Nov 2021 NCR

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

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We reflect on Capricorn’s great initiatives and results from 2021 Barry Edney shares the latest technology trending in the UK and Europe Celebrating this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award inductees


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with Joe McFadries

Dedication When the going gets tough … One of the most quoted sayings is that when the going gets tough … well, you know the rest. However, too few of us really know what that means and what it takes to be able to deliver when indeed the going does get tough. In my view, tough situations test our character, commitment and resilience, all of which I’ve spoken about in previous issues, but it’s our dedication that really does come under real pressure. But what does this really mean? Well, the term can be traced back to biblical times with several connotations, but in our context I’d suggest it’s “an act of devoting yourself to a particular purpose or cause”. Now, conceptually it’s not that difficult to get your head around this, as the vast majority of us are wedded – another variation on dedication – to making our businesses, careers, relationships and our lives successful – by whatever means you choose to measure success. It really gets down to the individual and what’s important to you. However, every now and then we meet those individuals and organisations who are dedicated to more than just their own success. They’re focused on the success of the greater environment in which they operate, and it is those we celebrate in this issue. When we speak of dedication, our Lifetime Achievement Award inductees are once again front of mind. On page 18 we congratulate Steve Economidis, Peter McMahon, Garry Maher and Rob Mildenhall on being inducted in 2021, primarily on the basis of their dedication to the greater good of the industry over the course of their careers. Also, on page 14 we present a “that was the year that was” from the perspective of the Capricorn Society which, through several initiatives has demonstrated its dedication to not only go “above and beyond” for Members, and has once again delivered the State of the Nation report to assist the development of the industry as a whole. In a very special Custom Corner on page 40, Owen Webb introduces a cross section of the community in Alice Springs that is dedicated to steering young Indigenous people in new directions by introducing them to car THE

building, modification and painting projects. On page 28 meet Geoff Smith of Garry A Smith in Christchurch, New Zealand, who had the dedication to rebuild his business following the tragic earthquake of 2011 and become bigger and better equipped to serve the local community. On the technology front, on page 22 Barry Edney highlights how data and new technology platforms are changing the automotive industry landscape in the UK and Europe, while on page 42 John Yoswick discusses how artificial intelligence and developments in coatings technology are impacting the industry in the US. We also have another I-CAR Update from Garry Maher on page 34, our regular OEM Snapshot on page 26 and a Tech Tip with a difference from PPG on page 38. Finally, on page 36 we revisit two Future Leaders of the Industry who are competing in the WorldSkills Nationals and, of course, we have all the latest local, global and product news to keep you up to date with what’s happening in our great industry.

Stay safe and well, and as always, happy to chat.

The National Collision Repairer magazine – Making a difference in our industry


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CollisionRepairer Latest News

Special Reports

Local News


All the latest news from around the country as we emerge from lockdown.

Global News


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

Tech Tip

Capricorn in 2021

Regular Features 14



Another selected look at the various activities happening in the world of the OEM.

Lifetime Achievement

I-CAR Update 18

Europe Insight


Barry shows how in-car technology and the data available from the “connected car” are changing the automotive aftermarket.

Great new products specifically designed to enhance your business.


Updated Events and Training Contacts

We meet Geoff Smith of Garry A Smith in Christchurch who rebuilt his business following the tragic 2011 earthquake.


The SEMA Show Summernats34 Collision Repair Expo.

OEM Global Snapshot 26

We reflect on some of the great initiatives this year, culminating in returning record profits to Members.

We congratulate 2021 inductees, Steve Economidis, Peter McMahon, Garry Maher and Rob Mildenhall.

PPG shows us how to find the OEM colour code on any vehicle using their OEM Code Locator.

Product Showcase




Garry Maher shows us what it takes to deliver a high-quality repair in 2021.

Future Leaders


We revisit two Future Leaders of the Industry who are competing in the WorldSkills Nationals

Custom Corner


Owen introduces us to Cuz Congress and the program dedicated to supporting young Indigenous people.



John discusses the influence of AI and developments in coatings technology.

EDITOR: Joe McFadries 0458 588 333


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

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The Future is Here The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) is excited to officially launch the 2022 Collision Repair Expo (CRE). To take place at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and co-located with the Australian Auto Aftermarket Expo (AAAE), the combined expos are the nation’s only comprehensive showcase of Australia’s $25 billion automotive repair and service industry. The show will bring together the industry’s best and brightest, and showcase the country’s leading companies, all under one roof from 7–9 April 2022. With the theme “The Future of Collision Repair is Here” and debuting a range of fantastic new initiatives and features, the expo is an unmissable event. The expo showcases the latest collision repair equipment, products, tools and accessories, new technology and trends, plus a comprehensive training and education program. “We are excited to be able to move forward with our preparations for the expo – an event run by the industry, for the industry. After a challenging couple of years for everyone, our industry is more excited than ever to come

together to celebrate, learn, conduct business and network,” said Stuart Charity, CEO of the AAAA. “The automotive industry in Australia is undergoing unprecedented change driven by the complexity of the car parc, changes in vehicle technology and the changing capabilities and needs of our workforce and customers. Vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems, pass through technology, embedded telematics (‘connected car’), and hybrid and electric powertrains are all on Australian roads today. These vehicles will need to be safely repaired and maintained for their useful life, anywhere in Australia.” CRE 2022 will bring together experts from across the industry to provide the very latest information and practical tips on how and when businesses will need to adapt to these changes. The expo aims to help visitors prepare for the future, to embrace and capitalise on the evolution of the industry, and the trends and technology that are rapidly developing. The expo continues to evolve, and the launch of several exciting new

initiatives will build further value for exhibitors and attendees visiting the show. The 2022 Expo will feature a “Workshop of the Future Pavilion” that will include a display of state-of-theart equipment and technology as well as regular presentations from industry experts covering the very latest information on workshop management systems, EV repair techniques, ADAS calibration, and diagnostics and tooling including J2534 pass through technology. For the first time, the expo will incorporate a stand-alone seminar stage on the CRE show floor that will deliver a free comprehensive training and education program sponsored by I-CAR and display incredible live demonstrations from the onsite Lowbake Spray Booth on the big screen. Other exciting aspects of the 2022 Collision Repair Expo include a modified and classic vehicle display area in the show concourse, celebrity appearances, interactive displays and competitions. “We are very pleased that the SAPE Group (Sydney Automotive Paints and Equipment) has returned as major sponsor for CRE 2022, and we’d like to thank them for their strong and continued support,” said Charity. “We can’t wait for April to open the doors and finally welcome our industry back together. We know visitors will have a fantastic time and arm themselves with the knowledge to thrive, ready for the exciting future that awaits.” The 2022 CRE and AAAE are gearing up to be the best ever. With huge exhibitor demand, expect over 250 of Australia’s leading brands to proudly display across 19,500 sqm of floor space at the MCEC. With free entry available to all members of the automotive trade, the expo is expected to see 10,000 visitors attend over the 3-day event.

For more information and to register, visit:

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GM launches their all-new online store GM Australia and New Zealand Aftersales has released details of a brand-new dedicated online store for customers to purchase official GM merchandise. The all-new store is home to a variety of collectables, ranging from Holden, “Final Roar” motorsport and HSV, to GMSV, including Chevrolet and Corvette products. “There’s a huge passion and growing demand for a wide range of branded merchandise from the GM portfolio and now, as we get into the final rounds of the Supercars championship as well as with Christmas coming up, is the perfect time to launch the new site,” said Chris Payne, Marketing Manager Aftersales. “This is a quick and easy way for

people to shop at home, at a time convenient to them, often when they’re on the lookout for special or memorable items – with the added peace of mind knowing they are purchasing genuine GM and Holden products.” Items available include official merchandise celebrating the history of the Holden brand, significant new product launches and motoring milestones. A range of model cars recognising motorsport achievements is also for sale, including Classics, Red Bull Holden Racing Team models and the exciting new C8 Corvette in 1:18 scale. “Bathurst holds a special place in the hearts of Holden motorsport fans, so there’s a new range of Holden ‘Final Roar’ polo-shirts commemorating

some of the great victories witnessed at The Mountain,” added Payne. “The collection features Peter Brock, Norm Beechey, Larry Perkins, Craig Lowndes, Mark Skaife and, of course, the memorable final ‘Holden Factory win’ by Shane van Gisbergen in 2020. Each garment includes the qualifying and winning time of the driver combination, so they represent a special piece of motorsport history. The range will continue to grow, so if you want to be among the first to know about new additions and limited release items, as well as special offers, then sign up and become a subscriber to the store,” he concluded. For more information, visit the new website:

September PREP IT! apprentice competition winners The winners are in for the Norton Prep It! apprentice competition, with first place going to Harry Le Lievre. Harry is a third-year vehicle body builder employed by Krueger Transport Equipment in Victoria and attends the Kangan Institute in Docklands. His submitted work piece was a Hilux 150mm chassis extension using a variety of processes to prepare and complete the weld areas, for which he won a $200 Coles Group gift card. The runner up winners for September, each receiving a $50 Coles Group gift card were: ● Amber Jones, a third-year spray painter employed by Cole Motors Crash Repairs who attends MTA SA. ● Dean Hutchinson, a fourth-year spray painter employed by Barker Trailers who attends Kangan Institute in Victoria.

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Entries are now open for the November competition, and with only a couple of months left to enter, it could be you who wins the final grand prize at the end of the year: 1st $2,000, 2nd $500 or 3rd $250 – each prize rewarded in Coles Group gift cards. The Prep It! apprentice competition is designed to showcase the skill and knowledge the apprentices learn throughout their training using sanding and panel preparation techniques from bare metal through to polishing. Entrants can use any Norton product to prepare a panel for their chance to win. All monthly entries go in the grand prize draw. Entrants may enter once per month. For full terms and conditions or to enter, please visit the competition

website or scan the QR code (permit ACT: TP 21/00047 SA: T21/41).

Harry Le Lievre.

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Make life a ride with BMW

November is your final chance to win the incredible BMW R nineT Roadster with BMW & MINI Trade Club as part of their exclusive, member-only prize draw competition. The BMW R nineT, which received a raft of updates for the 2021 model year including extensive standard equipment, revised styling and increased pulling power, makes an immediate statement with its combination of classic design and modern technology. This classic roadster embodies the passion and innovation gathered from more than 90 years of motorcycle design, with high-quality materials and precision craftsmanship. Its iconic and powerful air/oilcooled twin-cylinder boxer engine provides highly responsive and smooth running with two camshafts, four radially arranged valves per cylinder and central counterbalance shaft. You could be the lucky winner of this roadster by simply purchasing a qualifying amount of Trade Club Parts on one invoice and entering the prize draw. The more you spend, the more chances you have to win. It’s easy to enter; just visit -competition-entry and enter your invoice details into the form. The competition runs until 30/11/2021, with the draw to be held on Friday 10/12/2021. Speak to your local BMW & MINI Trade Club representative or visit the BMW and MINI Trade Club website to find out more and to read the full terms and conditions. If you would like the chance to win but you’re not currently a BMW and MINI Trade Club Member, visit the website to apply today. Terms and conditions apply. NSW Permit No. TP/00876. ACT Permit No. TP21/00422. SA Permit No. T21/368.

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Ford’s #NextGenRanger camouflaged to hide in plain sight Camouflage stickers with mindbending patterns, squiggles, and swirls – car makers go to great lengths to protect their top-secret prototypes from prying eyes. The aim of these patterns is to confuse the eye and prevent industry spies from being able to focus on the vehicle’s features. Ford’s latest camouflage, inspired by mountain ranges and based on the block pattern previously seen on the Bronco R Baja racer, uses hundreds of blue, black, and white blocks in a pixelated pattern to break up the appearance of the underlying shape of the vehicle while it’s still under development. While Ford is not trying to hide the fact that this is the #NextGenRanger thanks to the hashtag and QR code built into the pattern, it doesn’t want to fully reveal the final design just yet. The camouflage was designed by the team at the Melbourne Design Centre – the same design team that has taken the lead on all aspects of the #NextGenRanger. This camouflage pattern creates an optical illusion that makes it difficult to pick out exterior features in sunlight, while a reflective element helps hide the vehicle’s shape at night. “We were asked to develop a camouflage that allowed you to clearly see that this is the next-generation Ranger but not see it at the same time. We wanted the design to be dynamic and exciting and build

Ford Ranger.

anticipation towards the reveal of #NextGenRanger without looking like a derivative of military camouflage,” said Leigh Cosentino, Design Manager at Ford Australia. “We ended up with this design, which is dense at the bottom and then the pattern becomes scattered towards the roof. It ends up being a good camouflage, is visually exciting but also gives the pattern a sense of movement. It’s not the usual static type of camouflage.” “There’s no line work on this camo that aligns with anything on the exterior and that means you can’t see volume or shape or lines in the vehicle,” added Lee Imrie the Ford Australia designer who developed the pattern. “My intention with this design was to scatter your eye so that you can’t focus on a specific line; and the colour patching adds to that effect.” The digitised pattern took the team two months to develop and test. It’s printed onto vinyl and applied in two stages, taking up to two days to apply. The full-vehicle base layer contains the blue, black, and white blocks and is applied in the same way a regular wrap is. The second, reflective “layer” consists of up to 100 individual reflective elements hand placed on the vehicle. The wraps will finally come off the next-generation Ranger – which has been designed and engineered in Australia for local conditions – later this year.


