices managing departments and they, in turn, set the benchmark for the next generation. With Steve in the driver’s seat, the business has taken the focus on people to a new level as he looks to identify each individual’s strengths and focuses on getting the best from them. “Long gone are the days when you simply said: ‘well he didn’t work out – who’s next?’ Our focus is very much on getting to know our staff, finding out what they like and aligning their skillset with the needs of the business to achieve the best outcome for all. For example, new apprentices tend to enjoy a degree of flexibility and so we try to accommodate this as best we can.” At Parramatta Smash, the focus is on enriching the experience as part of a winning team. There is never any thought to giving young kids repetitive, menial tasks, and

apprentices are never recruited simply as a source of low-cost labour. However, Steve acknowledges that the things that keep him awake at night are “people issues”. “Sometimes, it can be frustrating when staff have difficulty following standard processes, but in the main we don’t stress too much about the day-to-day things. All people are different and managing these differences is the key.” Steve also recognises that, because every collision (and therefore every repair) is different, it will always be a people-business and so peoplemanagement will continue to be a key factor in their success. We touched on one of the hot topics in the industry today, that of access to repair information. The longevity and strength of the relationships between Parramatta Smash Repairs and the car manufacturers means that information is always on hand, either on-line or through their dealer network. However,

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as Mark from I-CAR discussed last month, it’s not just the information but what you do with it and how you do it. “We ensure we have the right tools and equipment, the depth of knowledge, the right skills and training. We see ‘more than our fair share’ rectification work from other shops. This work comes to us because we take pride in getting things done right – first time, every time. This is our choice, our reputation, our brand.” Looking ahead, Steve’s 10-year vision is to become bigger and better: “Although we are growth-focussed, we recognise the challenge of recruiting and retaining the right calibre of technician, and this is one of Ryan’s key challenges,” Steve concludes. Ryan Simpson – Operations Manager After completing Year 12 and having little interest in going to university, Ryan, Steve’s son, joined the family business when he was 19. Although there was no pressure to do a trade, Ryan acknowledges that had he done a trade, it would have been beneficial when it comes to managing the shop. However, what the business really needed at the time was a “businesshead” and, with his interest in computer systems, Ryan became adept at data entry, quoting, accounts, payroll, banking – all the functions that allowed him to be a back-up for the Admin Manager. This also provided an opportunity to build a knowledge of every aspect of the business and look for ways to do things even better. However, in his early years Ryan became “distracted” by motorsport, to which he was introduced by one of their mechanics. He began with Formula Vee in 2004 and discovered he had real talent, winning both the NSW and Australian titles in 2005 and 2006. He stepped up to Formula Ford and won the NSW title in 2008. Ryan then got behind the wheel of a V8 Supercar in 2013 and won the Sydney 500 in 2014. The following year, Ryan won the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge and last year was on the podium at the Bathurst 6 Hour. However, he has decided to refocus on the business and, as Steve says: “Had Ryan stayed with racing, Parramatta Smash Repairs would most

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The new workshop.

The new paint shop.

likely be quite different today as we all tended to be involved with the racing.” Ryan has shown a deep interest in how Cec built the business and recognises the importance of having time to think and plan, although as Operations Manager he spends a great deal of time trouble-shooting internally or maintaining relationships with dealers, customers and work providers. Critical to the business is, of course, maintaining the work pipeline and adjusting plans accordingly. For example, he spent two months developing the environmental plan required by IAG.

One of the more unexpected projects resulted from a fire in the adjoining business in January last year. Ryan was tasked with rectifying the damage whilst keeping the business fully operational. The decision was made to fully rebuild the paint shop. “We called in Lowbake, who worked with us in a staged project over a sixmonth period, and at various times we were down to two booths (normally we run all three). We had Lowbake install their latest systems, including Gas IR, RADS and back-to-base monitoring. Mark (Williams), Gene (Gerasimchuk) and Rob (Green) were all fantastic –

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the result is exactly what we needed,” said Ryan. “At the same time, we also worked with PPG to ensure a seamless transition using the new drying technology. They have been with us a long time, not just as a paint supplier, but as business partner. Cliff (Reed) and Darryl (Browne) where instrumental in the transition as we managed a real culture change, and although we lost a couple of technicians, the business is better for it,” he added. Ryan is heavily focused on the staff “attraction and retention challenge”. Of the 70 staff, there are 50 in operations, 20 of whom are apprentices. Building a talent pool is a big focus. Selection is a critical factor in increasing the retention rate. The process involves selection interviews, short-term work experience in the workshop and an assessment of the skills, drive and cultural fit, and is designed to maximise the chance of getting the right fit. “It’s got to be what the candidate wants to do.” When asked about the current shortage of technicians, the response was refreshing in that Ryan recognises that they needed to look at the working environment they are offering. They maintain a high-quality workshop and promote this to schools through school-leaver expos, such as the one (Future Leader) Henry Prom attended late last year. “We are now beginning to see apprentices wanting to come to us, but the TAFE system does not help, as logistically it’s difficult to get to the TAFE colleges.” With 20 apprentices in the business,

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they are employing a significant proportion of the apprentices in NSW. “Although we prefer to ‘build’ our own tradespeople rather than hire those trained elsewhere, we are a sponsor of the 457 visa system, and are currently looking at a couple of technicians. Long term, it’s not the best solution, but it is a good way to add trained staff for a relatively short term, as the visa is for four years.” Ryan is very much focussed on where Parramatta Smash Repairs will be in the future and shares Steve’s concerns about staff availability. In addition, he cites pressure on work supply due to the growth in advanced driver assistance systems, although with the growing sophistication they are well positioned with their more specialised talent pool. “We also cannot ignore the effect of ongoing consolidation, although we are still confident about the future of well-run independent businesses. We will monitor the changes and maintain our relationships with our business partners.” We leave Cec with the last word, although he is not involved so much in running the business these days. “It’s great to see the business moving forward with Steve and I am very happy that Ryan is now coming through. There are very few third-generation businesses in our industry – we really have built a true succession plan.” Editor: In an industry undergoing rapid change, it’s refreshing to see a successful third generation business adapting to these changes and planning for an even more successful future.

The National Collision Repairer – 1 5


Minutes with ...

David Gambin Kangan Institute Automotive Centre of Excellence When did you join the industry? 1981 What was your first job in the industry? Sheetmetal Worker What do you do now? TAFE Teacher What do you like about the industry? Bending and Shaping Steels What don’t you like about the industry? Many of the older skills are no longer required What music do you like? Rock, Heavy Metal, ‘80’s Your Favourite Artist? Dire Straits Your favourite food? Homemade food Your favourite drink? Fanta, Jim Beam Your hobbies? Anything related to motorsport Who in the world would you most like to meet? Allan Moffat


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Future Leaders of the industry Maxine Colligan.

OUR FUTURE LEADER THIS MONTH IS MAXINE COLLIGAN FROM GEMINI SMASH REPAIRS IN CAMPBELLTOWN WHO, AFTER COMPLETING HER CERTIFICATE II AT CAMPBELLTOWN TAFE, IS NOW IN THE SECOND YEAR OF HER APPRENTICESHIP AS A SPRAY PAINTER. Maxine Colligan was born and raised in Campbelltown and completed her Year 12 studies at St Patrick’s College, also in Campbelltown. Whilst awaiting her ATAR, she was considering her future and had little interest in university. Although she was initially reluctant to consider the “male-dominated” collision repair industry, she commenced a Certificate II “to try out spray painting and panel beating” at Campbelltown TAFE. Maxine and her teachers really connected, and it was here that she found spray painting

Carl Tinsley congratulates Maxine.


allowed her to express her creativity and indulge her passion for making people happy. “The teachers really emphasised that the customer is always pleased when they see their car returned to them gleaming from a great paint job.” However, it was not all smoothsailing, as Maxine found it difficult to find work in the industry whilst she was undertaking her studies. At a time when we have a severe shortage of technicians, this seems astonishing. However, through the TAFE she was invited to attend an NRMA Autopath seminar where she met Mark Reid, Business Development Manager, Gemini Accident Repair Centres. This meeting led to Maxine being offered a spray painting apprenticeship that commenced in July 2016. “The team here at Gemini Campbelltown is really great and I feel like I really fit in – the culture is fantastic”. Maxine had only just completed the first year of her apprenticeship when she was encouraged by teachers at Campbelltown TAFE to enter the Regional WorldSkills competition in the Vehicle Painting category. Although she thought it was too early for her, being only (just) a secondyear apprentice, she entered the competition “just for the experience”. The judging panel consisted of representatives from local collision repair businesses and global coatings

organisations and they were unanimous in their decision – Maxine was awarded the gold medal. Maxine will now go on to represent Sydney West in the WorldSkills Nationals later this year. “Usually the competition is very tight when it comes to WorldSkills, but on this occasion Maxine was ‘head and shoulders’ above the rest. I can’t remember a time when the winning gap was so wide,” said Carl Tinsley, Head Teacher, Autobody Repair and Surface Coatings at Campbelltown TAFE. Dylan Griffiths, Manager at Gemini Smash Repairs, Campbelltown added: “Maxine is a very impressive talent with the dedication to match. She is highly committed and attends additional training courses on her own time – the results are already selfevident. The industry needs more technicians like Maxine.” Editor: Maxine’s infectious personality is what really stands out when you first meet her. She is optimistic and passionate about her future in the industry and I have no doubt she is “one to watch” as she is indeed a Future Leader of the Industry. iag donates two I-CAR courses valued at more than $500 to the Future Leader that we feature each month in this section

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NCR: Who is the real Damian Cahill? DC: I started in the auto industry in 1989 as an apprentice diesel mechanic with the national bus company in Ireland. I carried out extra studies during my apprenticeship as I wanted to give myself every opportunity to be employable within the automotive industry. I also won a couple of awards: 1st in Ireland for Junior Apprentice exams and one of the finalists for the Apprentice of The Year competition in 1994. After my apprenticeship I worked as a mechanic and service advisor at an automotive dealership. I completed Advanced Automotive exams in 1997. Due to the high marks I achieved in these exams, I was interviewed by a panel of representatives from the Society of the Irish Motoring Industry (SIMI) and was awarded the Stanley Dawes award for that year. Stanley Dawes was President of the Institute of the Motor Industry during the fifties, where he worked tirelessly to increase the level of education within the motor industry. NCR: What brought you to Australia and how did you get to be working with Holden? DC: I always wanted to travel and see a different part of the world and having a trade was the perfect way to enable this, so in 1998 I moved to Australia. Australia is so different to Ireland, so my wife and I thought, why not? It really has been the lucky country for us. I initially worked as a technician in a luxury car dealership,

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Damian Cahill

but in 2003 I joined Holden as a contractor in the Warranty department on a three-month stint, so I took a punt and left a full-time job at the dealership to gain some experience in the corporate world. I’ve been here ever since, working in a variety of roles including Warranty Dealer Support, Warranty Trainer & Systems Administrator, Warranty Manager and Aftersales Program Readiness Manager for some new models. Holden is a great company to work for and I now have a career that I don’t think would have been open to me had I remained at a dealership, although having that experience has allowed me to apply a different mindset to my roles. NCR: What are your primary responsibilities in your current role?

