The spray booth is a topic we keep returning to, but as it remains the single largest investment for most body shops and the area where bottlenecks in the workshop keep recurring, it is a subject that is still intrinsic to the success or otherwise of every repairer in the country. But while finding out the very latest innovations in spray booth technology is crucial, there is a broader view that needs to be taken before that even comes into play.
That is because every business is different and the demands each will place on its spray booth will vary wildly, how can a body shop manager decide which particular spray booth will prove most effective and efficient if they don’t know exactly what it will be used for, and how often? From one sort to the next the types of repairs will vary, as will the number of jobs that move through the workshop and the time allocated for each job – even the painting processes may not be the same from one repair to the next.
Each of these factors will influence what type of spray booth is most appropriate. Each body shop needs to be treated as an individual as there is no one size fits all solutions. But most body shops quote throughput as key when they look into new spray booths. Some body shops benefit from drive-through longer length spray booths; when combined with a downdraught-type airflow these can accommodate more than one vehicle at once even if they are using different colours.
Others will benefit from a skate and rail system for loading, meaning cars can be prepped in advance, streamlining the workflow outside of the spray booth. So planning workflow should be a priority – working out how the vehicles should move through the body shop and loading the spray booth correctly to maximise its usage will ensure you have the best possible throughput.
Taking a more holistic view you cannot look at the spray booth in isolation without considering how it will fit into the business as a whole.
Whenever body shops are looking at getting the best value from their spray booth it helps to discuss the painting processes as a whole from the start. Getting the right spray booth to match the desired painting is as vital as the positioning of the spray booth and gaining the correct planning permission. A consultative approach allows for body shops to maximise both their productivity and their investments.
Once body shop managers have considered all these influencing factors, they will be in a far better position to decide what they want from a spray booth, and, with manufacturers constantly innovating to improve their products, the options available to them are numerous.
However, spray booth manufacturers are far from alone in recognising that speed and accuracy is critical to the flow of vehicles through a body shop. Paint manufacturers, too, have a massive influence on how quickly jobs can progress through a workshop and they are constantly evolving their products and processes to improve both speed and accuracy. Compact process paint systems have been developed to remove the need for a primer layer, cutting one step out of the process, and the introduction of low temperature curing is the next big focus. Ultimately, combining low temperature curing with compact processes is the end goal. Until then though, new innovations continue to be launched.
AkzoNobel said that Autoclear Aerodry, offer drying options that range from five minutes of curing at 60ºC for 45 minutes at ambient temperature. This saves on energy costs and gives body shops the flexibility to optimise how they utilise their spray booths.
They can now simply roll out the previous vehicle or panel after a five-minute flash-off or leave it to dry at an ambient temperature for 45 minutes. Or, if they’re meeting a tight deadline, they can opt for a five-minute cure at 60ºC. Mixing is also fast and error-free with the simplicity of a 100:100 ratio.
Other product innovations such as UV refinish lines can reduce process time to just 60-90 seconds per repair. There’s also minimal waste and, unlike conventional two-pack products which have a limited lifespan once they are mixed, Autosurfacer UV is a ready-to-spray product and good to use until it’s gone.
Paint manufacturers have also embraced digital technologies when it comes to colour matching, which eliminates human error and reduce colour-matching time by an average of 20%.
We all know how costly and time-consuming mistakes can be, so smart technology and efficient processes are key. This is where digital colour matching technology has really revolutionised the industry.
These time-saving, cost-efficient products and processes can then be tied neatly together with a digital producing management look, enabling body shop staff to quickly see where each vehicle is in the repair and refinish process. This helps body shops better communicate the repair status of vehicles to their customers while streamlining the flow of vehicles. As ever though, these efficiencies can only be maximised with effective training.
This is where the industry has benefited from a collaborative approach. Spray booth manufacturers and repair centres can consult paint manufacturers on the design and layout of body shops. New equipment installations need to be focused on building strong partnerships with other equipment suppliers to ensure that we fully maximise the full benefits of new, innovative paint technology, especially as body shops adapt to the industry’s changing needs.
But even if body shops have the correct equipment and know how to use it, they could still be losing out on profits by taking a short-term approach to service and maintenance. Spray booths aren’t working as effectively as they could be because they’ve not been looked after. When you ignore alerts to change filters for example is false economy, as the spray booth won’t run at its best and the quality of the finished paintwork could also be compromised.