Aussies know a thing or two about how to take a good thing and make it better. From spreading the good stuff on your morning toast, to squirting a bit of sauce on your meat pie, there are some things that just work better together. At Fix Auto Australia, we’re all about building partnerships so that your business goes from good to great.


Fix Auto is the world’s largest independent repair network, with over 700 locations in 13 countries taking advantage of our systems, resources, training and global buying power, coupled with the strength of leading collision industry brands. If you’re ready to go one better, call the team on 1300 FIX AUTO or visit


Minutes with ...



IAG acknowledges proceedings commenced by ASIC

Laura Swinden Capricorn Society When did you join the industry: 2012 What was your first job in the industry: Workshop manager What do you do now: Capricorn Area Manager - WA What do you like about the industry: It’s forever changing – it’s so different to the way we did things 5 years ago. The innovation and technology are fascinating, and I enjoy seeing workshops embracing the changes. What don’t you like about the industry: Lack of diversity in workshops, would love to see more women taking up the trade. What music do you like: Every type of music Your favourite artist: Australian musician, DJ and record producer, Flume Your favourite food: Mexican Your favourite drink: Matsos Ginger Beer Your hobbies: Horse riding Who in the world would you most like to meet: US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

IAG has acknowledged that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has commenced civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia alleging contraventions of the ASIC Act and the Corporations Act by IAG’s wholly owned subsidiary Insurance Australia Limited (IAL). The proceedings relate to IAL’s failure to pass on the full amount of discounts to a significant number of NRMA Home, Motor, Caravan and Boat Insurance customers between March 2014 and September 2019. When IAG identified this issue as part of a proactive review in 2019, the company self-reported to ASIC. IAG reviewed its pricing commitments and promises across its products and identified impacted customers to provide refunds. IAG is working closely with ASIC

through the remediation program. The customer refunds associated with these proceedings are covered by the customer refund provision that was established in FY20 and FY21, which also covers other products and pricingrelated matters, but does not include any potential civil penalty outcome. Considerable progress has been made on the remediation program, with more than 80% of affected NRMA Insurance customers having now been compensated in relation to this issue. IAG apologised for this failure, recognises the significance and that it was unacceptable, and is putting this right for its customers as soon as possible. Since late 2019, IAG has enhanced its systems and processes for the delivery of discounts as part of its significantly improved risk culture and control environment.

ADAS calibration made easier thanks to the Auto Innovation Centre The Auto Innovation Centre (AIC) is proving its worth to automotive vehicle repairers and windscreen repairers with a comprehensive advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) calibration solution. Utilising the latest ADAS calibration tools from Hella Gutmann and the Robert Bosch Group, the expert AIC team can quickly recalibrate a wide range of new generation vehicles fitted with ADAS systems, including cameras and radars. Supporting this capability on-site is headlight aiming and OBD diagnostic connectivity. “Industry feedback confirmed that windscreen repairers and collision repair workshops wanted an alternate ADAS solution rather than the need to return to the original equipment manufacturer. The AIC invested in the latest ADAS calibration equipment to offer a high quality, fast and competitively priced alternative,” said Luke Truskinger, AIC Managing Director. “The AIC team is fully trained in ADAS calibration and a large number of vehicles are compatible, with the service usually only taking a few hours to complete. With more and more

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new-generation vehicles fitted with ADAS systems as standard, ADAS calibration services at the AIC will form an increasingly crucial industry service moving forward.” ADAS calibration is just one of the many service offerings that the cuttingedge AIC provides to aftermarket businesses across the country. From the industry’s leading database of 3D vehicle scans to dynamic vehicle testing, product level testing, and 3D printing plus a vehicle fleet and fully equipped workshop for hire, the AIC is set up to support a wide variety of aftermarket business needs. To learn more, check vehicle eligibility and book an ADAS calibration at the AIC, contact or Tel: (03) 9545 3333.



WinA and VACC helps accelerate women into automotive Accelerating Women into Automotive automotive qualifications, the program Women in Automotive (WinA) and the program, saying: “WinA exists to also seeks to increase the talent pool of Victorian Automotive Chamber of attract, recruit and retain women across women at a time of acute skill shortages Commerce (VACC) have announced the all levels and sectors of automotive, so impacting the automotive industry. launch of a new State Government we hope this will encourage more The five-week program will place funded grant program, titled women to join and change the gender successful applicants into a short and “Accelerating Women into Automotive”, perception that has long been intensive introduction to the in a joint effort to increase the number associated with the industry.” automotive industry through of women commencing apprenticeships She added: “At the completion of customised training and work in the automotive industry. the program, we hope participants will placement at a registered training With funding from feel excited to join the industry and organisation, with training covering Apprenticeships Victoria, Accelerating undertake their full apprenticeship. everything from mechanics to Women into Automotive forms part By providing the right training and engineering, sales and repairs. of the Victorian Government’s new employment opportunities, we aim to It will also utilise strategies that Women in Apprenticeships fund, increase the completion rates of are aimed at breaking down barriers which will support 615 women into female apprentices in automotive.” in order to attract and recruit women, apprenticeships and traineeships Governed by a steering such as: designing integrated training under a $5 million fund aimed at committee of industry leaders, WinA to suit women; business education to creating a pipeline of skilled workers seeks to raise the profile and support help cultivate a supportive culture; to help build Victoria’s future. women working in the automotive employing facilitators who will work This innovative project is being led industry by providing resources, to attract new students and support by WinA and VACC to create fulfilling networking and scholarship them throughout the program; and career pathways for female apprentices opportunities. Having recently initiated employing workplace mentors to help and encourage women to take their first an Automotive August membership transfer their skills and provide allsteps in embarking on a rewarding drive to help build their community, important industry knowledge. career in the industry, which has long WinA is firmly focused on the future VACC Lead, Strategy and Policy been male dominated. With women and lifting female participation rates and WinA Manager, Dr Imogen Reid, accounting for only 6.3% of the across all sectors of the industry. was thrilled to announce the commencements in the major To register for the program, or for more information, contact the VACC Skills Development Centre on (03) 9829 1130 or visit: For more information on Women in Automotive, or to become a member, head to:

Caboolture Crash Repairs goes gold with I-CAR I-CAR Australia is pleased to announce that Caboolture Crash Repairs has recently been awarded the prestigious I-CAR Gold Class Collision status. “I place a lot of emphasis on staying up to date with the latest industry procedures and technology. I-CAR’s ‘Road to Gold’ program has helped to make this achievable with their structured training options,” stated Ian Wust, owner of Caboolture Crash Repairs. “The flexibility of both online and on-site training has enabled several of my staff to achieve Platinum status. Feedback received from my staff is that they felt reassured to know that their skills are current, and that they found the courses to be relevant and easily accessible.” Wust added that it was also beneficial that PPG, one of I-CAR’s Industry Training Alliance partners, came on-site to provide staff training on workshop procedures and time management. After the training, they implemented new procedures and it was pleasing to see the efficiency improvements. Caboolture Crash Repairs is located in Caboolture, Queensland and is part of the Suncorp Insurance repairer network. By gaining the I-CAR Gold Class accreditation they join the growing number of businesses that have integrated

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regular training into their operation that will benefit their staff members, the business, and their valued customers. The Gold Class accreditation places Caboolture Crash Repairs in a very strong position to overcome the challenges presented by the ever-evolving automotive industry. For further information, contact I-CAR Australia at or on 07 3219 9088

I-CAR Caboolture team.

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with Garry Maher – I-CAR Australia

Capricorn Society Where it’s all about the Members AS WE APPROACH THE END OF YET ANOTHER CHALLENGING YEAR, WE REFLECT ON SOME OF THE GREAT INITIATIVES FROM CAPRICORN, CULMINATING IN RETURNING RECORD PROFITS TO MEMBERS. On the move Earlier in the year we caught up with Brad Gannon to discuss strategy, structure and resources and how it would all benefit Capricorn Members and Suppliers. Brad took the opportunity to reinforce the strategic importance of each sector to the overall Capricorn membership, highlighting that both the panel and commercial sectors are key focuses and underpinned by Capricorn’s commitment to product development, enhanced supply opportunities and increased field resources. Capricorn’s Panel Member numbers continue to climb and now exceed 1,500 Members, reinforcing the importance of the Panel Division, which is Capricorn’s second largest sector. Structurally, the Panel and Commercial national managers are supported by state field teams comprising both area managers and

Brad Gannon.


supply account managers, where the teams’ objective is to provide the best experience for all Members. Brad said: “Panel and Commercial Members are an important part of the Capricorn membership and we work hard to improve the value of their membership and the diversity of our Preferred Supplier base, which has been a key driver for the growth we have experienced in the last 12 months.” Turning to the Panel resources, National Panel Manager Rob Mildenhall is now supported by two dedicated Area Managers: Sue Walker in WA and Gavin Armstrong in Queensland, reinforcing Capricorn’s focus on the Panel sector. Rob continues to support the Panel Members in New South Wales in addition to his national responsibilities. Brad highlighted that Capricorn’s ongoing focus on the collision repair

sector would include the key issues that are important to panel Members’ businesses, working with their OEM brand partners and specialised panel equipment Preferred Suppliers. There will also be the ongoing commitment to the rapidly evolving ADAS technology space, all of which is focused on working harder, smarter and more efficiently for the Capricorn ecosystem – the Members and Preferred Suppliers. Rising stars Once again Capricorn launched its Rising Stars Apprentice of the Year initiative, which not only focuses on the technical proficiency of each nominee but also recognises apprentices who demonstrate a passion for automotive, a can-do attitude and a strong commitment to forging a long and rewarding career in the industry.

There were over 600 Capricorn Members from across Australia and New Zealand who nominated an apprentice for this accolade that rewards and recognises the industry’s leaders of the future. The top five finalists were: ● Ben Brown – CWR Motorsport (NZ) ● Adam McDonald – Voltaic Auto Electrical (WA) ● Jordon Dodge – Mark Dodge Auto Repairs (Qld) ● Paige Scully – Krupic Auto Repairs (Vic) ● Thomas Rutzou – Jag and British Prestige Service (Vic) All were noted by their employers for leadership skills beyond their years, outstanding willingness to learn, displaying genuine pride and enthusiasm for their work, and their future automotive aftermarket career potential. Once again, the talented finalists include a diverse range of backgrounds and specialisations, which continues an encouraging trend. After such a challenging year, it is promising to see such a high calibre of apprentices nominated and an increasing number of young women entering the automotive industry. With Ben Brown named the 2021 Capricorn Rising Star Apprentice of the Year, the trophy is heading to New Zealand. Hailing from Rangiora, North Canterbury, Ben has demonstrated outstanding problem-solving capacity, commitment to excellence and a genuine love for automotive. In announcing the award, Brad Gannon said the number and quality of nominations is a positive sign for the industry. “It’s clear the future is in safe hands with so many outstanding apprentices being nominated by Capricorn Member workshops. The record number of applications is also a tribute to the resilience and strength of our Members’ businesses, as they develop tomorrow’s qualified repairers in a year of disruption. State of the Nation Report Building a talent pipeline to address the skills shortage in the automotive industry, was one of the key issues to emerge from Capricorn’s State of the

Nation 2021, according to the report research company TKP was commissioned to provide. Launching the report, David Fraser said: “The automotive industry is dynamic and evolving – cars are literally computers on wheels, which makes for an exciting career, especially if you’re into gaming or coding. However, the industry as a collective need to have a serious conversation about how it plans on creating a pipeline of talent to address future labour shortages.” While the report found there were many positives about working in the industry, such as making customers happy, the joy of problem solving and finding a passion working with vehicles, work-life balance was a genuine problem. This appears to be a flow-on from the industry’s shortage of skilled labour, which the report says is related to the 23.2% decline in graduate apprentices in automotive and engineering between 2016 and 2020. The report indicated that Members had implemented some of the recommendations from the previous report, and although there were still some challenges ahead, it also identified where Members could take advantage of some easy wins. In summary, the key recommendations from the report are: make time for a break, plan to ride out the parts

David Fraser.

shortage, prepare for the advent of electric vehicles, don’t be afraid to charge customers for the work you do, employ an apprentice, create a good workplace culture, invest in technology and training, and get on top of your future plans. David concluded: “Generally, the report is very positive. On average, profits are up, thanks in part to the public’s increased reliance on cars and the growing car parc. We’re still feeling confident about the future of our businesses and the industry.” The award of a lifetime Last month, Capricorn National Panel Manager Rob Mildenhall was inducted onto the National Collision Repairer Lifetime Achievement Awards honour roll, a vote of recognition from his peers for his commitment to the growth and development of the Capricorn Panel Division membership and the collision repair industry as a whole. In announcing the award, his dear friend, David Newton-Ross spoke of Rob initially joining Capricorn in South Africa before moving to Australia in 2010, where he was thrown in the deep end with a dual role as National Panel Manager and Business Development Manager, NSW. Rob made several significant and enduring contributions to the industry and has, without exception, made

Rob Mildenhall.