DC: I am the Collison Business Manager. Some of my responsibilities include working with the repair industry so that Holden customers can have their vehicles repaired using General Motors (GM) approved repair procedures and Genuine Holden Parts. I am lucky to be surrounded by great people; our engineers, parts, technical people and Jenny, who provides critical administration support. It is because of great teamwork that we can offer the support services that we do. I’m currently working on a couple of major projects that will keep Holden at the forefront of the collision industry for many years to come. We’re always working to identify ways that Holden can serve our customers better, building vehicles that prevent accidents from happening and offering the best support when they unfortunately do. One example of serving our customers better occurred last year with our introduction of stamping original VINs onto replacement Colorado chassis. Stamping the original VIN removes the need for our customers to have a new second VIN recorded by their state Road Traffic Authority for their vehicle. NCR: You mentioned support services to collision repairers. What does Holden offer? DC: Holden works together with repairers when it comes to assisting with the repair of a customer’s vehicle. We have a dedicated collision repair email for all collision repairers to send

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their questions to. We refer to our database of previous queries to provide answers or, if the question is a tricky one, we get our parts and engineering experts to find an answer. We’ve also produced some “Holden’s Got Your Back” videos based on questions that we have received, which is another resource for car repairers. And finally, we also run annual forums – open to anyone who wants to attend – around the country. NCR: Holden finished building vehicles in Elizabeth in October last year. What steps has Holden taken to support the staff during the closure? DC: Our number one priority is looking after our people. Holden understood from the outset the impact the end of manufacturing would have on its employees and their families and the wider auto industry. Soon after the announcement was made in 2013 to cease manufacturing in 2017 and close the plants, transition centres were opened in Elizabeth and Fisherman’s Bend. The purpose of these centres was to help prepare people for their life after Holden, whether that be future employment, study or, for some, retirement. Every Holden worker leaving the business has access to an array of individually-tailored transition services such as resume writing, interview preparation, job hunting, career counselling, computer training, as well as up to $3000 in approved training. The centres are open to employees, contractors and supplier employees as well as their families. In Adelaide, where the bulk of the people left the organisation, the centre will stay open for an additional two years. Because of Holden’s world-class transition support, 83 percent of people who have left the business have successfully transitioned. NCR: Looking ahead, what changes do you see taking place in the industry, say over the next five years? DC: From my experience in the collision industry, repairers benefit so much by increasing their skillset. I am on the I-CAR Australia Board of Directors and it’s disappointing to see that so few repair shops have reached Gold Class status in Australia. However, I think that changes will be


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introduced in the next few years that will have repair shops thinking differently and seeking out further information and training. Today’s vehicles are already complex. The ones coming at us in the future will be even more so. The collision industry needs to stay abreast with reading about and, more importantly, understanding manufacturers’ repair procedures and position statements. You don’t want to be in a position where you’ve tried to shortcut a procedure and then can’t have that repair authorised – it’s critical to be informed on the right way to repair a vehicle. One of the changes I’d like to see is that we, the auto industry, do a better job of attracting more young people to the industry. Our industry is far more diverse than the public realises and there’s a great deal of opportunity. There are postapprenticeship career paths available, especially for those who put in the extra effort to obtain additional skills. Had my mentors told me 29 years ago what I’d be doing as a job today, I’d never have believed them. From a Holden perspective, there is technology in our cars today that just a few years ago was the domain of the luxury brands. It’s important for repairers to understand that Holden products are advancing rapidly. NCR: What can you tell us about the technology that Holden will introduce to the Australian market? DC: I’m not an expert on technology, but what I can say is that Holden will be at the forefront of how personal mobility evolves, and technology is a key part of that. We are introducing OnStar to the Australian market, which takes vehicle connectivity to a whole new level – this is life-changing technology. Safety is our top priority. If you look at something like the 2018 Commodore, it is packed with technology to keep the driver, their passengers and everyone on the road safer. I think you just must look at features we have available today to imagine what the future will bring. Our Astra, for example, will stop itself with AEB, will park itself with Advanced Park Assist, will keep you between the

white lines on the road with Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist and stop you tail-gating or warn if the vehicle in front is slowing down at a greater rate than you are with Forward Collision Alert. When I started in the industry 29 years ago we were still setting the gaps on points! NCR: So, you believe Holden and the dealer network are well positioned for a strong future in Australia? DC: I certainly do. We’re establishing ourselves as a sales, engineering, design and technology company and there’s lots of exciting things ahead. We have a strong commitment from General Motors and showrooms full of great product including our new SUV, the Equinox, and the all-new Commodore, as well as Colorado, Astra and Trax – to name just a few! We’re focused on providing great cars and exceptional customer service. We have the second largest dealer network in Australia and it’s our dealers who are critical to the success of Holden. Starting in 2018, Holden and dealers are rolling out a three-year project that represents a joint investment of $150 million. It’s called Dealership of the Future and will completely transform our dealerships, both externally, in terms of physical appearance, and internally with new technology, fit-out and approach to customer service. Think more airport lounge, less traditional showroom. The other key feature Holden has is our top-secret proving ground at Lang Lang, on Phillip Island. Every vehicle wearing a Holden badge in Australia has been tuned and tested at Lang Lang for its handling in Australian conditions. These cars have the fingerprints of our Holden Australian engineers all over them. From a collision side of the business, one of the long-term projects I’m currently working on will see Holden work even closer with collision repairers for the best customer outcome. Editor: With so much going on inside the organisation it’s great to see that Holden recognises the impact on the collision repair industry. In Damian Cahill they have clearly put these challenging programs in good hands.

The National Collision Repairer – 1 9

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Kangan Institute and the Automotive Centre

of Excellence


Named in honour of Myer Kangan OBE OA, the founder of the TAFE system in Australia, Kangan Institute’s rich history stems back to 1925 and has evolved through various mergers and acquisitions over the years. Four major institutes, John Batman, Broadmeadows College, Richmond Automotive Campus of Barton Institute of TAFE and, as recently as 2014, Bendigo TAFE, have all been a major part of this evolution. The Automotive Centre of Excellence was opened in 2006 by the then Kangan-Batman Institute and has more recently undergone significant expansion. Located in the thriving Docklands precinct of Melbourne, Kangan Institute’s Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) is the largest and most advanced automotive training facility in the southern hemisphere. It was established to be central and accessible to Victoria’s retail, service, repair and manufacturing industries with the objective to contribute to the growth of business in the automotive industry by bringing together customised automotive training and research and development in the one precinct. Through strengthening links between the automotive industry and the tertiary education sector, ACE has become a key player in the rapidly developing field of automotive technology, involved in new research and application of improved fuels, engines and automotive design

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technology. The connection to the collision repair industry is self-evident.


I discovered that not only does ACE offer a range of nationallyaccredited qualifications and short courses in spray-painting and panel beating, but there is also a full range of mechanical programs that range from passenger vehicles, light and heavy commercial vehicles, outdoor power equipment, marine mechanics

and motorcycles. They are even involved in motorsport through Nissan Motorsport, Erebus Motorsport, Zagame Racing and Team 18. One of the more interesting aspects of what the team does at ACE is the customised programs for clients such as The Sheen Group, Capital Smart, Recar (commercial vehicles) and Club Assist (glazing). ACE is also working with Mission Australia with their Synergy program. One of the challenges for any training organisation is keeping up with the rapidly-changing technology and it looks like ACE also has this covered. “Not only do we have a fantastic partnership with I-CAR, but all our staff

Gavin Cribb

Michael Mavrikakis

are I-CAR accredited, two of which are I-CAR Platinum. We also have a structured ‘staff currency’ program, where staff spends time in industry to ensure they are right up to date with the latest technology and we utilise subject matter experts from other streams. This is particularly important with our auto electrical programs due to the growth and influence of plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles on the car parc,” said Mavrikakis. “We have several corporate partners, such as PPG (with whom we have recently signed another three-year partnership), 3M and Car-O-Liner, who all provide our staff technical training and access to technical sessions and we find this partnership approach invaluable. It is crucial that we are teaching the technicians of tomorrow with the latest equipment, tools and information,” concluded Cribb. This is a key point and so we dived into a discussion about ACE’s apprenticeship program, particularly as the national average retention rate for apprentices is 50 percent after the first year! ACE’s approach to improving the

retention rate is to focus on the selection process, which they do in conjunction with prospective employers who have robust recruitment processes and even partner with Job Active Agencies. ACE works with the employers to develop a “job ready” pre-application (pre-app) program that involves pre-screening, two weeks of a customised work ready program at the campus and one-week work experience in the panel shop. There are over 10 groups of “pre-apps” each year and there are multiple screening “check points” along the way to ensure the applicant, the TAFE and the employer “are all on the same page”. The key areas of focus during this three-week program are: OH&S, R&R, body filler application, detailing and primer application. A key selection criterion is the “attitude” of the student as this is an investment aimed at developing a career path in the industry. “In addition, we support VETiS (Vocational Education and Training in Schools) programs where Year 11 or 12 students can elect to study a

Certificate II program as part of their Year 12 studies, which provides them some credits into an apprenticeship,” said Mavrikakis. Typically, an apprenticeship runs over four years, although with the right support from the employer, some of the programs can be completed within 3-3.5 years . ACE works with the employer and the student to create a “negotiated training plan” that allows for electives and can even include I-CAR modules. “As a result of this approach, our retention rate after year one is 70 percent, well above the national average,” concluded Mavrikakis. ACE currently has 300 apprentices in the spray-painting and panel-beating program at various stages of completion and is only one of four colleges providing these apprenticeships across Victoria. The college is indeed an extremely advanced automotive training facility built upon first class equipment and processes, strong supportive partners and, most importantly, a team of teachers and managers who have a passion for our industry.