Ultimately, it seems that knowledge is power and the more body shops know about their business, their customers and the products that are now available the more likely they are to make the right choices. But they don’t necessarily need to find all that out themselves, particularly when it comes to products and processes; there are enough friendly faces in the industry who have made it their job to fill in the gaps.
Fix Auto Collision in collaboration with NF Apprentices has appointed two female apprentices at their shop and have committed to supporting them until they qualify as artisans. Lerato Matheba and Molatelo Makhura, panelbeating and spray painting apprentices respectively, have been given the opportunity to pursue their dreams of one day being artisans in the trades they have chosen to journey along.
Fix Auto collision is a 100% black female-owned shop that has a passion for skills development and a commitment to growing skills in the industry. Although Lerato and Molatelo have limited exposure in the trades that they have enrolled for, they have shown great potential and have made significant progress in their learning. We are confident that they will have well rounded experience at the end of the apprenticeship with knowledge that will set them up for success in their chosen careers.
NF Apprentices is thankful to Fix Auto Collision for investing in the development of both Lerato and Molatelo. We would like to see many other young women being given the opportunity to receive training and one day be great leaders in the automotive industry.
Based in Phoenix in Durban, Super Auto Paints Company (SAP) have pushed ahead in the last decade to now have national self-owned distribution in Verulam, Springfield Industrial Park, Pinetown Industrial Park, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.
Director Andre Maharaj said it started out being a normal refinish store in Abaredare Drive at the start of the millennium. With the expert aid of Neville Arrow and Kooben Moodley (chemist) and being a fully fledged chemist, as time went on and with shortages of toners from time to time in the business, SAP developed their supply ability with their own brand of high quality refinish toners, primers, clearcoats and basecoats to become completed self-reliant. Technical specialists like Donovan van der Haar and Malcolm Groom, who have a life-time of experience in the refinish industry are part of the technical team. Malcolm, who joined SAP around 24 months ago said the business is showing substantial growth. He says they now have a comprehensive quality range that includes both medium solid, high solid clears and hardeners to complement the basecoat range of toners that SAP now market.
This Platinum brand offers exceptional holdout and delivers a full wet coat look when it is dried and fully cured. The finish also offers great ease of polishing. SAP went the full hog on training their regular customers with a well–equipped training centre to show clients how to speed up their output and more importantly reduce reject work with the need to do things right the first time.
The SAP refinish range offers exceptional value and quality. “We are doing increased business on a national basis,” says Andre, “and looking to grow further.”
The first ever IBIS South Africa conference was all about change, raising standards and improving trade skills as the global evolution of the collision repair trade came under the spotlight.
For over two decades the IBIS Bodyshop Symposium has been a major point of interest as the whole world of repair descends on the global think tank of how the industry will develop and mutate when viewed against the evolution of the global car. So the car of the future,, driver of the future and crash of the future as well as the repair of the future are all separate but key issues on the modern car development are put under the spotlight.
Jason Mosely, CEO of IBIS, who was the keynote speaker at the conference revealed some interesting cost facts on a global scale with the average body crash repair costs increasing in all markets by some 8.5% with future crash analysis. Looking at a larger severity of the damage vehicle when viewed against a background of new materials and technology, their research also showed that some repair nations were still enjoying a full 60% mark-up on labour sales in work done in the sales order sales mix where little change was seen in many developed mature markets with insurers developing a new strategy on promoting against non-part replacement, where in many cases smaller repairs were handled in that way with some insurance concerns posting decent profits. The case of claims frequency showed a downward trend where Volvo showed a decline of over 33% when compared with a modest decrease of just 4% in accident rates in Europe. The United Kingdom posted a reduction of some 18% in that period as well with close to 40% less rear-end prangs being experienced.
Along with this the profile of body repair was also changing to smaller repairs using different tools and different skills as repairs are no longer becoming easier but more complex and ever more expensive. Insurers were showing on average costs increases per repair of around 23% on the latest generation of vehicles with major front-end repairs showing a significant cost increase because of expensive parts replacements needed. Some headlamps had increased by over 200% against previous models.