The National Collision Repairer – 1 5


himself available to represent Capricorn Members at a wide variety of industry events. He also initiated and publishes the quarterly Member magazine, Panel, and did the heavy lifting for the organisation’s highly popular 2019 Futures Collide Forum. David reflected on their first meeting, which turned out to be almost a full day, discussing the “ins and outs” of industry and how over the years they have become great friends as well as sharing many experiences in the industry. “This award is well deserved and is a testament to Rob’s knowledge, commitment and passion for helping develop a stronger, better collision repair sector. I have really enjoyed watching Rob’s progress and his contribution to Capricorn’s Australian Panel Division Members over the past decade.” Rob, who is not often stuck for words, said he was genuinely touched by the nomination and the recognition. “There are so many great people in our industry that inspire me to be the best I can be. I want to thank the team at Capricorn and, most importantly, the Members for their support.” The full report on all four Lifetime Achievement Award inductees is on page 18 Giving record profits back to Members While most organisations charge membership fees, Capricorn is doing things very differently, paying its Members a record $71 million in FY21. This included the recent announcement of a $15 million trade volume rebate, distributed in proportion to Members’ use of their Capricorn trade accounts. The massive lump-sum payment represents a direct return of profits in what was another successful year for the cooperative. What makes the trade volume rebate even more remarkable is that it is the 4th consecutive year that it has been paid, showing that regardless of any global challenges, it’s more profitable to trade as a Capricorn Member. Capricorn Group CEO David Fraser said the record returns were



a testament to the strength of the cooperative. “This time last year I was talking about how being part of a cooperative can help our Members persevere through the pandemic. A year later we’re still all living with COVID-19 and the uncertainty it brings, but another year of record returns makes it absolutely clear just how much better off you are as a Capricorn Member.” Fraser continued: “With more than 2,700 new Members joining us in the last year, I am confident these returns will continue to grow along with Australasia’s largest automotive cooperative, Capricorn.” Capricorn Members also received an additional $38.5m throughout the year in reward points. The Capricorn Rewards program returns 1.5 points on almost every dollar spent through a Capricorn trade account, with every 100 points equal to $1. This makes Capricorn Rewards one of the most generous rewards programs in Australasia. Members can choose to use their points to effectively discount their business expenses or redeem them for a range of merchandise and gift cards.

Members reap the rewards.

As shareholders of the cooperative, Capricorn Members also received a total $17.5 million via a very healthy 7% fully franked dividend (representing a 10% return inclusive of tax benefits). Finally, eligible Members with risk protection provided through Capricorn Mutual shared in a $6 million “loyalty rebate”. This first-time rebate rewarded those responsible for choosing the Member-owned mutual as an industry-focused alternative to traditional insurance. Combined, these returns equate to thousands of dollars back in the pocket of the average Member, all for doing nothing more than choosing to trade through Capricorn’s network of Preferred Suppliers who offer instant trade credit and can provide almost every product and service an automotive business would need. Editor: Capricorn is indeed a true leader of our industry and the initiatives in 2021 only reinforce my view that exploring the opportunity to become a Capricorn Member or Preferred Supplier should be on everyone’s “to do” list.

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with Joe McFadries

The 2021 Lifetime Achievement Awards FOR THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR, THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS PRESENTATION WAS HELD AS A VIRTUAL CEREMONY AND ONCE AGAIN WE WELCOMED A FULL COMPLEMENT OF ATTENDEES FROM ACROSS THE INDUSTRY AND AROUND THE WORLD. The event got underway with an Acknowledgement of Country, where we recognised the Indigenous peoples of the Kulin Nation as the traditional custodians of the place from which we broadcast in Central Victoria, paying respects to the Elders past, present and emerging. Following a brief introduction of the program where we once again acknowledged the support of our sponsors, we broadcast a slideshow highlighting some of the great events and initiatives that were delivered in Australia over the past 12 months. This event was, of course, to recognise the contributions of the inductees for 2021 and add them to the 46 existing inductees who have shaped, built, disrupted, influenced and developed the collision repair industry since the second half of the


20th century. This year there were nine worthy nominations from around the country, although four in particular attracted the attention of our voters – the sponsors and existing inductees. The inclusion of this year’s four inductees brings the collective experience of all 50 inductees to over 1,650 years! Steve Economidis David Rundle of AkzoNobel, a longtime friend of the family, announced that the first inductee was Steve Economidis who, as most of the industry knows, passed away earlier this year, leaving a great legacy at Gabba Collision Repair Centre. David shared that Steve was a longstanding, hardworking and successful leader in the collision repair industry and an icon in and around

Brisbane. His philosophy was to always set the highest standards for himself, his business and his staff. Steve built a business based on working cooperatively with many other stakeholders, including several work providers, and became a preferred supplier to many brands in the Queensland market. In addition, he understood the true value of OEM partnerships, becoming an OEMapproved repairer for various brands from both Asia and Europe. However, it was his innovative approach to customer service and

David Rundle presents the award to Paul and Jennifer Economidis.

ongoing communication at a time of great stress for his customers that made him, and his business, really stand out. A multi-award-winning business over the past decade, Steve’s commitment to delivering a safe and proper repair ensured customers leave the business with total confidence. In an understandably emotional setting, David presented the award to Steve’s wife, Jennifer, and son, Paul, who accepted the award on Steve’s behalf. Paul said that his dad would be both proud and humbled to receive such recognition and added that it was a really special day for the family. Peter McMahon Jeff Williams of Specific Prestige in SA announced that the second inductee for 2021 was Peter McMahon of the Car Craft Group in WA. Jeff pointed out that Peter began his automotive career almost 30 years ago in Adelaide dealerships before he joined MTA SA as a Divisional Manager

looking after the big three – towing, auto recycling and collision repair. Peter was thrown into the deep end in his first week when he attended his first AMBRA meeting in Canberra, where the Code of Conduct was always the main agenda item. Impending changes created a vacancy about which Peter raised his concern, which in turn led to him being nominated and elected in 2010, although this was not the intent. He remained part of the Code Administration Committee until 2015, including a period as chairman between 2013 and 2015. In 2015 Peter relocated to Perth to join the Car Craft Group and began to coordinate the national expansion across Australia, taking the membership from 71 across three states, to 115 across mainland Australia. A key part of that expansion was the promotion of AMBRA Shop Grading and I-CAR training among the group. He was invited to join the

Mark Brady presents the award to Peter McMahon.

I-CAR board (now the Industry Advisory Committee) in 2017 and is still an active member to this day. He also remains a key contributor to the industry and has been the WA AMBRA delegate for the past three years and remains a board member of the body repair division at MTA WA. Mark Brady, Chairman of Car Craft in WA, made the presentation in the presence of several of Peter’s colleagues at the Car Craft Group head office in Perth. Peter thanked the Car Craft board, his former AMBRA colleagues from around the country with whom he has worked and his dear friend and mentor, George Papillo, a former MTA Board member who sadly passed away 12 months ago. Garry Maher Phil Nixon announced that the third inductee was Garry Maher of L&M Smash Repairs. Garry joined the collision repair industry over 40 years ago and in that time never considered any other career. Garry is the second-generation owner of L&M Smash Repairs and over the decades has built a reputation as a quality and reliable collision repairer. His promise to his clients is to ensure customer satisfaction by making the experience as stress-free as possible, with full transparency during the entire process. In his early years, Garry travelled the world looking to expand his knowledge of the modern repair processes, working with equipment suppliers, attending many expos, and jumping at the opportunity to go to

Garry Maher was (almost) speechless.

The National Collision Repairer – 1 9


the US for training on structural alignment at the Chief Automotive College. This really opened his eyes to the importance of structural engineering, following which he became the Australian distributor of Chief. Garry also ran several pilot courses for IAG on a variety of subjects and he would always ensure he could relate to the class in layman’s terms. However, his proudest workrelated achievement has been as an instructor for I-CAR Australia, which he has done for the past 12 years. He was one of the first to be Gold Class certified, which he has retained to this day. His commitment to helping others has been his driving force over a lifetime in the industry. With NSW still in lockdown, Garry’s son Daniel made the surprise presentation at their facility in Seven Hills. Garry said that it was so great to see so many icons from around the country, and that as Daniel has now taken over the operation, Garry was concentrating on giving back to the industry. He added that the recognition that this award brings means so much to the team at LMSR.


Rob Mildenhall And finally, 2009 inductee, and founder of these awards, David Newton-Ross, announced the fourth inductee for 2021 was Rob Mildenhall of Capricorn Society. Rob joined the automotive industry almost 40 years ago, with the past 20 years spent in collision repair. In his early years in South Africa, he worked with multinational organisations and served as National Chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association. Rob then joined an embryonic Capricorn Society in 2001 and was instrumental in developing a network across the Body Repair Division and a key player in the roll out of the organisation. He immigrated to Australia in 2010 and inherited a dual role as National Panel Manager and Business Development Manager, NSW. Rob has made several contributions to the local collision repair industry, including championing the cause for safe and proper repairs; liaising with industry bodies to build the bridge between manufacturers, suppliers and independent body shops; and supporting several initiatives that raise

David Newton-Ross presents the award to Rob Mildenhall.

the profile of the industry. He initiated, and continues to publish, the quarterly member magazine, “Panel”, and was instrumental in Capricorn’s Futures Collide Forum that brought the industry together in 2019. David first met Rob not long after he arrived in Australia when he reached out to find out more about the collision repair industry. They spent most of the day discussing the industry have become great friends as well as sharing many experiences in the industry. David said that the award is well deserved and that he has enjoyed watching Rob’s progress and his contribution to our industry, which is a testament to his knowledge, commitment and passion for helping develop a stronger, better collision repair sector. As a result of the NSW lockdown, David made a virtual presentation to Rob who shared the moment with his partner Angela. Rob said that he was most unusually stuck for words and was genuinely touched. He recognised that the industry has so many inspirational people and reflected on his early days in Australia when he was finding his way. Finally, he thanked the broad Capricorn Team and, most importantly, the members for their support. In summary Once again, we thanked our broadcast partners, Encore Event Technologies, the many people from across the country who joined the broadcast in these challenging times, and our international colleagues from New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Denmark and the US. This once again reinforces that the event continues to grow in international stature. Of course, this initiative is only made possible by the support of our sponsors, and we once again thank them all for their support, especially in such a challenging year, and we look forward to returning in 2022 with a live presentation dinner on 6 April.

Josephine and I congratulate Steve, Peter, Garry and Rob on being recognised by their peers for a lifetime of achievement and contribution to the industry. They have formally been inducted onto the Honour Roll, which you will find on our website: 2 0 – INDUSTRY EVENT




We congratulate Garry Maher, Peter McMahon, Steve Economidis and Rob Mildenhall on being recognised by their peers for a lifetime of achievement and contribution to the industry.