The National Collision Repairer – 2 1

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MAPFRE reinforces agreement with Groupe Renault • The sponsorship agreement with Renault Sport Formula One Team was announced at a meeting in Paris between the Chairman and CEO of MAPFRE and the Chairman and CEO of Renault. • Renault Sport Formula One Team and MAPFRE have expanded and strengthened their agreement over the next five years. • Both companies will explore further work together on mobility solutions and services linked to the role of insurance in the future of the automotive industry. After a positive first year of collaboration in 2017, MAPFRE has agreed to renew and expand its agreement with the Renault Sport Formula One Team. The Spanish insurance company will become one of the team’s main official sponsors over the next five seasons. The agreement, which was presented recently in Paris at a meeting between the Chairman and CEO of MAPFRE, Antonio Huertas, and Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn, goes beyond a sports sponsorship; it opens the door to MAPFRE and Groupe Renault

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exploring additional mobility solutions and services linked to the role of insurance in the future of the automotive industry. "This agreement with Groupe Renault will allow us to further promote the MAPFRE brand and its values worldwide," explained Antonio Huertas. “Formula 1 is not just a competitive sport – it is also a testing ground for technological research that can then be expanded to society as a whole. This philosophy fits perfectly with our strategic position for the future.” “After a positive first season together, it’s fantastic that MAPFRE has made a significant further contribution to the team for the future,” added Jérôme Stoll, President of Renault Sport Racing. “MAPFRE is a company that is on the move and we are delighted to continue supporting their brand awareness development at a global level. Our relationship with MAPFRE has highlighted the reach and potential of Formula 1 and the team. This long-term partnership is an opportunity for Groupe Renault and MAPFRE to build new projects together. We look forward to continuing to push for our respective targets over the coming seasons.” At the meeting in Paris, Jérôme Stoll, President of Renault Sport

CEO of MAPFRE Antonio Huertas and Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn

Racing, Gianluca De Ficchy, CEO of RCI Bank and Services, and José Vicente de los Mozos, Executive Vice President of Manufacturing and Supply Chain at Groupe Renault were in attendance, as were Ignacio Baeza, Vice Chairman of MAPFRE, and José Manuel Corral, Group Chief Business, Clients and Innovation Officer. The MAPFRE brand will appear prominently on the nose and sides of both vehicles, as well as on the uniforms and helmets of Spanish driver Carlos Sainz and German driver Nico Hülkenberg.

PPG - 135 years of protecting and beautifying the world It was John Pitcairn and Captain John B. Ford who formed the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company, way back in 1883, with the aim of producing America's first marketable plate glass. Not only did they succeed, the company now known as PPG, has since been on a growth and transformational journey which has seen it expand its footprint across the globe. Today, PPG is one of the world's largest global paints, coatings and specialty materials suppliers. Indeed, the influence is so widespread, you are almost certainly surrounded by PPG products and coatings as part of your day-to-day life without even knowing it. PPG’s vast and diverse range includes protective and decorative paints, aircraft cockpit and cabin windows, sealants, adhesives, metal pre-treatment products and specialty products. Customers choose PPG for an extraordinary range of applications, from cars, trucks and motorcycles to aircraft, ships, homes, commercial structures and everyday items, such as sports shoes, whitegoods,

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tennis rackets and beverage containers. While operating on a global scale in over 70 countries, PPG also chooses to manufacture locally – there are more than 150 manufacturing sites worldwide, including in both Australia and New Zealand. As it takes a moment to reflect on 135 years of history, the global PPG team of approximately 46,000 employees continues to focus on providing customers with superior products and service. This commitment to excellence is aimed at ensuring that PPG is well positioned for the next 135 years and beyond!

The excellence of innovation

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BASF breaks down the 2017 automotive colours market With the “BASF Colour Report for Automotive OEM Coatings”, BASF’s Coatings division provides a global analysis of the colour distribution in the 2017 automotive market. Globally, white maintains its strong position in all segments and still is the number one colour, with a market share of almost 40 percent. Together with black, grey and silver, the achromatic colours continue to be the most prominent. When it comes to chromatic colours, the share of blue and red is almost equal, followed by brown. The global overview of the car segments shows the smaller the car, the more vivid the colour. The figures in the European Colour Report 2017 reveal that achromatic colours are still the most popular. About 78 percent of all cars were painted white, black, grey or silver last year, marking a continuing trend. Among the achromatic colours, the proportion of grey increased to 19 percent. Grey has now attained the same popularity as black. The growing share of grey is underlined by the increasing diversity of grey shades. With more than 100 variations, grey has the second highest number of shades after blue. Of the chromatic colours, blue continues to trend strongly, with a stable overall share of 10 percent, although blue has increased considerably in terms of its share of the chromatic palette, with nearly every second chromatic car produced in Europe 2017 now blue. With nearly 130 different variations, blue also remained number one in terms of colour diversity. The North American Colour Report 2017 highlights that new pigment technologies increase the demand for special effects that shimmer and shine. This leads to a larger variety within the colour segments – especially with the achromatics white, black and silver/grey, which are the most popular vehicle colours in North America. Even in the growing segment of

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electric vehicles, achromatic colours are still preferred, although grey/silver appears to be more popular than white or black at this early stage in electric vehicle development. Colour aesthetics are being increasingly considered in combination with functionality, so the ability to be detected by sensors has more relevance than ever before, and BASF will continue to monitor these developments. Blue and red are the key chromatic colours in North America. The blue colour space is also very versatile and can achieve a large diversity of shades, ranging in lightness, saturation, and subtle hue changes. Other colours, such as orange, are showing up in the analysis. These shades provide more options for the consumers to tie in to their particular preferences. The automotive coatings market in Asia Pacific is being driven by the increasing vehicle population and the diversity of the different regional conditions. This is reflected in the Asia Pacific Colour Report 2017. With an overall distribution of 49 percent, white is the most popular colour, due in no small part to the cultural context in Asia Pacific where white is associated with the positive image of purity and intelligent advanced technology. Thus, white cars have been gaining a high-volume growth in Asia Pacific over the past couple of years. Apart from white, brown colours are also gaining popularity, especially for mid-size SUVs. Both white, especially pearl white, and brown are positioned as stylish colours

with luxurious flavour that are welcomed by the Asia Pacific market. Bright red, as a provocative yet smartly individual colour area, is highly popular in the chromatic range of automotive colours within the automotive market in Asia Pacific. In general, red for automotive attracts attention, which is an important factor in the mature markets of Asia Pacific. With the analysis of the global distribution of automotive colours, BASF's Colour Report for Automotive OEM Coatings supplements the Automotive Colour Trends published annually by BASF's Coatings division. While the trend collection presents colour concepts that will shape the automotive future, the Colour Report is concerned with the present-day market situation and thus refers to the data of the previous year. Within the last years, colour diversity has increased and the possibilities for innovative colour concepts are multifaceted. Therefore, BASF works closely with OEMs to compose the desired look and feel, underlining the spirit of the automotive brands. Hundreds of colours are currently in the market and include a broad selection of unique effects. Moreover, functionalities of coatings play an increasing role. Paints with integrated temperature management, for instance, strengthen a sustainable future mobility. As they minimise the heating of the car surface – and thus the heating of the interior – savings in air conditioning lead to reduced fuel consumption or an extended range of electric cars.

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AkzoNobel delivers once again AkzoNobel recently announced preliminary unaudited financial results for full-year 2017. The results show an increase in EBIT for 2017; that AkzoNobel is on track to create two focused businesses; and reconfirms the 2020 financial guidance. The internal separation of the Specialty Chemicals business is complete and the full separation, either via a private sale or a legal demerger, remains on track for April 2018. As a result, the Specialty Chemicals business will be reported as discontinued operations. Revenue, including discontinued operations, for full-year 2017 is expected to be up 3% (up 4% excluding currency impact) at around €14,575 million (2016: €14,197 million). EBIT, including discontinued operations, for full-year 2017 is expected to be around €1,525 million (2016: €1,502 million). EBIT excludes identified items totalling around €130 million, mainly related to the transformation of AkzoNobel into a focused paints and coatings

company, including the separation of Specialty Chemicals. Positive developments continued for Decorative Paints, particularly in Asia, while challenging conditions in the marine and oil and gas industries impacted Performance Coatings. Some industry-specific headwinds persisted, including higher raw material costs, and adverse effects from foreign currency increased further. Continuous improvement and cost discipline contributed positively to achieving the results. Specialty Chemicals delivered a strong performance throughout 2017, including during the fourth quarter. AkzoNobel also confirmed financial guidance for 2020: Paints and Coatings 15% ROS, ROI >25%; Specialty Chemicals 16% ROS, ROI >20%, reflecting continued growth in profitability. The transformation of AkzoNobel into a focused paints and coatings company, including the separation of Specialty Chemicals, is progressing well and the associated one-off costs are within expectations. Phase one of creating a fitfor-purpose paints and coatings

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AkzoNobel CEO Thierry Vanlancker

organisation, announced in October 2017, is on track to achieve €110 million savings in 2018, contributing directly towards delivering the 2020 financial guidance. Various measures to mitigate current market challenges, including increased selling prices and cost discipline, also continue to be implemented. As previously announced, AkzoNobel will publish a report for the full year and the fourth quarter 2017 on Thursday, March 8, 2018. This is later than previous years due to the financial reporting process relating to the separation of Specialty Chemicals.