The question of who exactly owns the customer – is it the repairer or the insurer – came into view with declining sales in some markets. Lower service levels, the parts revenue focus for motor makers has moved to body shop activities with less labour needed and inevitably more repair parts needed. All combined with an adjacent set of skilled repair profiles being needed as talent will become the biggest challenge in creating. Your own bench mark of trained staff to support tomorrow’s car repair as speed will become everything through major industry consolidation periods as Germany is facing close to a 30% reduction in the period up to 2030.
Even all the important insurance for car repair market could decline by up to 40% of its current size by 2030 said JP Morgan Motor Insurance as ADAS devices come into the real world of driving where their share of the market in 2016 was US $11 billion, by 2026 those electronic gizmologies with turnover at a colossal US $132 billion in revenue. This will bring a raft of focus change to the insurers offer as product liability, recall insurance liability and cyber liability insurance develop going forwards, so all in all said Jason.
Trevor Ward, head of customer service at Mazda SA, explained the Mazda brand objective behind their collision repair programme where the four pillars of their main focus combine with franchise dealers, insurers, body shops and Mazda OEM. They want the dealers to take care of the vehicle, owner and all parties to do the same in repair to give each customer a good collision repair experience. To offer Mazda’s philosophy of granting full freedom of choice, avoid restrictive practices in a market that self regulates to give all the market players a fair share of the cake, for clearly OEM’s, insurers and collision repair associations and body shops cannot work against each other.
Their move has been to appoint collision repair programmes and associations to sign service level agreements where they then take care of dispute regulation on any repair issues, has been working extremely well for Mazda. They require no audits, no fees and no limits on who can repair a Mazda vehicle and their signage package is also an optional agreement.
Ward went on to explain to the delegates on the Save-A-Car programme which applies to both insured and uninsured drivers when they offer a service to assist on a once-off basis for genuine parts pricing. Proof however would be required in all cases that the Mazda owner had received the benefit of the reductions on offer to repair the damaged vehicle.
There is a great need to respect all the players involved in vehicle damage repairs, to respect each other’s way of doing business, retain good and consistent communication levels to keep ahead in the playing field of business was the Mazda way.
Filum Ho, MD of Autoboys, presented their new pathway into the insurance quotation and OEM parts supply to iron out some heavily held marketing suspicions in South African collision parts business. “Traditionally,” said Ho, “the cost of entry represented a barrier to supply concerns.” Autoboys have expanded their offer in their 66 franchise operations nationally to include refinish paint and polishing systems. They also distribute both OEM and OEE alternative parts to repairers. Using their new online shops PSA, all make use of the programme,. Autoboys also have a direct parts supply business with some nominated insurers. Filum Ho’s comment of, “If you’re not in a digital space now, you are not in the game”. Autoboys will continue to innovate and lead via technology in creating value partnerships for their customers with a view to offer the widest range of products.
Dr Frik Botha of IT-C, a dedicated lifetime educator, then gave a very interesting talk on the government education skills development programme. The paper discussed the ongoing divide and rule principle that many insurance companies continue to dominate profitability of small to medium car repair shops. This plus the syllabus in many apprentice training curriculums is woefully outdated with the recent technology advances made in motor vehicle design and construction.
“As an industry,” Botha says, “we should demand from all the role players involved much more respect for such a skilled job.” The Skills Development levy is poorly understood as to exactly what a shop is entitled to claim back. Their apprentice training efforts has resulted in a huge pile of cash being held in reserve and undistributed or used by the trade which all puts our effort to develop ‘human capital’ on the back burner for the future of technological demographics and socio-economic disruptions that lie ahead as we transform the employment landscape.
“All this adds to South Africa’s lack of commitment to reduce the nations colossal and ever-growing unemployment problem. Government have revisited their funding module but labour market regulation needs drastic change to make people more easily employable or dismissed from their work. It is doubtful that with our aging work force (average age of 54!) of outdated panelbeaters, of which are less than 1000 currently registered, as to whether we would be able to repair future technology now being employed in the world car. In a market where, changing skills needs to be understood, government moves to increase learning pathways and linking it to the work place were to be welcomed.