Garry Maher

Peter McMahon

Steve Economidis

Rob Mildenhall

We thank and acknowledge the following companies for their ongoing support of these awards. GROUP



with Barry Edney

The view from up here BARRY GIVES US AN INSIGHT INTO HOW IN-CAR TECHNOLOGY AND THE DATA AVAILABLE FROM THE “CONNECTED CAR” ARE CHANGING THE AUTOMOTIVE AFTERMARKET LANDSCAPE, TOUCHING ON THE IMPLICATIONS FOR THE COLLISION REPAIR SECTOR. For a few years now, a lot of attention has been on in-car technology (ADAS) and how it affects the repair process and the skills needed to safely complete the repair. While the situation hasn’t changed, looking closely at the market in the recent challenging times revealed quite a few developments that either directly or indirectly affect our industry. For this edition, I thought it worthwhile to reflect on some of these developments and how the business landscape is developing for repairers and vehicle owners alike. Approved repairer programs Most major manufacturers have approved repairer programs across Europe, and these are the initiatives most visible to repairers. Originally, these were designed to provide the vehicle manufacturer with more influence in the repair methods and a greater opportunity to supply original parts. More recently, these programs have become much more important in the sharing of data and methods to manage ever more complex vehicle systems and driver aids. The UK program from Volvo and Polestar is an excellent example of how these approved repairer initiatives are developing in response to changing needs of drivers and repairers. Volvo was very conscious of the increasing technology in their vehicle range, as older technology has very quickly been replaced with new ADAS


technology and more sophisticated specifications. Even entry level models across the market have various ADAS technologies and will have even more in the future. As a result of this shift, Volvo wanted to see more of their accident damaged vehicles in approved body shops to ensure that the right skills and experience were available to repair the vehicles correctly and safely. In the UK, approved body shop technicians have the same training for EVs as Volvo retailer (dealership) technicians and will also have the same tooling and equipment. Since this focus on the program, the network has reduced from 137 body

Using the Fixico process in Amsterdam

shops to only 72 that are fully compliant. At the same time, the number of captured repairs has increased from around 2,500 to 9,000 per year. The result is a smaller, higher quality network with a much better outcome for repairers, for vehicle owners and for Volvo. Insurers are also beginning to see the benefit of these programs. Initially, many insurance engineers perceived the repairs to be more challenging as they were not familiar with the technology. This view, together with ADAS calibrations and equipment initially driving up repair costs, led to more frequent total losses. Now insurers are interested in discussing

total loss avoidance and see the higher skills, experience and equipment at approved body shops as a key part of their solution. Control of parts One of the fundamental changes the car manufacturers made to the way they do business with the collision industry started a few years ago when the Volkswagen Group broke with tradition and developed specialist parts distribution centres across the UK. This effectively removed the dealer from the parts supply chain and allowed Volkswagen to directly control supply and, of course, pricing. In a similar vein, Ford launched its own parts network in 2018 and now distributes all parts and accessories through this specialist network. With each location managing a specific territory, there is only a single source of parts for the UK’s biggest selling car models, with the resulting squeeze on discounts. All manufacturers now seem to be going down this specialist parts distribution route and the impact of these changes will continue to affect parts and prices. The use of data The advances in technology and digital communication are also beginning to create opportunities for the vehicle manufacturers and it’s been interesting to see recent announcements from the major manufacturers about data led initiatives and partnerships with other industry players. Volvo has also recently announced that the company will collect data from its vehicles in real time (assuming customers agree), and that the data will be gathered and processed at a central data processing centre with the aim of achieving continuous and much faster improvements to safety. This is an approach pioneered by Tesla and allows the rapid analysis of inputs about a car’s environment from onboard sensors such as highresolution LiDAR. The data generated from Volvos around the world will allow engineers to validate

autonomous drive (AD) features for specific geographic locations much more quickly. Volkswagen Group is reported to be adopting a similar approach to data gathering. On the back of the recent announcement by Ford and State Farm in the U.S. on data sharing and closer collaboration for vehicle build data, Ford Europe has announced a collaboration with By Miles, a pay per mile insurance provider. According to Ford, these are the first of several initiatives to be announced that will be enabled by Ford’s connected vehicle technology. What is interesting about these initiatives is that it shows car manufacturers are looking at ways to generate revenue based on vehicle usage. This is not surprising when you see recent mobility data and the initiatives being taken around the world during the pandemic to encourage walking and cycling rather than motoring or public transport. Many of the initiatives will not be reversed and, together with lower car ownership among younger people, the concern is that the overall car population will decline and limit business opportunities in the aftermarket. Contradicting that view, we have seen car use among the younger generation increase recently as lockdown is eased, public transport is avoided, and entertainment such

as drive-in movies and drive-in raves replace more traditional venues. However, Volkswagen global sales chief Christian Dahlheim has argued that the recent push towards cars is “probably not” part of a long-term shift, saying that, “it’s unthinkable that we replace public transport by individual transport in all major cities.” These data led initiatives mean that the fully connected car is even closer than many of us may believe. Services for drivers Something that caught my eye a few months ago was an initiative by a Dutch company called Fixico. Co-founder, Derk Roodhuyzen de Vries, believes that vehicle owners should have the same access to information about price, quality, facilities, availability, past reviews and so on as hotels and restaurants, where it has been available online for many years. The Fixico platform allows vehicle owners to select repairers based on their specific requirements. These could include specialising in a particular type of repair, a particular brand of vehicle, services offered such as PDR or even access to a loan vehicle. For the repairer, they can promote the type of work on which they want to focus, which of course allows them to focus only on the most profitable work for how their body shop is configured. Fixico works to connect the

The Polestar retail experience

The National Collision Repairer – 2 3


dots in a smart way to get the right work for the right body shop and the best outcome for the vehicle owner. With 2,500 users across eight European countries, Fixico is developing more and more insight into the key trends and types of repairs being completed. This highlights growing specialisation and they expect this to accelerate as body shops focus on specific types of work (for example, small repair, heavy collision or specialist ADAS calibration). The work being secured via the Fixico platform shows more specialisation on a specific competence, not just vehicle brands. So, what does this all mean? More and more vehicle manufacturers have begun bypassing dealers, selling cars online and via pop-up stores and in shopping malls. Currently, it is not possible to buy a Ford Mustang Mach E from a dealer, only online, and Polestar only sells from their new “Super Showrooms” on the highstreet, pop-up stores and online. Roodhuyzen de Vries has a very different long-term view of the automotive aftermarket to the one I expected. He asks, as we move away from the traditional engine and gearbox and toward EVs with significantly lower maintenance needs, what is the future viability of dealer workshops? Will they be needed at all?

The Ford Mustang Mach-E GT



He is convinced that collision repair centres are ideally placed to take on the full maintenance needs of EVs. In most cases, EV motors and drive trains are simply swapped out and returned to the factory for refurbishment. It would not be a major leap for repairers to take on this work. After all, collision repairers are already skilled at a “remove and refit” approach. In summary I think Roodhuyzen de Vries has a valid point. With data and data usage becoming ever more important, the shift in how people access and use vehicles, the decreasing dependence on physical maintenance, and the separation of parts supply, does raise the question of the need for a traditional car dealership with the huge costs and overheads that they require. It’s clear that the business of collision repair is changing quickly and a combination of new automotive technology and the new approaches to sales and customer service introduced during the pandemic is only accelerating that change. Barry has extensive collision industry experience across Australasia, Europe and Asia Pacific. He is currently located in the UK and can be contacted on




More hydrogen fuel cell plants Global automotive supplier Hyundai Mobis has announced an investment of US$1.1 billion into two hydrogen fuel cell system plants in Korea. Starting production in the second half of 2023, the facilities are expected to produce 100,000 hydrogen fuel cells every year when fully operational. Hyundai Mobis, with the largest fuel cell production capacity in the world, is expected to gain even greater momentum in the global race for hydrogen mobility with the addition of the new production facilities.

“Despite uncertainties including COVID-19, we have decided to make this large-scale investment to secure market-leading competitiveness in the global fuel cell industry. We will continue to invest more in facilities and strengthen our R&D capability for the development of the hydrogen industry and expand the ecosystem,” said Sung Hwan Cho, President and CEO of Hyundai Mobis. With the completion of the new plants, Hyundai Mobis plans to expand its production line-up that applies fuel cell systems and diversify the hydrogen business. Most fuel cell systems produced by Hyundai Mobis are used in

fuel cell EVs, but the company is expected to scale its business to other sectors such as construction machinery and logistics equipment. Last year, Hyundai Mobis developed fuel cell power packs that go into hydrogen forklifts, opening up the possibility for entry into the construction machinery sector. The hydrogen power packs use forklifts as generators that produce electricity on their own by combining a fuel cell stack, a hydrogen tank, and a cooling device. Now the company is developing power packs for hydrogen-fuelled excavators and plans to enlarge the fuel cell systems for small air mobility.

Doubling the business

Rebranding its telematics system

General Motors has provided a detailed roadmap of how the company plans to double its annual revenue and expand margins to 12–14% by 2030 as a result of GM’s transformation into a growth company driven by EVs, connected services and new businesses. “GM has changed the world before and we’re doing it again,” said GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra. “We have multiple drivers of long-term growth and I’ve never been more confident or excited about the opportunities ahead.” At a recent series of investor meetings, GM shared its growth plans as several leaders, many of whom recently joined GM from other companies, detailed how the company’s compelling hardware and software platforms will combine to create growth, expand margins, add customers and diversify revenues. “GM is unlocking a secular growth story that is changing the trajectory of our business,” said Paul Jacobson, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “Simply stated, we are at an inflection point in which we expect revenue to double by 2030 while also expanding our margins. We will achieve this by growing our core business of designing, building, and selling worldclass ICE, electric and autonomous vehicles, growing software and services with high margins and entering and commercialising new businesses.” During the presentations, GM also announced it is increasing investment in charging infrastructure to nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars through 2025, covering all charging domains including home, workplace, and public charging throughout the US and Canada. This investment will significantly increase access to reliable, public charging with the superior customer experience of Ultium Charge 360 as GM leaders described how the company’s Ultium and Ultifi platforms underpin its growth strategy.

Kia has re-named its high-tech in-car and app-based telematics system to Kia Connect, which will be rolled out across Kia’s European line-up over the coming months This makes driving an easier and more intuitive experience with a series of features designed to enhance vehicle connectivity, functionality and user control. Jason Jeong, President at Kia Europe and Kia Connect, said: “By re-naming our on-board and app-based telematics system to Kia Connect, we are making it clear to customers that its features are there to provide a seamless connection between owner, vehicle and environment.” Kia Connect’s suite of on-board technologies can be accessed through the vehicles’ central touchscreen, where users can also access Kia Connect Live Services, a suite of features that use a wider range of “best-in-class” data providers, giving customers more accurate information. Instead of being limited to one data provider, Kia Connect Live Services brings together data from a range of specialist providers for traffic information, parking availability and parking costs, locations and pricing for fuel stations and EV charging points, weather forecasts and online POI search. The Kia Connect app allows users to remotely access vehicle information via their smartphone, such as trip data and statistics, vehicle location and vehicle lock status. EV owners can use the app to set climate control levels, view their vehicle’s charging status, plan smart charging schedules and check the range radius based on the remaining charge. Users can also check and change their vehicle settings directly from their smartphone, including navigation, radio and Bluetooth preferences. When the ignition is turned on, customers are automatically greeted with their preferred settings, saving time and making each journey more enjoyable.

2 6 – O E M G LO B A L S N A P S H OT

E-Transit to lead the charge in an electric era

Update on supply

Ford Australia has announced an electrification strategy that will give local customers the choice of at least five new Ford electrified vehicles by the end of 2024. The new Ford E-Transit will accelerate Ford’s domestic EV charge when it debuts in mid-2022. Ford Australia’s electrification roadmap will include many of the company’s already popular nameplates while also introducing new models that will broaden its local vehicle range. These will be made up largely of battery electric vehicles, while plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) will also play a role, offering a vehicle to meet the lifestyle requirements of every Australian customer. E-Transit is a no-compromise business partner that brings all the versatility of the global best-selling Transit and introduces the significant advantage of zero exhaust emissions while being more than capable of taking on the toughest of tasks. With a driving range of up to 317 kms (more than 2.5 times the average distance a commercial van travels each day), E-Transit means commercial customers can take care of business while enjoying the savings from reduced fuel costs. “We are accelerating our electrified future in Australia,” said Andrew Birkic, president and CEO, Ford Australia and New Zealand. “For business customers, E-Transit delivers the durability and capability they need to serve their customers, along with zero-emissions efficiency.” Ford Australia’s EV roadmap forms part of its global investment of US$30 billion in electrification by 2025, and to ensure a smooth electrification rollout, Ford Australia is collaborating with JET Charge, a leading supplier of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Ford sites will also play a role in helping the company to achieve its global ambition of carbon neutrality, including Ford’s new parts and logistics hub at Merrifield, which will have a 5-star green energy rating, and Ford plants around the world, which are targeted to run off 100% local renewables by 2035.