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The GM Cruise AV removes all manual driving controls The Cruise AV is an electric car, built atop the Bolt EV, but designed from the ground up to be a connected and autonomous ride-sharing vehicle. The is the fourth-generation GM self-driving car and, in the current build, the Cruise AV includes five LiDARs, 16 cameras, and 21 radars to help it operate and navigate. GM is currently testing the cars in San Francisco, California and Phoenix, Arizona, and has applied to the US Department of Transport to test the Cruise AV on a fixed route on public roads in San Francisco in 2019. Customers will use a mobile app to request a ride, and ahead of time can have the cabin temperature, radio station, and any special requirements set up and ready when the car arrives at the designated location. Alongside the desire to remain a market force in the new mobility world, GM has noble goals for its connected

and autonomous vehicle program: “General Motors’ mission is to bring our vision of a world of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion to life. Safely developing and deploying electric self-driving vehicles at scale will dramatically change our world.” GM’s focus on testing the Cruise AV has been in urban environments. That’s no real surprise, given that it will be the primary driving experience and market for these vehicles, but the choice is more than justified based on the data GM is collecting. “Our vehicles that are driving in San Francisco are seeing more in one minute than the vehicles in Phoenix see in one hour. So that gives you a sense of the level of complexity that we see in a complex urban environment. And that’s why we’re so focused on testing in that kind of environment, because we encounter more, and our vehicles will learn more quickly, and that puts us in a much better position to be ready to launch in those kinds of environments in the 2019 timeframe,” said Daniel

PPG supports world-renowned autonomous testing facility In a landmark move, PPG announced its partnership with the University of Michigan’s (U-M’s) Mcity, a public-private partnership that brings together industry, government and academia to improve transportation safety, sustainability and accessibility for the benefit of society. Mcity’s work includes operating the Mcity Test Facility, which is the world’s first purpose-built proving ground for testing autonomous vehicles, connected vehicle systems and related technologies. PPG is the first paints and coatings manufacturer to join the Mcity partnership. PPG is developing a broad portfolio of coatings to improve functionality and enable broad deployment of autonomous vehicles. These developments include exterior coatings that enhance vehicle visibility to radar and light detection and ranging (LIDAR) systems, as well as easy-to-clean coatings that help prevent obstruction of autonomous vehicle sensors. The Mcity Test Facility, which opened in 2015, was developed by U-M with support from the Michigan Department of Transportation. The facility aims to recreate a range of operating challenges faced by vehicles on the road with simulated urban and suburban environments. Sitting on a 32-acre site on U-M’s North Campus, the facility offers more than 16 acres of roads and traffic infrastructure, including approximately five lanemiles of roads with intersections, traffic signals, street

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Amman, GM President. In its 2018 Self-Driving Safety Report, GM says of the Cruise AV: “We have designed and built a self-driving car to safely operate among aggressive drivers, jaywalkers, bicyclists, delivery trucks, construction, unprotected left turns, 4-way stop signs and countless other factors that arise when driving in the city.” The testing will continue in San Francisco and Phoenix. GM has petitioned the Department of Transportation for a Safety Permission for trials on public roads in San Francisco. After that, it will have to work with individual states to test and deploy the vehicles elsewhere.

lighting, footpaths, fire hydrants, simulated buildings and obstacles such as construction barriers and pedestrian crash dummies. In addition to operating the test facility, Mcity also funds academic research and works with its partners to deploy connected and automated vehicles in Ann Arbor and Southeast Michigan. “Autonomous vehicle technology offers numerous real-world advantages and the ability to test such technologies safely and thoroughly is essential for proving the viability of advanced mobility solutions,” said Huei Peng, director, Mcity. “Our state-of-the-art facility offers a controlled environment for manufacturers like PPG to develop and hone the capabilities of autonomous vehicles and related technologies, while also providing them access to a variety of valuable tools and resources. We’re excited to have PPG be part of this journey.” Gary Danowski, PPG vice president, Automotive OEM Coatings added: “Specialized coatings will play an integral role in the development of safe and reliable driverless vehicles. We are enthusiastic about this partnership and are always actively seeking additional R&D partners as we continue to explore new possibilities in emerging vehicle technologies.” The agreement provides PPG with access to resources such as Mcity lab and project data; research and deployment assets; an independent forum of suppliers, manufacturers and end users; university expertise related to legal, regulatory and social issues; and Mcity research review meetings and the annual Mcity Congress.

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Spies Hecker renews agreement with Volkswagen Group Spies Hecker, one of the premium refinish paint brands of Axalta Coating Systems and global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, has maintained its preferred paint partner status with the Volkswagen Group UK (VWG) in a three-year contract renewal. Mark Andrews, national sales manager for Axalta in the UK and Ireland, said: “Spies Hecker and Volkswagen Group UK (VWG) have worked closely together for over 20 years, and the signing of this latest agreement is evidence that Spies Hecker continues to fulfil the stringent requirements of the VWG in the UK.” The recently-signed agreement sees the brand providing VWG with professional account management and the ability to maintain high levels of support in the manufacturer’s mature markets, while also helping it

to develop new strategies in emerging markets such as the recently launched program for VWG’s retail sector, Clever Repair. The contract also covers training. Some is delivered at Axalta’s state-ofthe-art Training Academy in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, and Spies Hecker also provides VWG with a technical field team. This team is ideally placed to meet all technical requirements, from bespoke VWGbranded academy training, to BSI accreditation and certification. The Spies

Hecker field team also supports VWG customers at their sites by monitoring KPI data to ensure the efficiency and profitability of Spies Hecker’s products and services are maximised. “Spies Hecker is passionate about strengthening its OEM relationships, which are based on a foundation of professional, technical support backed up by consistently high product quality. This ethos is borne out by the contract renewal with VWG. We look forward to continuing this long and happy partnership,” concluded Andrews.

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I-CAR NZ an unexpected journey LATE LAST YEAR, I-CAR CELEBRATED 30 YEARS IN NEW ZEALAND AND, AS THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND THE INITIATIVE, THE COLLISION REPAIR ASSOCIATION (CRA), THEN THE NEW ZEALAND MOTOR BODY BUILDER ASSOCIATION (NZMBBA), TOOK A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE. In the early eighties, the New Zealand collision repair industry, like the rest of the world, was faced with many technical vehicle advancements and was challenged by the lack of knowledge in how to repair them. Because of New Zealand’s isolation, there has always been a need to make a conscious effort to attend overseas conferences and expos to find out what is happening. It was at a conference in Vancouver in 1985 that the NZMBBA delegates heard how the US was facing similar challenges and had formed an organisation called I-CAR to address these concerns. Wendell Summers from I-CAR was invited to address the NZMBBA conference the following year, and although there was a group within the association that was convinced that this was what New Zealand needed to safeguard the future of the collision repair industry, not everyone was convinced. I-CAR was put on the back-burner. However, the commitment of the

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Body Repair Committee within the NZMBBA led to a series of meetings with various organisations and government authorities over an 18-month period, among them the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR). DSIR saw I-CAR as a way of setting minimum standards for some of the less-reputable repairers but was unable to provide funding. However, I-CAR USA presented once again at the 1987 NZMBBA conference and this time the association voted that the NZMBBA should fund the introduction of I-CAR into New Zealand. The first step was to send a delegation to Chicago for ten days of intense training. These pioneers were: Bert Rowsell, Peter Jones, Robert Renwick, Rick Bradley, Dave Colling and Hugh Pattison. This was a huge commitment, not only to be out of their businesses, but to then be required to deliver the Unibody courses, which consisted of eight fourhour units, on their return.

For the first four days, they all did the Unibody course, followed by the instructors course and then the field operating procedures. This included how to set up the courses, get all the necessary paperwork in order and how to form a committee, as well as a myriad of other tasks pertaining to running a successful course. They also did the plastic welding course, which at the time was in its infancy, and the refinish colour-matching course. They were also fortunate that they were able to attend the annual I-CAR conference, which they found quite amazing, with over 600 attendees and the typical American way of doing things. The group returned home convinced more than ever that I-CAR training was exactly right for the New Zealand market. But there were many challenges in the setting up of committees and structures for running courses, let alone the seemingly endless task of convincing those nonbelievers that there was a need for change. The NZMBBA conducted road shows across the country and although many repairers were convinced and accepted that perhaps there was some truth in what I-CAR was preaching, some did leave meetings doubting the message and most of the insurance sector saw this as just another way of repairers trying to get more money. However, New Zealand motor manufacturers were very supportive of what I-CAR was trying to achieve, with Nissan providing valuable assistance in getting I-CAR promoted.

The Kiwi Pioneers.

The next four to five years after I-CAR’s introduction were exciting, as they were running the eight-part Unibody courses around the country. It initially took some selling to get numbers to this Unibody course as it consisted of eight four-hour units and was not cheap, especially when you consider that prior to this, repairers spent virtually nothing on training. As this training settled in, the insurance sector became more accepting that there was some truth about these new steels and body design changes, and a few began attending courses. The regional committee structure was set up as per the US model and, although it worked well, it was a real struggle to keep the committees functioning, simply because they didn’t have the student numbers. The only courses available at that time were the eight-part Unibody, Plastic Repair and Colour Matching courses. Then the new CRC (Collision Repair Course) was added as manufacturers continued to advance into new methods of assembly. The mid-nineties saw a greater advancement with mechanical, electronics and safety systems rather than body structure changes and, unlike the USA repair facilities, these were not what that New Zealand industry was used to. But I-CAR USA

continued to develop courses covering these topics and hence, a few new courses that suited the New Zealand industry. I-CAR had delivered what was required to the bulk of the industry, but with few new courses being delivered, I-CAR NZ was once again put on the back burner as it was strapped for funds. When courses needed to be delivered, instructors were brought over from the USA. The instructors would tour the country delivering the courses with the support of local volunteers.


The severe lack of funding saw the NZMBBA supporting I-CAR, which was a challenge as the association itself was dealing with budget deficits. With the situation of a constant funding shortfall, exacerbated by the lack of new course programs to deliver, the NZMBBA actually considered terminating its involvement with I-CAR NZ. In a watershed moment, the question was put to the vote at the NZMBBA 1996 conference and, by a margin of only one vote, I-CAR NZ survived. As a result, I-CAR introduced

a few new course topics that were delivered once again by US instructors, which coincided with the car manufacturers making rapid advancements with the new ultra-light steel auto body construction. This resulted in I-CAR USA developing a number of new courses to cover these advancements. During this period, in 1997, the NZMBBA became the CRA, which in 1999 was itself facing something of a crisis, with a disgruntled membership and a severe shortage of funds. New personnel came on board and the national executive was challenged with revitalizing the organisation as well as reinventing I-CAR NZ. Robert Renwick, who had remained as the face of I-CAR since returning from the initial instructors’ course in 1987, set about rescuing I-CAR NZ. Along with the chairman of the CRA he toured the country, listening to members’ concerns whilst at the same time drumming up support for both the CRA and I-CAR. To set I-CAR NZ up for the future, a well-structured inter-industry board made up of well-respected personnel was established under the chairmanship of Lindsay Smit. It was decided that I-CAR NZ could not run as it had in its infancy with regional committees but needed to be run like

The National Collision Repairer – 2 9

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Robert Renwick Reflects

“The collision repair industry has been my passion since commencing an apprenticeship in the early sixties in Hamilton, where I later owned and operated a collision repair facility and where I still live today. Through my heavy involvement over the years with the CRA and MITO, I am extremely fortunate to have visited many repair facilities throughout New Zealand which has enabled me to get first-hand insight into the training needs of both apprentices and more experienced personnel. In 1987 I was one of the inaugural team members who trained at I-CAR USA and since then I have continued to play an active role with I-CAR NZ, first as a volunteer, then New Zealand manager and currently as technical research advisor developing courses for new vehicle model-specific I-CAR NZ programs.” Editor: In 2009 Robert was awarded a Lifetime Achievement award by the National Collision Repairer in recognition of his services to the New Zealand collision repair industry and his role in getting I-CAR up-andrunning across New Zealand. Robert is an inspiration and a true pioneer of our industry.