Workplace based learning still formed a vital part of journeymen training with around just 12 400 total industry employees. The major role players of general assistants held at 7 292 many of whom don’t get upgraded because body shops don’t want them to cost more as qualified artisans in a great many cases. But with fewer than 750 apprentices registered in South Africa clearly there is a crisis with skills availability.
When you look at the prospect of R40 000 tax rebate per learner available it is hard to understand why apprentice training remains in the doldrums for our body shops. “We need recognition that skills development remains a critical issue on the repair road ahead,” said Botha, “or we will not cope in this trade.”
Next, an industry interview explored refinish market dynamics with Don Serapelo, Axalta, key account manager, moderated by Jason. The two examined a multitude of topics including skills, technology, collaboration, digitisation, and changing mobility. Serapelo emphasised that “Axalta’s future is about creating products that will be sustainable and a right fit for the future culture. It’s about investing more in innovation and thinking differently. Furthermore, Serapelo explained, that to help body shops improve efficiency, product development is key for not only Axalta, but for all those in the refinish sector.
Dave Shepherd, regional manager director of Audatex UK and SA, gave a special talk on the three major forces that cause disruption in global collision repair with technology intelligence data and ever high customer expectations being recorded by Audatex. The future for any body shops that hopes to retain a future in the trade would need a much-improved customer centric outlook. A firm view on digital systems advances within their own operation as well as outside forces at work.
The need for a more streamlined production with work flow and delivery on time status will become a big area of improvement for most shops in the next generation, of what is called the Amazon effect, where clients choose with internet options increase exponentially, and their demand for inclusive information seems to know no bounds.
Further to this changing landscape of claims where 3000 personnel harnessed data for organisations developed a new trust point for Audatex operations and all parties need to be able to trust the claim for damage repair. Average repair costs in Europe were now running at approximately 2600 Euros right now.
TTI Global, who have a specialist skills upliftment programme working across the world showed through Cornelius Viviers, three skills development challenges, the ways to overcome rapid changes in technology and the need to develop the staff to handle it. Recruitment strategies need development. Is our training effort sufficient to cope with the changes where a whole new raft of duty and care for workers training was fast emerging? Repairing new aluminium bodies and ultra–high strength steel panels was a new process entirely with new technology techniques in use today, where fusion welding was taking over from traditional methods of repair, plus the latest ADAS circle of safety devices now being employed on new models in an ever-changing environment. Declining skills levels is becoming a real headache for the trade to contend with.
A panel discussion which included Steve Kessel, CRA operations diretor, Graeme Reid of Lightstone, and Ian Groat, Publisher of Automotive Refinisher magazine, was moderated by Jason and finalised the day’s proceedings. Woeful skills availability came under the spotlight as well as a need for more OEM involvement on new car repairs at body shop level. Reid said that over 4000 monthly CSI reports provided feedback to customers who were often neglected in the repair cycle in a void of communication.
Groat said it was unforgivable for insurance players to grant a rate of R900 or over for a mechanical repair at the motor agents but could only offer less than R300 average per hour for collision repair labour charge out rates. The current rate was causing huge distress on profitability and sustainability to the trade stakeholders.
Steve Kessel also went on to say that active work steering often supplied an over capacity to some shops which leads to poor quality work output finished work repaired.
In the discussion about the future, role players were asked to step up to the plate and improve some of the traditional adversarial confrontation that remains all too often unresolved in this industry.
What is the current situation with “Human Capital” in the Automotive Body Repair Industry?
To answer this question, one should have to look at the MIBCO Statistics: Numbers of graded employees involved in the repairing of accident damage vehicles:
General workers: 7292
Body shop assistants: 2014
B/A Journeymen: 151
Apprentice panelbeaters: 384
Apprentice spray painters: 257
Qualified panelbeaters: 1444
Qualified spray painters: 863
One also has to look at the number of employers engaged in panelbeating and spray-painting: 3660.
What do these figures mean for the body shop industry?
Comparing the number of qualified panelbeaters and spray painters registered with Mibco (2307), and the number of employers engaged in panelbeating and spray-painting activities (3660), the average number of qualified journeymen employed per establishment is: 1.5 or 2 qualified employees.
What is the situation with apprentices in these two trades?
The total numbers of registered apprentices (641) means that every employer/establishment involved in panelbeating and spray painting, employs 0.2 apprentices – not even 1 apprentice per establishment.