Toyota is forecasting improved production at its Japanese plants due to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Southeast Asia. The recovery includes confirmation that production of right-hand-drive LandCruiser 300 variants for Australia will resume this month.

BIGLOVE from Munich #BIGLOVE is the MINI way of showing how two small words can inspire positive action. Ever since the brand was born in 1959, MINI has been all about doing more with less and finding the most creative ways to use space, and the current campaign goes one step further. An expression of diversity embraced in practice in all its forms, #BIGLOVE welcomes fresh thinking and new ideas no matter where they come from. At IAA Mobility 2021, held in Munich in September, the MINI brand presented its path towards more sustainable mobility and an inclusive future for everyone based on the claim “We’re all different, but pretty good together”. For the duration of the trade fair, under the motto “BIG LOVE from Munich”, MINI contributed to the revitalisation of the vibrant industrial site in the suburbs of Munich called “Sugar Mountain”, which focuses on creativity, sport, personal fulfilment and community. The site of the former concrete factory is now enhanced by a multi-coloured mural on an old tower, designed by London-based artist Lakwena Maciver especially for the occasion. Sugar Mountain represented the kick-off of MINI’s IAA “Big love from Munich” campaign with MINI friends taking part in a wide range of activities, including tennis matches, high-speed races on the BMX pump track and laid-back tricks on the Jam Skate Park, all providing opportunities for visitors to spontaneously engage in sports or express their own personal style. Maciver’s artistic style thrives on bold statements and bright colours and her aim is to make art accessible to everyone, which is why she mainly paints in public spaces, bringing art to people who might otherwise not have access to it. This approach makes her the perfect partner for MINI.

The global carmaker said it had been striving to expand November production in Japan to one million vehicles to recover previous production shortfalls but determined that such a level was not yet possible. The global production forecast for the fiscal year to 31 March 2022 remains unchanged at around nine million units. Toyota Australia Vice President Sales, Marketing and Franchise Operations Sean Hanley said the latest update was welcome news. "We are optimistic that the all-new LandCruiser will start arriving at local dealerships in Australia in December, with retail launch timing to be confirmed. Together with our parent company, we are doing everything we can to get customers into their new Toyota vehicles as soon as possible, whether it's the all-new LandCruiser or any other model that’s in high demand.” Hanley added that Toyota had also advised that production of HiLux and Fortuner in Thailand will be impacted during November, although supply is expected to improve substantially in December. "As availability is an evolving situation around the world, we are continuing to work closely with our global production team to secure the maximum possible number of vehicles for our customers. We apologise to customers experiencing delays and we sincerely thank them for their patience. We ask our customers to please contact their local dealer for updates on the status of their individual orders."

The National Collision Repairer – 2 7



Gary A Smith Setting the benchmark on the South Island AN INSPIRATIONAL STORY THAT REFLECTS THE TENACITY AND RESILIENCE THAT WE HAVE COME TO EXPECT FORM OUR COUSINS “ACROSS THE DITCH”, AS THE BUSINESS LOOKS TO A MORE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE WITH GLASURIT. Geoff Smith, Director of Gary A Smith, has a distinct focus: providing all customers with exceptional service. This commitment to quality is evident the moment you enter his shop – one of the largest on the South Island of New Zealand – and see the high-end finishes. However, the business as it stands today didn’t come without its challenges. Established in 1968 by Geoff’s father, Gary, it was originally located in the small farming town of Milton. The business relocated in 1977 to Christchurch with a loyal staff of four following Gary to their new location, a 300 m2 building that they shared with a paint and panel shop. In the 1980s, Gary took over the whole building and then bought another business across the road that they turned into a dedicated paint shop. The 1990s saw further business growth when another building across the road was purchased and repurposed to become a primer shop, storage, and also a purpose-built office. Then in 2011 tragedy unfolded for the Christchurch community when an earthquake hit. “The earthquakes took care of most of the buildings, so we were temporarily still in those (the surviving buildings) for 4–5 years while we decided what we

What a great first impression.

2 8 – T R A N S TA S M A N

were doing,” said Geoff. Having purchased another business about three months prior to the earthquake hitting, Geoff had two panel shops running, but the third had been flattened in the earthquake. The recovery process would take Geoff seven years, and through hard work and persistence, Gary A Smith is now one of the largest smash repair businesses on the South Island. “I found 3,000 m2 of land around the corner and went about building the shop that we are in today, which is the 3,000 m2 block with a 1,200 m2 building.” Gary A Smith was just the second Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) approved shop in New Zealand, and Geoff values this approval greatly. At the time of rebuilding, he realised the growth potential of this business sector and commenced planning for the future of his business. “I went full JLR: we have three aluminium bays. JLR wanted to look at the growth, so initially we had to have one, but we future-proofed it and made it three, with two paint booths and five preparation bays.” Always forward thinking, Geoff has recently made the decision to install Glasurit 100 Line into his business, the latest refinish technology offered by

BASF. “I went to Australia and had a look at it over there, saw it working and said ‘let’s go and let’s get it in.’” By converting from a competitor’s system, Gary A Smith was once again reunited with Glasurit. “My dad was a Glasurit man through and through – just loved Glasurit.” Geoff has a different approach from his father and looked at every proposal from the perspective of how it will benefit his business. “I had negotiations with a couple of distributors in New Zealand and Glasurit managed to come up with a solid proposal that was going to work for us.” R.A. Johnstone is now the supplier of BASF products to Gary A Smith. “100 Line is a very different animal to 90 Line. It’s more modern and it’s 1.5 coats, so it’s a lot more user-friendly than the other products.” One of the attributes Geoff appreciates with Glasurit 100 Line is the environmental benefits it delivers to his business. Glasurit 100 Line was the first basecoat line on the market with a VOC value < 250 g/l and is 40% below solvent limit – exceeding all global VOC requirements. “The biggest thing is probably everything has got to be green. That’s one of the reasons why we went with 100 Line – it’s waterborne so it is better for the environment.”

Where everyone feels welcome.

In recent times, with restrictions on travel, face-to-face training has been difficult to conduct; however, more businesses are embracing online learning and communications. Training is pivotal to Geoff and his business, as acquiring skilled labour is becoming increasingly difficult in the New Zealand market. “We have taken on a few apprentices at the moment, and we are training a few ourselves just to

JLR and Tesla aluminium repair.

try and get some skilled staff.” The team at Gary A Smith has taken advantage of BASF’s online learning platform, “Glasurit KnowHow”, a virtual system keeping painters up to date with safety, processes and product knowledge. The painters at Gary A Smith are registered to the program with special access to the 100 Line processes and have the support of a local BASF

technical sales representative. “BASF’s Brent Cayless was the main guy, he has been really good, he’s had all the staff there and there are no issues.” In addition, the support given from JLR is highly valued. “The amount of JLR work we get from all around the South Island has been huge and I think the training from JLR is also good, but it’s their online systems that have been amazing,” concluded Geoff.



Endless variation – BASF’s 2021–2022 Automotive Colour Trends collection Designers for BASF’s Coatings division have delved into new colour spaces for the 2021–2022 Automotive Colour Trends collection. Borrowing a phenomenon from quantum mechanics, this year’s collection is called SUPERPOSITION, which is a state where the limitation of binary systems is overcome. In other words, things aren’t just black or white, heads or tails, one or zero. The world has an uncountable number of variations, and this collection immerses itself in those variations. The colours benefit from an unlimited vocabulary of design, which can be playful and serious, comfortable and disturbing, or clear and chaotic, all at the same time. EMEA – eye-opening and thought-provoking colours Colours designed for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) use familiar colour positions, but change them with the help of new effects, subtle colour gradients, or a specific sparkle behaviour. Shades of grey change their colourfulness according to the angle of view. Shades of blue are light, reflective and structure the surface. “These eye-opening and thought-provoking colours are a superposition of complex tones that challenge our perception,” said Mark Gutjahr, Head of Automotive Colour Design, EMEA.

EMEA – eye-opening and thought-provoking colours.

Asia Pacific – recharge and think ahead Asia Pacific saw societal change as its biggest trend for 2021. Many used the time they had to recharge, think ahead, and build energy for the future. Flexibility and freedom came out of a uniformity in thoughts, products and materials of the past. Everybody and everything should be accepted – not only people but also products and materials. Everything can be flexible. “Asia Pacific’s key colours are light, clean shades evoking the exciting look of spring and the forward-looking hope it brings,” said Chiharu Matsuhara, Head of Automotive Design for Asia Pacific. “They show a higher level of understanding of our diverse world.” North America – the concept of balance North America’s future colour designs look to the concept of balance that strikes a chord with human steadfastness. The colour spaces are anchored in optimism and resilience and show the potential for humanity to move forward despite the challenges. “We found the equilibrium between the natural and the synthetic world to create calming, unwavering, and thought-provoking colours. They draw the viewer into unique sensations that operate on multiple non-binary levels,” said Paul Czornij, Head of Automotive Design for the Americas. Colour Expertise of the Coatings division Every year, the designers of BASF’s Coatings division study future trends and use these as the foundation for the development of surface, texture and colour positions. They draw inspiration from industry, fashion, consumer products, nature, and more. This research is shared with BASF’s customers, the automotive designers, to drive future mass production plans.

3 0 – G LO B A L N E W S

Asia Pacific – recharge and think ahead.

North America – the concept of balance.

Porsche approves the Car-O-Liner CTR 9 resistance spot welder In case you missed it, Porsche has now granted approval for the resistance spot welder – the Car-O-Liner CTR 9. To achieve this approval, the VAS 6755A went through a series of dedicated welding tests performed by an independent third-party welding institute to ensure the welder met the high-quality welding requirements set by Porsche and Volkswagen. In addition, it was determined that, for Porsche, the VAS 6755A fully automatic resistance spot welder is delivered with the special Volkswagen 16A welding cap, Porsche-specific software and the new shelf and clip kit and dust cover, all as standard equipment. “Porsche now recognises that the high-performance VAS 6755A welder meets their requirements for highquality repairs of their modern, technologically advanced vehicles,” said Jonny Jangdin, product manager

at Car-O-Liner. The VAS 6755A fully automatic welder comes with a new, revolutionised lightweight transformer gun. With its 355° swivel handle and ergo-grip, it enables perfect working positions for anyone, for any job. The gun is supported by a telescopic arm in a durable and lightweight extruded aluminium that can be easily adjusted both vertically and horizontally. A compact power unit with a low centre of gravity gives mobility and stability, a 16,000-amp transformer and CANBUS communication ensure a perfect weld every time. The VAS 6755A includes four C-yokes (40mm, 80mm, 250mm and 500mm), an electrode set including a case, support arm with balancer block, shelf and clip kit, dust cover and the VW 16A cap. Other Volkswagen-approved equipment from Car-O-Liner includes alignment and measuring systems (VAS 6528, VAS 6527, VAS 6526 and

VAS 6526/22), welders (VAS 1959A and VAS 2001C), plus EVO and workshop solutions. Car-O-Liner, when only the best will do! For more information, visit: or call Car-O-Liner Australia on Tel: (02) 4271 6287.