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a small business. Fortunately, I-CAR USA was also developing new courses that covered topics that local repairers wanted. Manufacturers were advancing rapidly, building safer vehicles and using new materials, so the time was never better to get I-CAR NZ back on track. Once again however, the New Zealand collision repair industry had to be convinced that they must retrain themselves to repair these new generation vehicles. The I-CAR MIG Welding Qualification, which was introduced in 2001, proved to be the turning point for I-CAR NZ. Suddenly, repairers were expected to prove their technical expertise and the results showed there was a need for many of them to retrain. By 2003, the insurance industry was fully behind I-CAR, ensuring their assessors attended courses, and encouraging their repairer networks to undertake I-CAR training. In 2004, the CRA introduced a training points system (C-CAR Points), which required each member to undertake a certain amount of training each year to retain their Structural Repair Centre status. With the appointment of a general manager, I-CAR NZ began to look beyond just delivering courses for the collision repair facilities. One of the decisions was to make I-CAR training available to the Motor Industry Training Organisation (MITO). This coincided with greater involvement by the insurance sector (in particular IAG), the ongoing development of courses that fitted the local repairers’ needs, and the introduction of on-line training, so finally, I-CAR NZ was in good shape. I-CAR NZ today is still a not for profit educational trust funded by course registrations and functions under an industry representative board of trustees. Indirectly, there are 25 people involved; these are made up of honorary board members, a general manager, instructors, weld test administrators and course registration administration. The course registration and administration are contracted to the CRA. I-CAR today enjoys a close relationship with MITO, which has a sub-license with I-CAR NZ for training material for apprentices. I-CAR

courses are part of the off-job training program with MITO. Manufacturers see I-CAR as the ideal platform to share technical information and assist where they are able for the betterment of safe repairs to their brand. The insurance sector, and most independent loss adjusters, recognize I-CAR as the preferred training and source of information for repairers. The CRA has made I-CAR training and the Steel MIG Welding Qualification elements of its membership criteria and IAG Insurance now requires the MIG Welding and Bronze Recognition as criteria for their Gold Repairer Network. I-CAR NZ has become the source of information and guidance for many in the New Zealand collision repair industry and works very closely with I-CAR USA in developing new courses to ensure that the courses have a local flavour and that they are suited to the New Zealand car parc which, as we know is one of the most diverse in the world. There is also a close working relationship sourcing and sharing information with I-CAR Australia. I-CAR NZ is very active in researching model-specific technical information and makes this available to all in the collision repair industry through model specific courses. They are continually researching and looking at trends in collision repair and developing and delivering technical training that assists in understanding any new body structures and materials. The New Zealand motoring public, as well as the repairer and insurance communities, owe a huge debt of gratitude to those with the foresight, drive and tenacity that has enabled I-CAR to become what it is today. The penetration of advanced collision repair training among New Zealand repairers is equal to the best in the world. This article is courtesy of Rex Crowther, Editor of PanelTalk, the official journal of the New Zealand Collision Repair Association

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The Liqui-Moly

Bathurst 12hour

IN THE GLORY DAYS, SUCCESS ON THE MOUNTAIN WAS AN INDICATION OF SUCCESS IN THE DEALERSHIP. WITH A WHOLE NEW BREED OF RACE CAR, PERHAPS WE ARE ONCE AGAIN SEEING A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME. The Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12-hour race is a spectacle that continues to grow in its popularity and drama as the years progress. This race attracts drivers, teams, sponsors and spectators from across Australia and around the world, and once again there was another record crowd with spectator numbers being up almost 10% on last year. Although not quite as big as the Bathurst 1000 event in October, this event is certainly growing on the back of an increased passion for high performance sports and luxury cars in Australia. There is also evidence of an ever-expanding range of these cars with increased market share in this country – a trend that will continue to have an impact on the collision repair industry. The race action was tempered by a high rate of attrition and there were 16 safety car periods that saw 47 of the race’s 271 laps run under the yellow flag. Many of these safety cars were due to accidents, and many of those accidents were due to the speed differential between the fastest cars and the slowest cars on the track. Of course, there were also a few driver errors in judgement. By now, many will know that the race was declared after a major accident only 12 minutes before the 12 hours was up. The Audi driven by Ash Walsh was blocked by a slower car and hit the wall before coming to a stop on the top of the mountain. It was a precarious position and, although some cars did make it through, the Audi was hit by John Martin’s AMG Mercedes at around 180km/h. Race

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Top of the Mountain

officials decided that the resultant debris was too great a risk to remaining competitors and stopped the race. As we were all on the edge of our seats waiting to see the teams duke it out to the finish like the last few years, the end was rather anti-climactic. The accidents certainly showed the changes that the manufacturers are making in the use of materials and production techniques. Although there were 49 cars that started the race on the Sunday morning, the main brands (Mercedes AMG, Audi, Porsche, Bentley, McLaren, BMW and Aston Martin) were the ones vying for the biggest prize of the weekend. They were all on the track at speeds that were equal to, or better than the local category of Supercars – and for extra measure, throw in Mazda 3, Ford Focus, KTM X-Bow and cars that look like Mustangs but are actually custombuilt MARC race cars.

The win went to the WRT Audi team. This was a first-time venture for the team from Belgium, which has won three driver’s titles and four team titles in the championship formerly known as the Blancpain Endurance series. Although this was the first time for the team, there were a few experienced team members on board with a mix of Australian and international stars. Klaus Niedzwiedz, who was spectacularly disqualified at the 1987 Bathurst 1000 in his Ford Sierra (along with his teammate) handing Peter Brock his 9th Bathurst 1000 win, is now the team manager for WRT Audi and reflected: “It sure is a long way to come for a weekend.” However, after losing a lap at the beginning of the race, they didn’t give up and it was good fuel economy for the Audi R8 GT3, matched with great drivers and amazing teamwork in the pits, that led them to take the

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chequered flag on Sunday afternoon. Audi also came away with the win in the GT3AM class with the car that Ash Walsh was driving when it crashed at the top of the mountain. Although the car was practically destroyed, it was awarded the class win under the race regulations that took the results from the last completed lap. Klaus shared that they brought 28 people from Europe and supplemented this with a strong local contingent. It was great to see BMW Team Schnitzer back in Australia after a gap of many years, with Steven Richards leading the BMW assault. This is a team with so much potential, as Chad Mostert achieved pole in the M6 and was leading for most of the early part of the race before crashing out at Forrest’s Elbow. From the speed of the car and the talent of the team, it is clear that there is more to be seen from BMW in the near future. The Mercedes team went looking for a big result and this year they secured the services of Jamie Whincup in their lead car. It was down to the wire with Jamie poised to pounce and it was all about fuel, and the amount remaining. Sound familiar? Another “Big M” was the McLaren, having both Craig Lowndes and Shane Van Gisbergen in the seat of one of their cars. However, results were not forthcoming for any of the McLaren teams, even though their cars looked and sounded great. Porsche also had a great opportunity to win the event this year and, as with the other marques, had a factory supported team along with customer teams involved in this year’s event. Porsche has stepped up their global GT3 campaign following their withdrawal from the LMP1 class of the World Endurance Championship and the LeMans 24-hour event. Australian Matt Campbell has been picked up as part of the Porsche “Young Professional” driver squad and was also one of the leaders before the big accident at this year’s 12-hour event. Porsche completed the day with four cars in the top 10. However, the biggest news of the weekend was probably from the Bentley Team M-Sport before the race


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Top: The WRT Audi under repair and above Data is everything at the Audi workstation.

had started. Two cars and all the required equipment from Bentley were sent from Europe to arrive into Sydney in November, but the ship was delayed by an engine failure. The ship with the Bentleys on board arrived into port on the Thursday before the race and, with the help of Gibson Freight, the cars and equipment were offloaded by late afternoon and loaded onto six semitrailers for the run up to Bathurst overnight. They arrived around 3:30am on the Friday morning and were put together for the race. It’s lucky the cars were so well sorted as there is an update expected later this

year. It was also lucky that all the marketing people were already there, and all of the corporate suite had already been erected. As for a result, the main race for Bentley was getting to Bathurst and the success on the track was not there this year. Interestingly, equipment for the AMG Mercedes cars from Strakka Racing was also on the same ship but AMG decided the fly out replacements for the race and they arrived in January. The Porsche team of Manthey Racing also had a car on a similarlydelayed sea-freighter, and so they decided to air-freight a spare Porsche

The National Collision Repairer – 3 3

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911 GT3-R to the event. The car did arrive on time and this allowed a spare car to be placed behind the pits. With all the crash action on the track, at least it allowed for a full range of spare parts. Speaking of Porsche, former factory driver, now Porsche ambassador and Australian great, Mark Webber was at the event for the first time. He was so impressed with the track, if not the constant interruption of the safety cars, and was encouraging more events involving these cars to be held at the circuit. The last time Webber completed a lap of the Mountain was in 1995 at the wheel of a Formula Ford but, for his return, he took the passenger seat of a GT3 RS piloted by Porsche factory racer, Patrick Long. “An American in the right-hand seat. What could possibly go wrong?” quipped Webber. The Bathurst 12 hour is closer to what the original concept of racing at the Mountain was all about, and therefore the GT3 and GT4 categories of racing are having an impact on the cars we drive every day. The variety of cars on the Mountain is further evidence of how the global manufacturers perceive our market. The GT cars are built to specific rules, with the manufacturers “tuning” garages building these race cars, sometimes up to 500 or more per annum, for GT racing events around the world. Audi Sport customer racing has already managed a successful start to the 2018 season. In January, the Audi R8 LMS GT4 achieved a one-two GT4 class win in the 24 Hours of Dubai.