In your opinion, what does this mean for our industry?
The future looks rather dim! Industry role players have to compile a contingency-plan to “make panelbeating and spray painting sexy” so that the youth join this industry and are proud to become tradesmen.
Does the Automotive Body Repair Industry currently experience a scarcity of “Skilled Talented” employees?
Again we have to firstly look at the numbers of employees actively engaged in the Automotive Body Repair Industry. The total number of general workers, body shop assistants, and B/A journeyman is 9457. These non-qualified employees present the opportunity of Skills Development as well as career enhancement. For example; a B/A journeyman is placed in a Skills Programme that will lead to a trade test. Similarly, the general worker is trained in a Skills Programme to perform the duties of the body shop assistant. A Merseta registered Skills Training Programme also leads to credits and falls within the requirements as set by BBBEE for Skills Development in the body shop. (See the Learning Programme Matrix p.36)
Secondly; the HR Function of the Body Shop changes. It now becomes important to participate in Skills Development so that the company can claim back it’s “Mandatory Grant money” (SDL paid over to SARS).
Thirdly: A Skills Development Facilitator for each company should be registered with the Merseta, to maximise the Training and Development opportunities of the staff. A workplace skills plan (WSP) can be completed as well as an annual training report (ATR) by the SDF and he/she also applies for the Discretionary Grant from Merseta (R65 000), to train an apprentice.
I want to end my first article with Sir Richard Branson’s remark: “Train your employees so well they can leave. Treat them so well they don’t want to.”
In my next article in Human Capital Development we will look into the assistance available from the Merseta, the Government’s National Skills Development Plan 2030 and how to benefit financially from training.
If you have any specific questions about training, please feel free to send me an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or invite me to visit your company to help with any planning or questions you might have.
The 29th year of the Kinsey Report has been given a facelift and is now officially called the AA KINSEY REPORT and as such will appear on the AASA official website. It has been over 18 months since the research was done for the 2017 Report and it is astounding how prices have escalated in this time. Parts basket prices have soared – an entry level Datsun Go for example had a total parts basket of R44,372 in 2017 – and this year is R63 310 and the Volvo S60 of 2017 had a basket price of R159 862 and is now R214 362.
This year it is good to see the Opel brand back – three examples are in the study. The turmoil of 2017 seems to be largely resolved and stability has returned to the market. I have omitted 12 vehicles from the previous report but replaced them with 19 others. All the Auto Trader Car of the Year finalists for 2019 are included and the names of the vehicles are preceded with an asterisk on the charts.
The SUV market has gained hugely in popularity and we have a total of 30 vehicles in three classes – compact crossover (8), crossover (13) and executive crossover (9) and prices vary considerably from the Mahindra KUV at just under R188,000 to over R1 million for the likes of the Porsche Cayenne, Volvo XC90, V W Touareg and BMW X5. Obviously, one must select similar vehicles to compare!
The format for conducting the study has not changed. I have asked for a single wiper blade this year and where they are only sold as a pair, it has been noted. The only other difference between vehicles is for petrol/diesel engines – also shown on the chart. All prices are collected in one calendar month, mainly from dealerships in the Durban/Umhlanga/Pinetown area. Where possible a VIN number is supplied to avoid confusion. Quotes are all written and if a price seems out of kilter it is checked, either telephonically or by another visit – and often to a different dealership.
It must be stressed that the prices used are what a customer, walking into a dealership, would pay on that day and do not always coincide with what the manufacturer or importer would supply. The manufacturers do not have any input as to which vehicles are chosen – generally the most popular vehicles in the range are chosen.
The servicing and repair costs sections of the survey are not as vital to the vehicle owner – particularly with a new vehicle. These costs are borne to some extent by the dealer through service contracts that could be as long as 100 000km. Manufacturers warranties can be as much as 200 000km, or seven years, in some cases. Crash parts prices however, will affect your insurance excess and the write-off point of your vehicle and will be well worth noting.
City Cars and Entry Level
The Datsun Go is the overall winner of this category with a parts basket total of R63 310 – with the Renault Kwid and the Ford Figo in second and third places separated only by just over R1 000 – R66 707 to R67 805.