AkzoNobel and McLaren Racing Trusted partners since 2008 – a formula for success To celebrate the partnership with McLaren Racing, Formula 1 driver Lando Norris visited AkzoNobel’s manufacturing site at Sassenheim in the Netherlands – home of the Sikkens brand and production of McLaren’s iconic livery colours Papaya Orange and Foster Blue – prior to the Zandvoort GP Formula 1 race in September. AkzoNobel staff wore custom T-shirts and cheered for Norris upon his arrival as they got to be up close with one of the world’s youngest and most promising F1 drivers. Norris was given a short tour of the company and during a Q&A session, employees had the chance to learn more about him and what it takes to be a F1 driver. As Official Paints and Coatings Partner, AkzoNobel is providing its Sikkens vehicle refinish products for all painted parts of the MCL35M, as well as the team’s transport, garage and accessories. McLaren Racing’s 2021 Formula 1 car again features AkzoNobel’s high-performance coatings, following an extension to the long-standing partnership that debuted in 2008. In addition, the company's Marine and Protective Coatings business is also supplying Intertherm 50 heatshielding from its international product range for critical components surrounding the engine and exhaust for the second year in row – first applied in 2020. Since 2008, AkzoNobel has been supplying its Sikkens coatings to the McLaren Formula 1 team. Sikkens coatings have been used on McLaren Formula 1 race cars for over a decade, with the MP4-24 being the first car to sport the

newly developed silver-chrome finish for the 2009 season. In 2012, the partnership between AkzoNobel and McLaren has been extended from F1 to McLaren automotive. Since then, the company has been supplying paint for the production line of all McLaren GT road cars. On the long-standing partnership, Patrick Bourguignon, Director of AkzoNobel’s Automotive and Specialty Coatings business, said: “The McLaren F1 team’s spirit and dedication to success inspires us in our endeavour to continue delivering the best products and services to all our customers.”

Lando Norris at the AkzoNobel’s manufacturing site at Sassenheim.

The National Collision Repairer – 3 1



Axalta announces inaugural Bright Futures scholarships Axalta Coating Systems in the US has announced the winners of its first annual Bright Futures Scholarship Program. The 19 recipients represent a group of students who have demonstrated academic excellence, leadership, and active participation in school and community activities. “We are thrilled to award Bright Futures Scholarships to these outstanding students who represent the next generation of innovators that will advance the coatings industry and the customer segments we serve,” said Robert Bryant, Axalta’s Chief Executive Officer. “Axalta is passionate about providing STEM and vocational opportunities to students and educators at every level in order to identify, support, and develop strong talent that will be the future workforce.” The Bright Futures Scholarship Program assists current students who are studying chemical engineering, chemistry, supply chain management, and autobody painting and repair in college or vocational programs in underrepresented communities near Axalta facilities. The program not only provides monetary support to recipients, but also creates opportunities throughout the school year for the students to interact and network with Axalta technology and business leaders as well as fellow scholarship recipients. The company also announced it will fund an additional 16 scholarships for students studying science, engineering, and manufacturing-related trades at Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC, soon to be known as Laurel Ridge Community College) near the company’s Front Royal,

Virginia manufacturing site. The Bright Futures Scholarship Program further solidifies Axalta’s 40-year history and commitment to that community. To find out more about Axalta’s Corporate Social Responsibility program, visit:

3M joins SSGA Gender Diversity Index 3M recently announced it will be included in the State Street Global Advisors’ (SSGA) Gender Diversity Index. The SSGA is a select group of large-scale US companies that are closing gender gaps and advancing women through gender diversity. “We are proud to be included in the SSGA Gender Diversity Index as another recognition of 3M’s continued commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said 3M chairman and chief executive officer, Mike Roman. “We continue to drive business growth while building on our environmental, social, and governance commitments and creating a more sustainable business. From our facilities around the world, to our board of directors, to our vendor partners, 3M champions gender equality and an inclusive culture.” 3M has achieved pay equity in the United States for women and racial and ethnic groups, and has also achieved pay equity within 90% of its global employee population. The company announced diversity, equity, and inclusion goals last year, that included: maintaining or achieving pay equity globally, increasing global diversity in management to 65%, and doubling the representation of Black/African-American and Hispanic/Latino employees in the United States. In the last year, 3M has achieved a 100% score from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index and the Disability Equality Index. The company is also

3 2 – G LO B A L N E W S

ranked as a top employer for women engineers, for Indigenous STEM professionals, and Latina professionals. The SSGA Gender Diversity Index tracks the performance of listed US large capitalisation companies with the highest levels of gender diversity on their boards of directors and in senior leadership positions within their respective sectors. The index offers investors the opportunity to invest capital in companies committed to addressing issues of gender inequality at the senior and executive management levels.

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I - C A R


with Garry Maher

What makes for a

High-quality repair? If you posed the question, “what makes for a high-quality repair” to an industry group, no doubt there would be a flurry of responses arguing certain car brands and/or car parts. However, repairers should be aware of the following important features to ensure a safe and quality repair, regardless of brand. Quality parts The quality of parts used must be equal to or better than those of the original equipment manufacturers (OEM). Supplying anything less and expecting performance to match that of an OEM’s is unrealistic. Quality materials Accepting inferior quality materials for cost saving purposes will eventually lead to some sort of product failure, potentially putting a customer’s safety at risk. Product failure will create a comeback and rework, which in some cases can cost more than the original repair. Quality estimators Quality estimators are vitally important as they will do all the homework and procure all necessary repair information, required tooling and safe working requirements. Estimators understand their operating costs, and this knowledge is reflected in their estimates. They liaise with insurers and owners and work closely with repair technicians to blueprint every repair and capture all required repairs and then produce proper repair plans, ensuring these plans are followed through with each and every job produced by a workshop. Estimate blueprinting If we’re thinking about blueprinting an engine, we would require all the specifications, clearances, torque settings and all the other specifics related to the engine, plus a tooling list. These would all be studied and sourced prior to any disassemble. When we talk about estimate blueprinting, the information we

3 4 – I - C A R U P DAT E

would need on hand is quite similar. Below are methods that could be used to gather this information. 1. Customer interview. Find out how the accident happened, including direction of impact, number of occupants and seat positions, if any child seats were in use at time of accident. Was the vehicle driven? Were any driving anomalies noticed, any previous damage? Find out what ADAS features were fitted. 2. Initial inspection. Walk around and record new and old damage. Look for indirect damage and damage indicators like gap misalignment, turret damage and buckles away from the point of impact. Record all vehicle data – VIN, odometer, transmission, dash MILs and ADAS requirements. 3. Source information. Refer to parts diagrams and see how the parts are supplied and if there are any variations available. Check OEM procedures – not just for the panel or part that needs replacement, but also the disabling and enabling information for batteries, electronics, advanced suspension, torque settings, one-time use fasteners. Investigate what systems will require re-setting, programming and/or calibration and find out what is repairable and what must be replaced. 4. Orderly dismantle. Once authority to dismantle has been given, the estimator and technician will discuss what is required and review previous findings. The technician will begin the dismantle process and store undamaged parts. All damaged parts are labelled and set aside for verification with the estimator. Any one-time use fasteners are noted, with air lines sealed and exposed wiring protected. If structural damage is evident, this is the opportune time to carry out three-

dimensional measuring. 5. Final inspection. The technician and estimator will collaborate to complete the estimate and/or supplement, and will advise what repairs are required, as well as the approximate time frames. A repair plan will be developed for the structural repairs, and any sublet work will be booked. Quality technicians With proper guidance, procedures and supervision, all technicians have the opportunity to exceed expectations. I-CAR Australia qualified technicians are the industry benchmark, experienced and up to date with technology changes. In the past, this experience was mostly learned through trial and error over many years. Today, I-CAR Australia and other training providers impart this knowledge much more effectively. Proper funding Under-funded projects attract shortcuts and cost saving measures, affecting the quality of parts, materials, and technicians as they become selected on cost. Proper funding for projects alleviates issues. Enjoyment If a repair is completed but not at your standard of expectations, where is the job satisfaction? If a repairer does not enjoy their job and the work they do, their best efforts are not achieved and eventually they will look for something else to do. It is through the combined efforts of the estimator, technicians, their colleagues and suppliers that a high-quality and safe repair is made possible for each and every project. Garry Maher is founder and director of L&M Smash Repairs in NSW and for the past 12 year has been an I-CAR Gold Class certified instructor. Garry was inducted onto the Lifetime Achievement Awards Honour Roll in 2021.



Proudly sponsored by IAG

Longstanding Connection THIS MONTH WE REFLECT ON THE FUTURE LEADERS OF THE INDUSTRY PROGRAM AND ITS LONGSTANDING CONNECTION WITH THE PRE-EMINENT SKILLS COMPETITION FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS – WORLDSKILLS. Of the 53 recipients of the Future Leaders of the Industry award, the vast majority are autobody repair or refinish technicians. The objective of the program is, of course, to identify and recognise the emerging talent in their formative years, appreciating that as young men and women, their futures are very much yet to be written. While it was never the intent to establish a connection with WorldSkills, the very nature of the program has led to several Future Leaders going on to compete at regional, national and international WorldSkills competitions and, in some cases, some have even gone on to become WorldSkills judges. As we are all too aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the WorldSkills Nationals to the extent that some states were forced to run their competition remotely. As we went to print, the autobody repair and

Bella with Carl Tinsley.


refinish categories in NSW were scheduled to take place on 23 and 24 October at Ultimo TAFE, although some regional winners were possibly unable to attend due to ongoing restrictions. However, we are pleased to report that at least two Future Leaders were confirmed competitors: Jaiden Tesoriero in the autobody repair category and Isabella Turrise in the refinish category. Jaiden was born and raised in southwest Sydney in the CasulaLiverpool area where he went to All Saints Catholic College. Whilst still at school, he did work experience at Milperra Road Smash Repairs where his dad worked as a spray painter, which is where he caught the automotive bug. After completing Year 10, Jaiden just couldn’t wait to start an apprenticeship, which he commenced at Smash Tec in Marrickville and went to

Jaiden showing off his best work.

Campbelltown TAFE to learn his craft. The support and guidance of his employer, his dad Jason, his teacher Dat Bui, and Campbelltown TAFE head teacher Carl Tinsley, really paid off as he was the gold medallist at the Sydney West WorldSkills Regional competition. Isabella (Bella) was born in Canberra and grew up in the small NSW town of Queanbeyan, where she developed her interest in cars and completed a VET automotive course. The next step was a preapprenticeship in automotive, followed by a Certificate III in automotive refinishing, also at Campbelltown TAFE. Bella was identified as an upand-coming talent in late 2018, winning an AAPR scholarship award, and in 2019 she was encouraged by Tinsley to enter the WorldSkills Regionals, where she was the gold medallist gold medal in car painting. In an interesting twist this year, one of the judges for the vehicle refinish category will be Maxine Colligan, a Future Leader from 2018 and bronze medallist from Kazan. We wish all the competitors in this year’s WorldSkills National Competition the very best of luck and look forward to finding out who will be the next Skillaroos when the competition has been completed. IAG’s ongoing support and sponsorship of these awards is greatly appreciated, as is I-CAR Australia’s donation of two training courses valued at over $500 to each Future Leader of the Industry.

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with John Hristias

Finding the

OEM colour code Each individual paint colour used by a vehicle manufacturer gets a unique colour code to clearly identify it. When it comes to refinishing a vehicle in your workshop, that OEM paint colour code provides a crucial piece of the information puzzle that contributes to getting the colour match correct – as long as you can find it!

such as underneath the carpet in the spare wheel compartment, in the glovebox or in the vehicle owner’s manual. In addition, the location doesn’t necessarily stay the same across an entire brand; it can change depending on the country it’s manufactured in or even the factory where it’s built.


Tips and recommendations

If all the different vehicle manufacturers around the globe placed their vehicle colour code in the same place on every vehicle, finding the information would be easy. Unfortunately, there is no agreement between OEMs, so locating the colour code on a modern vehicle can be challenging. Although some colour code locations are common, such as in the doorjamb or under the bonnet, others can be in very “alternative-type” locations,

Easy find PPG database Finding a colour code can be a timeconsuming puzzle, especially if you don’t know where to start. Thanks to its close partnerships with vehicle OEMs across the globe, PPG has access to details on where to find colour codes and this information has been made available on the PPG ANZ Refinish website. Anyone can access it – you don’t have to be a PPG customer – by going to, clicking on “Support”’ and then “OEM Code Locator”. From there, simply click on the individual manufacturer to access specific information.