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Race-bred road cars

Two weeks later, the Audi RS 3 LMS clinched a 1-2-3-4 result in the IMSA Continental Tyre Sports Car Challenge at Daytona and now the GT3 version of the Audi R8 LMS triumphed at Bathurst. The technology that is put into these cars is then translating to the cars on the global roads. A further example is AMG, where one in five cars that Mercedes-Benz sells in Australia wears the AMG badge. This represents one of the highest penetrations of AMG sales as a percentage of overall sales in the world. Even so, with economic and social challenges looming, Mercedes expects that growth curve to slow. As for McLaren, Australia now sits within the top seven markets for the company globally. There is no doubt that, with the enthusiasm for the Bathurst 12-hour race continuing to ramp up and the growth of the field in the GT3 and GT4 classes in Australia (and around the world), we are going to see more people in these type of cars as everyday drives, or at least part-time modes of transport. The manufacturers are seeing

a profitable and growing motorsport fraternity developing and they are trying new technology and developing customer programs that allow a growing number of enthusiasts to be involved. From the results of the February weekend we can also see that these cars are built to take a beating: all the drivers walked away from their accidents, although there were some injuries. At 200km/h – it’s going to hurt! In coming issues of the National Collision Repairer, we will cover in some detail some of the specific changes and new technologies that are affecting the future of the global car fleet. There is no doubt that these cars provide an insight into the innovation and technology that will shape the future of the car refinement, collision repair and restoration industries. John’s love of custom and restored cars has seen him become an industry leader in the activities of car clubs and automotive enthusiasts across Australia and around the world.

2017 Australian car industry summary The Australian Car Parc 67 brands with over 400 models Annual Sales Almost 1.2 million new cars sold in Australia in 2017 – 0.9 percent increase on 2016 Data from Manufacturers In seventies, approximately 80 percent of cars sold were manufactured in Australia. In 2018 that will be zero!

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Currently sourcing. • 45 percent from Asia • 45 percent from Europe But the Americans are coming. 2017 Market Share The top five brands make up 50.6 percent of all sales Toyota: 18.2 percent Mazda: 9.8 percent Hyundai: 8.2 percent Holden: 7.6 percent Mitsubishi: 6.8 percent The 62 other brands to make up the remaining 49.4 percent

2017 Australian sales growth for the main brands racing at the 2018 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 hour Bentley: + 200 percent Lamborghini: + 63 percent Aston Martin: + 27 percent McLaren: + 5 percent Mercedes-Benz: + 4.3 percent Audi: - 9.3 percent BMW: - 15.7 percent Porsche: - 21 percent

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Silverado sheds 200 kilos for 2019 GENERAL MOTORS ANNOUNCED RECENTLY THAT A “MIXED MATERIALS STRATEGY” REMOVED UP TO 200 KILOGRAMS OF WEIGHT FROM THE NEXTGENERATION CHEVROLET SILVERADO. “With the all-new Silverado, we’ve taken the best truck on the road and made it even better,” GM global product development, purchasing and supply Executive Vice President Mark Reuss said in a statement. “It has a longer wheelbase, more passenger and cargo volume, and yet, thanks to our mixed materials strategy and mass reduction expertise, the new truck is 200 kilos lighter than the current model.” Silverado marketing and advertising manager Hugh Milne said that both the inners and outers of those closures are aluminium. Chevrolet also used forged aluminium for the front suspension’s upper control arms. The bulk of the body still relies on steel, including a cab safety cage with “seven different grades of steel, each tailored for the specific application,” according to Chevrolet. Overall, the 2019 Silverado’s body weighs 40 kilos less than the 2018 Silverado. Though only a few parts are aluminium, a shop might still need to invest in tools and space to handle that material or risk corrosion. “Eighty percent of the frame is made of highstrength steel, varying from two to five millimetres in thickness, and every millimetre is optimized for performance using a variety of processes, including hydroforming, roll forming, conventional stamping and tailor-rolled blanking,” Chevrolet wrote in a news release. “As a result, frame sections, gauges, grades, processes and materials strategically vary to maximize strength, durability and stiffness without adding unnecessary

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mass.” For the 2019 model year, Chevrolet cranked up the yield strength on the Silverado’s highstrength steel bed floor even further, from 340MPa to 500 MPa “for optimal strength and mass.” GM’s descriptions of a variety of different metals tailored for specific applications should drive home that it will be impossible to properly repair the hugely popular vehicle without consulting OEM repair procedures. And the gadgetry on the eight models of the vehicle means shops can’t expect to perform a proper repair with only the free GM collision procedures; they’ll have to “ante up” for the paid site and access to mechanical repair data. But make no mistake, referencing collision and mechanical OEM repair procedures has been a necessity for GM vehicles long before the 2019 Silverado took the stage this month. Build data has been crucial for a proper repair for years, but those unwilling to accept it or attempting to eyeball all of the options on a customer’s vehicle should finally see the light when confronted with the 2019 Silverado’s eight models and various options within them.

One final bit of food for thought: when assessing your repairs and the like kind and quality of aftermarket Silverado components, consider that GM reported having “doubled many of the key validation metrics for the nextgen truck” and plans to have racked up seven million miles of testing before the Silverado goes on sale. That’s the pre-loss performance you need to restore. “Truck customers told us they depend on their trucks for much more than just transportation,” full-size trucks chief engineer Tim Herrick said in a statement. “Many use their trucks to earn a pay cheque, or to do what they enjoy most when they’re off the clock. Given how important trucks are to our customers, we set a lofty goal for exceeding the dependability and longevity of the current Silverado.”

This article courtesy of John Huetter of Repairer Driven Education (RDE). Check out their website at: for this and many other informative and educational articles on the collision repair industry

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Acknowledging a lifetime of contribution Criteria for induction into the National Collision Repairer Lifetime Achievement Honour Roll 1. A minimum of 10 years in the collision repair industry 2. Contributions to the collision repair industry beyond the scope of their local area 3. Contributions to the collision repair industry beyond the scope of their direct employment 4. 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 3183, Dendy, Victoria 3186 Email: Tel: +61 458 588 333

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


Honour Roll ................................ Richard Nathan ................................ David Weatherall ................................ Terry Flanagan ................................ 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 ................................ 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) ................................

The National Collision Repairer – 3 7

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Its obvious, as the world is changing, it is inevitable that entrants can’t do the same things they did in the nineties and noughties, but there are still plenty of places to cut loose and do things you can’t do on the street. I hope people appreciate this event is still going and embrace what we still have, not focus on what we can’t do anymore. One of the major changes for me this year was, after 27 years of judging, including 20 as Chief Steward, I stepped aside to look after the Great Meguiars Uncover cars and unveiling at the event. I also supported the camera crew with cars and owners, builders for photos, video, livestream and interviews. My main focus this year was to rebuild the Grand Champion into what it should be – the best custom car in Australia. Grand Champion is a car that has done well in the judging, so it’s of excellent quality, has done well in People’s Choice, is popular with the public and performs well in the driving events. A really good example is this year’s winner: Grant Connor from Orange in his XR Falcon “Bad Apple”. He made the top 10 in judging, 4th overall in People’s Choice and drove the wheels off it in the Slalom and Go Whoa on Sunday morning at the burnout track. He won by one point over last year’s winner, Mark Williams in his 1-Tonner, “2 Happy”. Grant was a very popular winner this year, with a great car that performed well. What a really nice owner and builder. Over the years, the focus has been on “Top-Judged” or the “Burnout” comp, so we

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Grand Champion XR Falcon Bad Apple.

American Legend Wheel Stand.

needed to refocus on “Grand Champion” for this year and subsequent years. We had 18 cars shooting it out – a record number and the most hard fought yet. I was really looking forward to refining it more, with more build-up on the

weekend on social media and the big announcement on the Sunday at the track in front of the huge crowd. The Great Meguiars Uncover is also another big part of Summernats, with nine cars unveiled for the first time this year. We like the variety at

Meguiars Top 60 Pavillion

Summernats, and had three hot rods, burnout car, tuff street, pro street, custom and a couple muscle cars this year. They were all great cars, with three making the top 20, one winning top Tuff Street and David Xuereb’s Cortina taking out People’s Choice. I was so pleased for David winning the public vote as three months ago, when I visited him in Sydney to discuss unveiling, he questioned whether it was good enough. I knew it was worthy of unveiling and a shot at top 20, but People’s Choice was such a bonus, which completely overwhelmed him and the family. The top 20 was well received and most categories spread over the field with Top Judged going to Graham Barkers FX ute. This was first seen at MotorEx 2017 and has been refined to be an absolute standout vehicle. Tailspin FB custom gave him a good run, only to be runner up by a couple points over all the categories. Tuff Street was well attended, with Craig Morrow’s Commodore winning top car. This was a great build with awesome engine and mechanicals, nice paint and interior – hopefully we’ll see it on the track in the future. Burnouts are still such a huge part of Summernats, with the last chance shootout for the Masters never disappointing. There were 36 competitors giving their all vying for a spot in the final. The final 10 Burnout Masters on Sunday afternoon was crazy, with Matt James from WA winning in his Commodore Ute “Unwanted” and also second place with the Compact Fairlane. What a mammoth effort! Matt was the third to run of the ten masters

Peoples Choice Cortina

Top Judged FX ute.

in his “Unwanted” Commodore ute then, ran back to the start line in 40degree heat to be the 6th car out to compete in the Compact Fairlane. This is the first time anyone has qualified two cars, let alone finish 1st and 2nd. He won over $20k for his effort. Great cars to perform at that level in 40-degree heat. That’s another Summernats wrapped up. There were six invites to MotorEx Melbourne 26th and 27th May

and 10 invites to Red Centre Nats September 1st and 2nd. With the same team owning all these events, the tie-in is really good and they will do a great job of linking all three events together. Owen is the Business Development Manager of Motoractive. He is also a leading figure within the auto re-styling and vehicle modification industry.