Locate early Given the colour code can be timeconsuming to find, it’s best to go through the process early in a job’s repair cycle so it doesn’t cause a frustrating hold up when it comes to colour matching and mixing the correct colour. Dealer support In certain instances, you may need to contact the vehicle dealership and provide the vehicle identification number (VIN) to get the colour code. This could be because the colour code information has been removed and not replaced during a previous repair or this is simply the way the manufacturer has set it up. Consider weathering effects Using the colour code is the best starting point for the colour matching process but it’s not the only factor to consider. This is because the colour code typically represents the colour of the vehicle when it was fresh and new. Being subject to continued weathering and lack of paintwork maintenance can cause degradation, fading and colour variations that may not be obvious at first glance. Clean and polish Always clean and polish the area being used to colour match, whether it’s with colour chips or a spectro. The aim is to remove fine scratches and swirl marks and return the paintwork as close as possible to the original colour, as well as highlight any previous repairs.

This article supplied courtesy of John Hristias – PPG Business Support Manager Asia/Pacific

3 8 – TECH TIP

SATA Limited Edition 2021 SATAjet®X 5500 True Soul The new SATAjet X 5500 True Soul is truly inspiring with its wild, beautiful and vivid design. Colourful, fanciful motifs such as dragons, female beauties, exotic fish, eagles and a skull adorn, among other things, the True Soul – Does the wellknown American airbrush artist Leah Gall allow you to catch a glimpse of her own multifaceted, colourful life?

LEAH GALL Airbrush artist from the USA Owner of Finishline Design Inc. About 10 years ago, the legendary SATAjet 4000 B Heart & Soul designed by Leah inspired painters all over the world.

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with Owen Webb

Cuz Congress On the right track in the Red Centre Australia’s ultimate festival of wheels featured a “wheely famous” car that made its film debut in 2016, the year after the inaugural Red CentreNATS in Alice Springs. The spirit of Cuz Congress, a superhero car among Central Australian Aboriginal communities in the 1980s, was passed on to an S Series Valiant for the 2016 parade and documentary. With the help of Cameron Miller at NGUR, students from the Clontarf Academy at Yirara College have given Cuz Congress a new lease of life, as members of the Papunya community dragged the old Valiant station wagon out of the bush and got straight to work. The community of Yuendumu has also secured a car to restore for RCN 08 in 2022. The Red CentreNATS Indigenous Automotive Program was built around the local and remote Indigenous community’s interest in cars in Alice Springs. In its first year, this annual program is looking to engage those communities through car building/modification/painting or other automotive projects and use these projects to engage with Indigenous youth on health, employment and education.

4 0 – C U S TO M C O R N E R

The goals of the program include: • Build automotive skills, confidence, sense of achievement, education • Share love of cars and grow connection between event and community • Work on projects to take place in community • Foster trade skills and future qualified tradespeople • Future workshop facilities in community • Participate at Red CentreNATS in structured educational program • Display status of projects to general public. This year the well-known car will be on display alongside a more modern “batmobile” version as part of a Red CentreNATS partnership with the Right Tracks program, which encouraged Aboriginal youth to enter the 2021 event. The Aboriginal-led Right Tracks initiative, run by the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, helps young people in Alice Springs and surrounding communities create positive change in health, education, employment and leadership through sport. The program is now steering

young people in another exciting direction through car building, modification and painting projects, to get them involved in the three-day Red CentreNATS festival. This is the first year of an ongoing partnership between Right Tracks, Red CentreNATS, Northern Territory Major Events Company, the Northern Territory Government, Ngurratjuta/Pmara Ntjarra Aboriginal Corporation, Charles Darwin University, and Yirara College. The partnership includes hands-on paint and pin-striping workshops in communities supported by Alice Kustom Paint Supplies. This festival keeps getting better each year, and in 2021 the community engagement element of the event was expanded. This ongoing community program will help develop the practical skills of those involved and provide a pathway for Central Australian communities to get involved in Red CentreNATS in a real, hands-on way. On top of this, Red CentreNATS also increases visitation, supports local businesses and contributes to the vibrant lifestyle Northern Territorians are so lucky to have.

Ian McAdam, Sports and Health Coordinator, Right Tracks Program, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, said he was stoked when the Red CentreNATs team and NT Major Events invited them to create an educational program to encourage community participation at the 2021 event. “There’s so much interest in cars in Aboriginal communities and we plan to build on this connection through the event to foster automotive skills and grow the confidence of local youth and their sense of achievement,” said McAdam. “You can see the pride Aboriginal people have for their cars at footy carnivals, often decorating a vehicle

in the local team colours with balloons and streamers. We want our youth to know they can have a go at restoring a car and learn new skills on the way without it costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.” Motorsports fans were in for a treat at this year’s Red CentreNATS, with the restoration of old bush wrecks by young Aboriginal Territorians. Owen pointed out that they approached Right Tracks last year to create an ongoing annual program to encourage community participation in the event. In wrapping up the event for 2021, Owen said: “This is one of the most fulfilling projects I’ve been involved

with. It supports the Indigenous communities, teaches them skills, gives them a real interest and hopefully creates jobs for them in towns and on community. This year’s efforts were great but I can’t wait till I see what next year will bring. There are some great projects in the making as you read this. I’ll keep you in the loop on progress.” Owen is a leading figure within the auto re-styling and vehicle modification industry and a Lifetime Achievement Award inductee. He is Technical and Training Manager at Concept Paints.

The National Collision Repairer – 4 1


with John Yoswick

Technological advances Changing the way we manage our body shops THE IMPACT OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) AND CHANGES IN AUTOMOTIVE COATINGS WERE AMONG THE TOPICS DISCUSSED AT THE RECENT COLLISION INDUSTRY ELECTRONIC COMMERCE ASSOCIATION (CIECA) CONFERENCE HELD IN THE UNITED STATES. Artificial intelligence Jimmy Spears, head of automotive for Tractable, said his company’s AI (machine-learning) system has become adept at quickly determining from photos if a vehicle is a total loss. “One of the things on which AI does a wonderful job is triage. We’re in the high 90s of calling balls and strikes: is this car repairable or is this car not repairable?” For insurers, he said, the system can produce 40% of initial estimates “without any further line items” needing to be added. An equal percentage require review of oneor two-line items, with the estimate annotated as to what an appraiser needs to review, while the balance will require being handled “old school: have it towed, take the car apart and go classic blueprinting.” About a year ago, Tractable announced it was working with an insurer in Spain to offer “straightthrough processing” of some claims, such as single-car accidents with no injuries: the customer uploads images, the Tractable system prepares an appraisal, and “in less than 15 minutes” the claim is paid and “as far as the consumer knows, is closed.” Spears compared it to ordering and paying for a drink at Starbucks via an app and just picking it up, as compared to going in to order and pay and then

4 2 – S TAT E S I D E

A LiDAR perspective.

waiting for the coffee drink to be made. “I’d really like to see more insurers start to do that type of auto claims processing,” Spears said. He acknowledged that while AI may be reducing upfront time for insurers to produce initial estimates, it isn’t resulting in more accurate estimates. “Supplement rates are still the same. That doesn’t change,” Spears said when asked about even those single-car accident claims. “That’s probably one of the things to think about: just because you have AI, it doesn’t mean that you’ve managed to make a supplement go away. If there’s

something behind the bumper cover that’s damaged, it’s going to be damaged. But it’s better not to write for that and assume it. So, no, supplement percentages aren’t any lower.” Automotive coatings technology During another panel discussion at the CIECA conference, paint company representatives laughed when asked if the industry is close to AI helping with refinish colour matching. “It’s a fair question,” Dan Benton, global product director of colour marketing at Axalta Coating Systems, said. “We’re chuckling because no, we’re not –

Artificial intelligence creates all sorts of opportunities.

there are just so many variables.” Jeff Wildman, the North American manager of OEM and industry relations for BASF Automotive Refinish Coatings, agreed, noting that even just spray technique, let alone paint formula, can influence colour match. “I can give three people the same exact paint, and the same exact gun, and they’ll spray, and we’ll get three different colours, because of that human variable,” he said. Colours are not going to get easier for shops to match, Wildman predicted. Some new vehicle manufacturers, for example, seem less concerned about addressing refinish issues upfront. “I can tell you they are looking at colours that are not easy to spray at the OEM level or at the refinish level, but their designers want these colours,” Wildman added. “As they’re now starting to paint some of these at the factory, they’re learning: ‘you aren’t kidding, these are difficult to paint’. So, they’re struggling at the factory, and we’re going to struggle in refinish with them. But they want these colours because colour sells cars.” Even some “legacy” auto manufacturers, “trying to differentiate themselves using colour”, sometimes haven’t shared enough information ahead of a vehicle’s launch to allow all the refinish systems to be prepared. “Mazda beat us all up pretty badly a couple years ago with some really

tough colours, a red and a grey, which were based on innovations in pigments and application,” said Benton. “With US and Western European auto manufacturers, there’s typically dialogue going on as colours are being developed so that everyone can formulate refinish match. In this case, it was Nippon working with Mazda, and the rest of us weren’t aware of it right away. That caught us by surprise. That doesn’t happen very often. But Mazda was able to move the needle. They actually had great success with those colours, and it really drove some market share growth. So good for them – that’s how it should be. That’s what we should be doing as manufacturers: innovating in areas of colour and that type of thing.” However, Benton said that it’s another indication that colour match issues for shops won’t be ending any time soon. He said autobody shops should also be aware of the increasingly functional role automotive finishes are playing, such as coatings that dissipate heat, or those that include anti-fouling properties to make them easier to clean and more mar resistant. “We’re all still trying to get more volatile organic compounds out of our systems, and we’re trying to do more to create low-energy cure technologies,” he said. Wildman said ADAS is impacting refinishing as well. “Today we talk a lot

about repainting bumpers with sensors behind them, and how much paint can go on those. But it’s not just about the amount of paint, it’s what’s in that paint. What are the pigments? What are the metallics?” He joked that US auto industry pioneer Henry Ford today would tell customers they can have any colour they want as long as it’s white, because LiDAR can’t see black. “You’re already starting to see more transparent colours, and you’re going to see reflective pigments and primers, with transparent pigments so we can see that primer with LiDAR,” Wildman said. “So it’s going to become a more and more important part of how you repair that vehicle.” His advice to the industry will sound familiar: “The biggest thing is you’ve got to follow the OEM repair procedures. Typically, when do you think about painting the car? When it’s in the booth. You can’t do that anymore. You’ve got to think about it upfront.” As one example, he cited that the repair planner needs to know if the bumper can be refinished. None of the estimating systems have a line item for a quad coat, so you need to know upfront how to document and explain that. If the right colour primer isn’t used, that could impact colour matching. If a specialised toner is needed, one that might only be needed once a year, it’s not something you’re likely to have on hand – and your distributor may not either – which means it could be days away. “You’ve got to think of paint not just as an afterthought once the car is in the booth. That’s where a lot of shops run into issues,” he concluded. Editor: As we have discussed on several occasions, technology presents itself in many guises. The challenge is to keep ahead of the game. 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 3



AkzoNobel’s MIXIT More than just colour retrieval software MIXIT, the latest update to AkzoNobel’s leading digital colour retrieval software, offers commercial and vehicle refinish users new benefits and features that enhance the workflow for painters and provide new functionalities for body shop managers. “With MIXIT we offer a digital colour solution to help our customers work faster and more accurately when doing a paint repair job while delivering valuable insights for their business,” said Carin Rauws-van-Roon, Colour Marketing Manager at AkzoNobel. “We can provide new colour formulas and features in real-time through the cloud so our customers are always up-to-date.” Since the introduction of the cloud-based application in 2017, MIXIT has constantly been evolved by AkzoNobel’s team of colour experts and technicians. Driven by intelligent algorithms, MIXIT delivers fast and accurate search results. The global colour database provides instant access to more than two million colour formulas, with more being added every day. MIXIT helps businesses by delivering real-time insights through live dashboards and reports. For example, a body shop manager can get information about the material allocation against the work orders to calculate the cost per repair. The data can be accessed from anywhere with any device and a painter can share custom colour formulas

through the cloud across their network, enhancing the know-how of colleagues at another location. “MIXIT is so user friendly because it is a web application, making it accessible from any device anywhere, at any time. All data and software updates are done instantly. This saves time as there is no need to do manual updates,” added Martijn Steggink, Manager Colour Tools at AkzoNobel. The interface design is clean and simple, making the application accessible for anyone. MIXIT seamlessly integrates with AkzoNobel’s spectrophotometer – Automatchic Vision – and a smart scale for a smooth, hassle-free process every time. For further information on MIXIT, visit

Vortex Rapid Blend from Norton Revolutionising weld removal and deburring applications Norton Vortex Rapid Blend discs are a premium range of surface conditioning discs. These discs can grind on all three sides (top, bottom and edge), making the new Norton product extremely versatile. The three grinding dimensions makes Vortex Rapid Blend suited to a wide range of applications. The Vortex Rapid Blend discs are designed for deburing and edge grinding on titanium, nickel alloys, stainless steel, mild steel and aluminium. This disc can also be used for removing sanding marks

4 4 – P R O D U C T S H OW C A S E

and other surface defects. In a single grinding operation, Vortex Rapid Blend can remove light welds and produce a smooth semi-polished surface ready for the next stage in the repair process. This unique feature saves time, money and turns three processes into one: coarse, medium and fine sanding applications. Vortex Rapid Blend performs like a conventional coarse disc but provides a much finer finish. The discs are constructed from multiple layers of nylon fibres that have been coated with a patented abrasive with a special resin bond. The design makes the discs extremely

resistant and can last from three to eight times longer than conventional surface conditioning discs. The threedimensional disc can grind on all three sides making it an ideal product for tight spaces. Vortex Rapid Blend is available in 115mm and 125mm depressed centre discs for angle grinders, and 50mm and 76mm Speed-lok quick change ensuring quick and easy disc changing on pneumatic or electric machines for use in tight spaces. For further information, call Saint-Gobain on 1300 007 650, or visit




brought to you by the Collision Repair Expo

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

7-9 APRIL 2022

AkzoNobel Paul Horvath Tel: (03) 9644 1711


Axalta Coating Systems Product training Axalta services Tel: 1800 292 582 Calendar of events KNOWING WHEN IT’S ON AND WHAT’S COMING UP

BASF Australia Ltd James Green Tel: 0402 110 378 Dents R Us Training Academy Laury Chibnall Tel: 0438 383 555

The SEMA Show 2-5 November. 2021 – Las Vegas Summernats34 6-9 January 2022 – Canberra Collision Repair Expo 7-9 April 2022 – Melbourne

iBodyshop E: Tel: (03) 9548 7444

Bringing the industry together

Mipa Australia Pty Ltd Tel: (03) 9739 8800

With a real focus on training and development, the Collision Repair Expo will bring the industry together for the first time since 2019 with the aim of providing the very latest information and practical tips on how and when businesses will need to adapt to these changes. The expo will help visitors prepare for the future, embrace and capitalise on the evolution of the industry, and better understand the rapidly developing trends and technology. Regular presentations from industry experts will cover the very latest information on workshop management systems, EV repair techniques, ADAS calibration, and diagnostics and tooling. In addition, the expo will deliver enhanced value for exhibitors and attendees, featuring a “Workshop of the Future Pavilion” including a state-of-the-art equipment and technology display and, for the first time, the expo will incorporate a stand-alone seminar stage on the CRE show floor that will deliver a free comprehensive training and education program sponsored by I-CAR. The expo’s major sponsor, the SAPE Group, identified an increasing demand for high-quality training, particularly training based on OEM repair procedures. SAPE’s Training Academy offers three spaces that create a virtual workplace that allows participants to confront the challenges of a real body shop in a risk-free environment. From theory and welding through to structural repairs, SAPE’s Training Facility allows for the creation of programs that engage and inspire like no other venue.

PPG Australia Pty Ltd VIC/TAS: (03) 8586 0000 NSW/ACT: (02) 9854 6600 QLD/NT: (07) 3823 8000 SA: 0412 832 919 WA: 0437 902 125

For more information and to register, visit:

I-CAR Australia Brisbane Office Admin Tel: (07) 3219 9088 STORKAWD Pty Ltd (Fusor and Farecla) Tel: (03) 9560 6060

Protec Tel: 1800 076 466 Saint Gobain Customer Service - 1300 007 650 Michelle Morgan - 0425 516 894 SAPE Automotive Training Academy Tel: (02) 9772 9000 sia Abrasives Tel: 1300 742 123 Thatcham-Escribe 1300 769 348 U-pol Tel: 0400 366 483 Valspar Automotive Tel: (02) 4368 4054

The National Collision Repairer – 4 5


Minutes with ...

Lorry Olivieri AAA Radiators When did you join the industry? 1980 What was your first job in the industry? Motor mechanic at Pat Cullens Holden, Liverpool What do you do now? Client manager at AAA Radiators What do you like about the industry? The people that you meet and the rapid progress of the industry What do you dislike about the industry? The negativity from some people who talk the industry down What music do you like? 1960 to 1980. Rock & Roll and Rockabilly Who is your favourite artist? David Bowie, but there are so many other great artists What is your favourite food? Italian cuisine, but Asian is a close second And your favourite drink? Port over ice – try it, it’s really nice Your hobbies? Old Aussie cars, but specifically working on my Holden HT Brougham Who in the world would you most like to meet? No-one really stands out because I like the people I already know, and I’m happy to get to know those I’ve yet to meet.



Glasurit launches cloud-based digital platform, Refinity Glasurit, the premium refinish brand from BASF, has launched Refinity, a cloud-based digital solutions platform for its body shop customers all over the world. It provides Glasurit customers with a seamless digital experience designed to drive efficiency in all areas of business performance, including colour, inventory management, repair order management, training, and support. The platform also features links to trusted partners to further drive profitability and efficiency into the overall body shop process. Today’s body shops use several different software solutions across various systems in their daily operations, which leads to an inefficient use of time and resources. Refinity combines all these digital tools into a single location and provides an easy and secure way to access them. As all the applications are stored on a unique state-of-the-art cloud platform, Refinity can be accessed from any device that is connected to the internet. Software updates and maintenance are performed automatically, offering body shops the latest versions of the applications any time. No special software is required on the user’s hardware, just a single password. Refinity’s Colour Apps, combined with Glasurit’s intelligent spectrophotometers, offer body shops the simplest colour retrieval method on the market with seamless navigation and accurate digital colour matching. Glasurit has the largest colour database in the industry and now the latest automobile colours are available in real-time for Refinity users. Refinity’s Business Apps provide complete transparency into consumption and profitability metrics for each repair completed within their shop. With Refinity, body shop owners, managers, and

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technicians can track product usage and summarise associated costs and profitability for paint and related materials. Body shops can set their preferred portfolio of products, manage pricing and stock levels, and automatically generate recommended orders to optimise their inventory. These key business insights are summarised into intuitive reports to maximise performance and profit potential. The Training Apps allow body shop professionals and managers to brush up on their skills and learn new ones anytime and anywhere. A wide variety of instructional programs, professional training videos and interactive eLearning courses are available online. This includes everything from simple troubleshooting to tips and tricks, and in-depth product and process information provided by Glasurit’s team of technicians. To keep track of learning goals, certified eLearning courses can be completed through the exclusive Refinity Learning University. Fabien Boschetti, Director, Global Marketing, BASF Automotive Refinish Coatings Solutions, said: “Refinity incorporates all the essential business solutions customers need into a one-stop shop offering with a simple user interface designed for the body shop environment. We are fully committed to helping our Glasurit customers improve their processes, procedures, and ultimately, their profitability. The trend towards digitalisation creates opportunities for us to develop smart solutions that will support them in realising that goal.”

There is daylight between SATA trueSun and the rest Perfectly uniform light distribution and a true daylight solution makes SATA’s new trueSun LED lamp a must-have tool for accurate colour matching. Sunlight is fundamentally important for life on earth and it also plays a particularly crucial part in the colour matching process. When it comes to selecting the best colour option to match a vehicle being refinished, or when checking the accuracy, effects, gloss and distribution of a colour after it has been applied, we primarily rely on our vision. However, what we see depends on the surface being illuminated with the correct lighting. Getting a precise result requires a light source that reproduces the entire colour spectrum of sunlight/daylight as accurately as possible. Issues may not be apparent if checked in the booth or indoors under a manmade light source. As a result, the LED technology in the new trueSun has been developed in conjunction with SATA specifically for the purpose of professional colour matching within a collision repair centre. As well as

producing an almost perfect reproduction of daylight, this high precision LED lamp has been tuned for an extremely uniform distribution of light across the entire light cone. What’s more, the light intensity is infinitely adjustable and is unaffected by the battery charge level. Battery life is approximately 70 minutes on full light intensity and it takes around 50 minutes to charge the battery. A built-in display lets you keep track of the charge level and an automatic switch off function helps avoid wasting power when the light is not needed. Like all SATA products, you get what you pay for with the trueSun. It has been precision German engineered to deliver exceptional true daylight performance that can be used inside the spray booth or anywhere indoors to assess colour and finish reliably and accurately, as well as detect flaws such as mottling. These are the moments where a missed identification can easily lead to an expensive rework. Avoiding just a single rework can easily cover the cost of the trueSun, which makes using one an absolute no-brainer!



The Mega Macs ONE from Hella Gutmann Answers the questions about radar calibration and what you need to know If you have considered performing calibrations inhouse, do you know what equipment is required and at what cost? You may be surprised. Dynamic calibrations. Some vehicles’ ADAS calibrations are performed in a dynamic manner. Using a diagnostic tool, the relevant system is triggered to start the calibration process. The diagnostic tool will then display the requirements for the driving procedure to be followed and often show the calibration progress in terms of

percentage completed. At 100%, you can return to the workshop, check that there are no fault codes logged and print out the calibration report. Static calibrations. Static calibrations require a target to be placed in an exact position relative to the sensor being calibrated. Radar calibration for many Asian produced vehicles requires a reflector cone or Doppler generator for the sensor target. The Hella Guttman Solutions range of diagnostic tools clearly show you what target is required and where to position the target via clear diagrams with all relevant measurements included.

What is the cost? From as little as $11,575 you can purchase the Mega Macs ONE diagnostic tool, radar reflector cones and stand, as well as the required positioning aids. This combination is a great starter package, allowing you to conduct radar and camera calibrations dynamically, as well as to statically calibrate both front and rear radar on many Asian built vehicles. For a no obligation discussion with one of our specialists, call 1800 061 729 or email

Introducing MAHLE Thermal Management A premium line of direct replacement radiators Thermal management is a key technology for any drive type – it improves the efficiency of combustion engines. With an extensive original equipment product range that is unrivalled in terms of its breadth and depth and covers almost every area of the powertrain, MAHLE original products can be found widely through all types of vehicles. Radiators are fundamental to the performance of any engine cooling system. Positioned in the air flow at the vehicle front, they are, unsurprisingly, frequently susceptible to damage during a vehicle collision and are therefore often in high demand. As one of the world’s leading

OEMs in automotive air conditioning and engine cooling, MAHLE has the experience and expertise when it comes to these replacement parts. MAHLE radiators optimally dissipate the waste engine heat, which is absorbed by the coolant, to the external air. All MAHLE components, such as the radiator core and header tank, including all connections and fastening elements, are carefully produced and offer a long service life in accordance with the vehicle manufacturer’s exacting specifications. The MAHLE Premium line is a direct replacement for the original components, with the same materials, the same technologies and the same manufacturing techniques for the aftermarket.

Distributed by Hella Australia, MAHLE provides comprehensive support for workshops. For further information about MAHLE radiators and thermal products, contact E: or Tel: 1800 061 729.

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ADAS ADA S Radar Radar Calibration C a l i b r atio n Package Pa ckage for for Asian A sian Vehicles Vehicles Calibrate Calibrate A ADAS DAS rradar adar senso sensors rs ffor or a w wide ide rrange ange of of As Asian ian v vehicle ehicle models models The HELLA HELLA GU TMANN SOL UTIONS As ian Radar C The GUTMANN SOLUTIONS Asian Calibration alibration P Package ackage offer offerss kshop solution solution for the the calibration calibration of ffront ront an a wor workshop andd rrear ear ADAS rradar adar se sensors nsors many popular popular Honda, Honda, Hyundai, Hyundai, Kia, M azda and TToyota/Lexus used on many Mazda oyota/Lexus model modelss *. This great includes: great value value package package inc ludes: t Rear Cam Kit Cam K it I

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For more more information please contact: WA/SA: W A/SA: A Steve Steve Cook 0429 640 037 NSW/AC NSW/ACT: T: Paul Davis 0418 375 406 *Nissan Nissan and Suzuki Suzuki model model variants variants require require additional additional equ equipment ipment for ADAS radar radar calibration, calibration, available available separately. separately.


Lee Iddon 0427 125 2 888 Harry Harry Liaros Liaros 0429 567 67 112


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