The National Collision Repairer – 3 9

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The necessity of

Partnerships As an industry undergoing numerous challenges to not only survive but thrive in the technical tsunami and understand the ongoing business pressures and growing customer expectations, it is becoming increasingly difficult for a business owner to be an expert in every facet of the business and be fully self-sufficient. Not so long ago, the business owner had all this covered – now we are seeing specialist people being employed to fill departmental roles, which is a real trend leading to bettermanaged and more efficient collision repair businesses. Unfortunately, we as an industry struggle to attract new people into this now highly-skilled profession. Developing the ground skills for apprentices, where they can be prepared for future technology is becoming a real challenge, especially in the automotive industry. We have often mentioned that our industry has seen more changes in the last five years than the last 50 years and there is no sign of it slowing down. Five years ago, I-CAR began working with several registered training organisations (RTOs), focus groups and Auto Skills Australia to provide assistance in meeting the knowledge required at the ground level. We continue to do this within the Light Vehicle Body Repair Industry Skills Committee working with PWC and assisting in the continuing development of the repair training programs. With the need to address the shortcomings of the old training packages, this was one of the options

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available to I-CAR to assist and meet its vision “that every person in the collision repair industry has the information, knowledge and skills required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer.” The result is that several RTOs are now delivering I-CAR courses to their Certificate III Body Repair and Refinish students. So, what does this mean for your business? If you are engaged in apprentice training, the graduating tradespeople will not only receive their trade certificates, but will also attain an I-CAR Platinum Individual accreditation. The program has also been supported by the I-CAR Industry Training Alliance Partners who, in many instances, are delivering the latest training to apprentices in several TAFEs across the country. Currently, there are 10 RTOs signed up to the Education Agreement: Workskills Australia, MTA Institute of Technology, North Coast TAFE NSW, Hunter TAFE NSW, Sydney TAFE NSW, Kangan Institute’s Automotive Centre of Excellence, Chisholm Institute, MTA SA Group Training, Tasmania TAFE and Charles Darwin University. These RTOs represent the best future for your apprentices as they are not only delivering the latest technology to your apprentices, but they are actively involved in the I-CAR Professional Development Program for their teachers. The program is also endorsed by most insurers, seven car manufacturers and AMBRA. I-CAR proudly supports these RTOs with updated material every

year as technology changes and provides unlimited access to learning materials for the teachers delivering the training. We have so much talented youth in this country, so let’s teach them how interesting this industry has become. If our young people are not being shown the right way, then the industry will not move forward and we will continue to suffer the skills shortage we are currently experiencing. There is no easy way, but if we work together we can begin to build the foundations for a wellskilled industry of the future - our industry will require it. However, there are many people in the industry who are happy to do what they have always done. If this is you, look back and see what has changed and ask yourself if it is the best way forward for your business. Look at the skill set within your business, ask yourself whether you are meeting the demands of your business, your staff and, most importantly, your customers. Without your support, our industry RTO partners are among the most vulnerable, so think about the future, work with the RTOs and let’s grow our apprenticeship programs for the future. These are the passionate people who are leading the change. Mark is the CEO of I-CAR Australia. His mission is to ensure that the collision repair industry understands the importance of having fully trained personnel and knowledgeable technicians

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NCR Industry Forum

4th - 5th May 2018 - Sydney

TBA July 2018, Melbourne

NCR Awards Breakfast 5th May 2018 - Sydney

Hot Rod and Custom Auto Expo

Automechanika Frankfurt 11th - 15th September 2018 – Frankfurt, Germany

26th - 27th May 2018 - Sydney

Training contacts 3M Australia George Di Scala Tel: 0400 382 649 AkzoNobel Tel: (03) 9644 1711 Axalta Coating Systems Product training Axalta services Tel: 1800 292 582 BASF Australia Ltd Peter Jones Tel: (02) 8787 0142 Dents R Us Laury Chibnall Tel: 0438 383 555 iBodyshop E: Tel: (03) 9548 7400 LORD (Fusor, Farecla & Sika) Tel: (03) 9560 6066 Mipa Australia Pty Ltd Tel: (03) 9793 8800


PPG Australia Pty Ltd MVP Business Solutions VIC/TAS Mindy Roberts 0407 528 869 NSW/ACT Greg Tunks 0411 288 451 Tony Naughton 0459 820 395 QLD/NT John Stack 0413 274 035 SA Joe Esposito 0412 832 919 WA Brett Humphreys 0414 181 030 PPG 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 U-pol Damian Capelluti Tel: 0400 366 483 Valspar Automotive Tel: (02) 4368 4054


Suncorp Program Suncorp has partnered with the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council (NMVTRC) and the Kangan Institute at Synergy Repairs in North Melbourne to provide high quality smash repair services by experienced professionals whilst also operating as a social enterprise run by Mission Australia. Whilst there are many definitions, a social enterprise is essentially a commercial entity that has positive community impact – in Synergy Repairs’ case, young people who are disadvantaged or disengaged are given the chance to participate in a training and work experience program. The Synergy Repairs Program harnesses participants’ interest in cars and aims to help them build a career in a field that matches their interests. Participants are engaged in ‘hands on’ training in automotive painting and panel-beating while addressing life skills and personal development issues. At any one time a maximum of eight participants will be placed within the business and will engage in a six-month accredited training program, resulting in a Certificate II qualification. The program then works to create pathways to sustainable, ongoing employment, as apprentices with other industry providers. Since inception, 60% of the participants have either gone on to improve their life skills or entered an apprenticeship. Participants are trained and supervised closely by experienced experts in their field to ensure the highest standards of quality service are maintained - first time, every time. There is a lifetime guarantee on all work carried out by Synergy, which of course meets Suncorp’s body repair standards.

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Practical tips The Monday to Friday cupboard WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE PAINT LEFT OVER AFTER A REFINISH JOB IS DONE? PERHAPS, LIKE MANY PAINT SHOPS, IT IS LEFT CLUTTERING THE MIXING BENCH AND EVENTUALLY THROWN OUT. The PPG team has a better solution to avoid this wasteful practice: the “Monday to Friday cupboard”. It is literally a cupboard with several shelves marked with days of the week. A suitable paint storage system is also important and, for this, SATA’s RPS Cups are perfect. After a refinish job, they can be removed from the gun, sealed, labelled and stored. Issues Paint waste can add up very quickly. For example, say you do 20 colours per week and there is 100ml left after each one. That is two litres of waste per week, and this is a pretty conservative estimate for many shops. The second issue is clutter. Left over colours are typically put wherever a space can be found on the mixing bench, which can easily create confusion about what-is-what. Used correctly, the Monday to Friday cupboard can help make use of most of the leftover product. Tips and recommendation After each refinish job, the remaining colour is labelled and stored in the Monday to Friday cupboard on the

shelf for the day of the week the job was done. It then offers several paint shop savings. Touch ups. Occasionally, a job that has left the paint shop will be found to need a brush touch, a “blow in” or a rectification. Because you know which day of the week it was done, it is a simple matter to go to the appropriate shelf, locate the labelled paint from the actual job and make use of it. This is a great time and material saving! Rationalising. Once a vehicle has been returned to the customer, the stored paint for that job is not thrown out. At certain times during the week, the stored containers in the Monday to Friday cupboard are rationalised. This involves taking any small amounts left over and combining them into their colour groups (i.e., all the silvers in one container, blacks in another, blues in another, etc.). These colour group containers are then stored on another shelf and used as a ground coat on future jobs. Material saving ground coat. The colour group containers can be kept for the term of their “pot life” (PPG’s Envirobase High Performance waterborne basecoat system has a 90-day pot life when stored

in a sealed container) and used to lay down a ground coat for similar colours. For example, if a silver job comes in, simply take the “silver” container from the Monday to Friday cupboard, attach it to the spray gun and apply a ground coat layer. This not only works extremely well, it also makes use of colour that was going to be thrown out and has the bonus that less of the actual vehicle colour needs to be mixed. This article supplied courtesy of John Hristias – PPG Business Support Manager Asia/Pacific

The National Collision Repairer – 4 3

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Two mid-size MSOs share how they differentiate their businesses NEITHER CENTRAL AUTO BODY IN OREGON NOR 1ST CERTIFIED COLLISION CENTRES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WOULD BE CONSIDERED LARGE CONSOLIDATORS. BUT BOTH US COMPANIES HAVE SUCCESSFULLY GROWN TO SIX AND SEVEN LOCATIONS RESPECTIVELY, MAKING THEM SIGNIFICANT PLAYERS IN THEIR MARKETS. HERE’S SOME OF WHAT THEY SAY HAS HELPED THEM SUCCEED. Rapid growth from first acquisition Bret Bothwell said about four years ago he made a full-price offer to the owner of a collision repair shop in Portland who was looking to sell, but then heard nothing for months. “It turned out he was doing a bunch of due diligence on who I was, but it made me nervous when a full-price offer wasn’t instantly accepted,” said Bothwell, who renamed the shop Central Auto Body after the sale closed. “He didn’t want to sell to a big corporation. He wanted to sell it to a real guy.” Recently, Bothwell closed on the purchase of his sixth shop, the first one outside the Portland area. He acknowledges that having a shop more than a 4-hour drive from his others will be a bit of a stretch but hopes to eventually expand his company into other states as well. “So, this is almost a test for myself,” he said. “It’s a challenge. But at the scale we are today, the investment was minimal. We can take the risk. I’m kind of a risk-taker. I have no fear. I want to see if I can do it, and I really think I can.” Bothwell said Central Auto Body’s rapid growth – from three employees to more than 75 in just four years – has been fuelled, to some extent, by sheer drive on his part. After more than 15 years as a painter for relatively large collision repair organisations, Bothwell decided it was time to “do my own thing”.


“I thought I could do it better, and I’ve since hired a lot of my friends, so that makes me try even harder,” he said. “It’s a battle to grind it out every day, seven days a week, 16 hours a day. But if you outwork your competitors and try to do the right thing for your customers, I believe the business will just keep snowballing.” He says other factors beyond sheer tenacity have led to the company’s growth. He admits falling into his second shop by chance. A heavy-duty truck dealership contacted him about painting 20 trucks, something Bothwell’s first shop didn’t have a booth capable of accommodating. But the dealership offered him use of a shop, saying he would then have the option to lease that facility. It’s been Central’s fleet shop ever since. “It’s part of what differentiates us: being able to fix your high-roof van or semi-truck or whatever you have,” Bothwell said. He considers the company’s third shop as perhaps the company’s flagship and as one of his best decisions. He knew the location, at one of the busiest intersections in Portland, was a winner in terms of visibility. He also raves about the Nitroheat system that converts oxygen to heated nitrogen that he installed in the paint shop. “You can do two things with this,” Bothwell said. “First, you can fill your nitrogen tanks for your bumper plastic welders instead of buying it. But it

also improves transfer efficiency of your paint materials. More paint hits and stays on the panel, so it’s better for the environment and reduces materials costs. Because it’s heated, it makes your flash times a little faster, and the paint and clearcoat lay on a car better, look a little better.” Bothwell is excited about the growth and opportunity he sees for his company in the coming years. “You only live once. You might as well do what you like and be the best at it,” he said. “If you’re in a job where you’re not doing what makes you get out of bed in the morning, what’s the point? If you find something you like and do that, I think you’ll be more successful. This is what I enjoy.” Success through communication, quality control At 7:35 am each weekday, the entire staff of each location of 1st Certified Collision Centres meet to review, carby-car, what is planned for completion that day. The shop manager lists those vehicles on a dry erase board located in the production area. At 2:00 pm, the entire staff gathers in front of that board again, to go over the status of those vehicles and commit to what time they will be ready, so the front office staff can update customers. “I personally think those meetings make a big difference,” said Ron Villard, a company vice president who oversees two of the seven 1st Certified shops. “I don’t know how I could run a shop

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Minutes with ...

Julie Thomas Car-O-Liner Australia Brett Bothwell.

without that communication. I never have a customer calling me asking what’s going on. Now, occasionally they might not be happy with what we tell them at 2:15, but they’re not upset about not being kept informed.” Villard said the company is working to increase its ties with automakers, earning several OEM shop certifications. “We truly believe that, at some point, the manufacturers will be referring the vehicles to the certified repair shops, so that’s why we’re investing into that relationship,” Villard said. “We’ve actually received a few cars recently where the [telematics] system of the vehicle after an accident came on and said, ‘We’re going to send you to the nearest certified collision repair shop,’ and that is how the cars were referred to us. So, I’m starting to see the change. I find that extremely cool.” Villard said that, in addition to OEM procedures and certifications, the company uses several means to ensure quality repairs. The company maintains its I-CAR Gold Class Professionals designation, not just because it's a required part of some direct repair programs. “Over the past five or six years, I believe I-CAR has really changed the way they do business,” Villard said. “It’s way more informative today than it was in the past. I like that

Ron Villard.

When did you join the industry? 1984

a lot of the classes are now available online. We value I-CAR tremendously. In my opinion, continuing education is the key to success.” An estimating and quality control area gives estimators drive-through tear-down bays that allow them to write estimates right at the car. “I also have a 70-inch flat screen TV there so when a car comes through quality control, I can bring up original photos of the damage on the big screen,” Villard said. “I start looking at how the car was and how it looks today, going through the estimate line-by-line, doing my own quality control check on random cars.” Villard said the company hopes to continue to add additional locations, though he doesn’t foresee becoming a “massive consolidator.” “Ten or 12 stores seems manageable,” he said. “I always say it’s a lot easier to put one cow in the barn than it is a whole herd. I think this is manageable, and we give a little more personal attention to customers.” 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

The National Collision Repairer – 4 5

What was your first job in the industry? Implementing Quality Assurance for Car-O-Liner. What do you do now? Managing Director Car-O-Liner Australia. What do you like about the industry? The passionate and dedicated people I’ve spoken to and met along the way. What don’t you like about the industry? The overwhelming changes to the repair methods of today’s vehicles. What music do you like? Pop, rock – actually, most music. Your Favourite Artist? Phil Collins and Ed Sheeran Your favourite food? Chicken Schnitzel. Your favourite drink? Pinot Noir. Your hobbies? Cooking and travel. Who in the world would you most like to meet? Oprah Winfrey or Maggie Beer.


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PaintManager XI rolls out advanced colour solutions As well as simplifying the process of colour identification and mixing, PPG’s new PaintManager XI software has all the tools needed to enhance paint shop productivity. Recognising that vehicle colours are becoming more complex than ever before, PPG has reinforced its commitment to refinisher colour technology leadership by developing an all-new generation PaintManager XI. This next generation colour management system takes advantage of a totally new software architecture (not a revamp of the industry-leading PaintManager platform) to give the development team the opportunity to step up performance across the board. Not only is PaintManager XI even easier to navigate and use, it is also packed with clever features and capabilities that are designed to reduce complexity while enhancing paint shop accuracy, speed and efficiency. Users are welcomed by a fresh, visually appealing interface, along with a more intuitive workflow that gives easy access to a whole host of new functionalities and process improvements. For example, a new “smart” search engine makes difficult searches easy, while enhancements to the “mix and weigh” workflow help promote a “one step mixing” process. An improved “estimate volume” function reduces waste and saves time by helping to precisely estimate the volume of product to mix, including thinner, hardener and additives. PaintManager XI also brings the traditional spray-out card-based painter’s library to life with the ability to “tag” individual entries and then “search” when required, as well as add spectrophotometer readings and share the library within a network or across multiple locations. PPG’s RapidMatch X-5 spectrophotometer is fully compatible with PaintManager XI, so users can continue to enjoy the accuracy of its five angle readings that slash colour matching time. Managers now get a suite of

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PaintManager XI tools to help monitor and understand paint shop operations in order to drive productivity and profitability. For example, the “Jobs” function is a simple to use tool that tracks all repair orders and historical work. You can preview team assignments, the progress at each repair step and add spectrophotometer readings to the job at a glance. New “Inventory” and “Pricing” features add even more possibilities. PaintManager XI also brings plenty of auditing options that provide flexible and customisable report cards to cover a whole range of paint shop operations. This straightforward, action-oriented information can be shared with staff to promote teamwork and develop best practice processes.

New PaintManager XI features: • easy setup via “Wizard” function • single, touch-friendly interface can support devices, including tablets and smart phones

• modern, appealing interface improves user experience • improved search functionality for smarter colour selection • fewer screens and less “clicks” to perform tasks • daily online updates via a simple Internet connection • search custom formulas using code and spectrophotometer • greater business collaboration and integration across multiple locations and within organisations. PaintManager XI software is currently being rolled out across Australia and New Zealand. Installation is fully supported and comprehensive training is included. Note: PaintManager XI requires a device using Windows 7 or later operating system. For more information about PaintManager XI, contact your PPG Territory Manager or the PPG Access Hotline on (Aust) 1800 627 798 or (NZ) 0800 442 531.

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Spies Hecker’s new clear coat additive for ultra-brilliant blue colours Tinted clears are as popular as ever in the automotive industry. Permasolid Clear Coat Color Additive 9047 is the latest additive from Spies Hecker for achieving excellent colour accuracy in repairs. Clear Coat Color Additive 9047 can be used in almost all Spies Hecker 2K HS clear coats. “Once the additive has been mixed with the clear coat according to the information in the colour formula, the tinted clear coat is applied as usual,” said Evgeny Khmelev, Spies Hecker Training Leader for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “The highly chromatic blue pigments contained in the colour additive create a stunning and brilliant final finish,” he added. When it comes to repairing vehicles with tinted clear coats, only

small quantities of the clear coat colour additive are needed, and it’s for this reason that all Spies Hecker clear coat colour additives are available in economical 100ml containers. The new blue Permasolid Clear Coat Color

Additive 9047 is used, for example, to refinish the Lexus colour 8X1 Sapphire Blue used in the IS, GS and RC series. For further information, please contact your Spies Hecker technical consultant.

Volkswagen approvals for CELETTE CELETTE recently announced that their bench system had been approved for use by Volkswagen AG. The CELETTE bench system guarantees a predictable and correct outcome every time. It duplicates the factory build process with 100% accuracy. The bench system resolves the most common problems that repair technicians face, such as diagnostics and measuring. SAPE Group Operations Manager, Paul McMartin, said: “There is no better way to fix a damaged vehicle. The quality and accuracy of the CELETTE Bench System is second to none. The approval is great news. It's what Volkswagen customers expect and deserve.” Volkswagen AG has approved the following equipment as an alignment system. VAS 811 013 – Griffon XL bench composition ASE811 013 80000 VAS 811 011 – Sevenne bench

composition ASE811 011 80000 VAS 811 009 – Sevenne XL bench composition ASE811 009 80000 VAS 811 007 – Rhone bench composition ASE811 007 80000 VAS 811 003 – Griffon bench composition ASE811 003 80000 In addition to the Volkswagen AG certification,

CELETTE is the approved bench for Audi, VW, BMW, Mini, Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Jaguar, Rolls Royce, Maybach, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, Smart, Porsche and Volvo.

For more information on the CELETTE bench system, contact Sydney Automotive Paint and Equipment on (02) 9772 9000.

The National Collision Repairer – 4 7

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The CTR7 – the new generation in resistance spot welders Looking for an easy-to-handle, innovative and compact resistance spot welder that will reduce your cycle times, give you a greater working range and improve workplace safety through its low centre of gravity? Look no further than the Car-O-Liner CTR7. Car-O-Liner continues its quest to create the very best products for vehicle collision repair and this unique, new generation welder gives perfect results each time – every time. The CTR7 Resistance Spot Welder, Car-O-Liner’s new generation welding machine, provides quality spot welds with all the new high-strength steels using cutting edge inverter technology. A wide range of accessories and sophisticated software with semiautomatic control features guarantee perfect welding results. The sharp, easy-to-read, 7” colour screen makes it easy to navigate and set your parameters, thereby reducing cycle times and increasing your

productivity. The CTR7 also contains the latest technological platform that, in the future, will support internet technology and wireless communication features. If you are wondering what the CTR7 will do for you, then consider the welding currents up to 12,000 amps for powerful output for the toughest welding jobs, supported by a large 20 litre tank that provides an efficient water-cooled operation. Add in the aluminium telescopic support arm with optional integrated balancer that provides adjustable height, with

full documentation and registration of welding data via PC and USB with the optional Weldlogger™ program. For more information, contact Car-O-Liner Australia on Tel: (02) 4271 6287.

Two great new products from Standox VOC Xtreme Filler U7600 Featuring new technology, the revolutionary VOC Xtreme Filler outperforms on every level. Applied in one visit, it has no flash-off times and a very impressive air-drying performance. Bodyshop owners can now look forward to a higher throughput. For a filler to outperform all existing drying records, it will need to have a very impressive air-drying performance. The Standox VOC Xtreme Filler U7600 meets this challenge head-on. Remarkably, it can be sanded after only 20–40 minutes air-drying time. It provides excellent vertical stability and a super smooth flow directly from the spray gun. It is available in white, grey and black. Features at a glance:

4 8 – P R O D U C T S H OW C A S E

• Very impressive air-drying performance • Provides outstanding gloss holdout after top coating • Simple 1:1 mixing ratio with Standox Xtreme Filler Hardener • VOC Xtreme Filler and Express Prewipes are the foundation of the Standox 1Day Repair concept • Available in white, grey and black. Express pre-treatment wipes U3000 Based on a new technology, you can now significantly speed up the entire process of “priming” metal substrates. Replacing the primer and applying a special layer, Express Prep Wipes guarantee excellent adhesion and corrosion protection with convenient application properties and significant time savings due to

no flash-off time requirements. For metal substrate preparation, the Standox Express Prep Wipes U3000 is mandatory when using VOC Xtreme Filler. It is very economical: one wipe can cover around 2 m2. For further information, please contact your Standox technical consultant.

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In addition to its advanced feature set and convenient daily updates via the Internet, the network-capable PaintManager XI® software program now provides formulations for OEM cars and trucks, commercial fleets and custom colors–plus service for the Light Industrial segment–all within one convenient and cloud based racking ack ma e it even easier for mak nage age and evaluate shop


Mar 2018  

The National Collision Repairer March 2018 issue

Mar 2018  

The National Collision Repairer March 2018 issue