Best servicing cost price goes to the Datsun at R2 047, the Honda Brio following with R2 437 and the Suzuki Swift at R2 601. The order is the same for repair costs – Datsun Go repair basket is R8 846, the Kwid R11 223 and the Figo R12 446. Toyota gets its first mention in the crash parts section in a close contest – the Etios at R50 164 just pipping the Figo R51 073 and the Go R52 416.
Renault Sandero owners will be pleased to know that their car heads the list of having the most affordable parts basket – R92 891, which is one better than in 2017. Toyota Yaris is second at R100 943 and third is the Ford Fiesta at R108 594.
The Nissan Micra heads the servicing section at R3 302, followed by the Renaults – the Clio – R3 621 and the Sandero R3 642. Repairing the Micra will set you back R12 835; second is the VW Polo at R15 860 and the Sandero third at R17 266. The Sandero is the least expensive for the crash parts basket – R71 982, with the Fiesta – R77 738 – just squeezing out the Yaris at R78 503.
The Auto Trader Car of the Year winner, the Mercedes A Class, is in this category – but failed to take top honours in the economy stakes with an overall parts basket of R185 732. The winner in the AA Kinsey Report is the Toyota Corolla Quest with a comparatively miserly parts total of R65 341, just pipping its newer sister the Corolla Prestige whose R84 798 parts basket only just edges out the Nissan Almera with a total of R85 453.
The Almera is quite substantially less expensive on service parts – R2 768 compared to the Quest at R4 255 and the Hyundai Elantra at R4 730. The A Class Mercedes has the lowest repair costs at R11 030 but this is skewed by the fact that it is only available as an automatic – so has no clutch, pressure plate or flywheel prices. Close behind is the Almera with a repairs basket of R12 550 and the Quest at R13 993. The Quest come first in the crash parts section – R47 091, followed by the Corolla at R62 738 and the Almera at R70 134.
The Mahindra KUV is a clear winner with a full parts basket of R68 638 ahead of the Suzuki Jimny at R86 897 and the Toyota Rush at R97 387. The KUV was best in all three sub-sections.
Servicing the KUV will cost you R2 693 compared with second-placed Renault Duster at R2 946 and the Jimny at R3 543. Repair parts for the KUV are R11 983, for the Rush R15 643 and the Jimny R15 769. If you have accident repairs, the KUV is still the most cost effective – the parts basket is R53 961, while the Jimny will set you back R67 584 and the third most reasonable figure goes to the Ford Eco Sport, at R74 369.
Becoming more popular every year – crossovers are by far the biggest group of vehicles with sales in the thousands every month. This group is headed by the Toyota Fortuner with a very creditable parts basket of R80 171, and the only other vehicle boasting a basket total below R100 000 is newcomer the Haval with R91 071. In third place is the Subaru Forester with a basket of R113 362. The vehicles selected all have automatic transmission as over 50% of the vehicles sold are either automatic or CVT configuration.
First in the servicing section is the Nissan X Trail with a basket of R3 344, followed by the Fortuner at R3 743 and the Forester at R3 811. The Forester leads the way in the repair category with a total of R7 042, second is the newcomer, the Opel Grandland with a basket price of R8 074 – Opel making a return after having been out of the 2017 survey. Third is the Haval at R8 736. On the accident front, the locally produced Fortuna has a substantial cost advantage at R66 860 over the Haval at R78 484 in second and the Ford Kuga at R99 535 in third place.
There are two COTY finalists in this group of nine vehicles, the Alfa Stelvio heading the pack with a basket total of R135 029 and just knocking the Toyota Prado back a place to second with a basket total of R199 428 and the Jaguar E Pace in third with a basket of R212 968.
With its servicing basket of R5 709, the Range Rover Evoque takes top spot – the E Pace, which shares a number of its components, a hairsbreadth behind at R5 766. Third is the Toyota Prado at R6 317. Repair costs for the Evoque are R13 802 which again puts it ahead of the second placed E Pace at R14 665, – and once more, with some shared components. In third place is the
Audi Q5 with a basket totaling R16 056. All vehicles in this group have automatic transmission.
The crash parts are markedly less expensive for the Stelvio and the reason that the Alfa comes out top overall – R110 865 compared with R170 292 for the Prado and R192 536 for the E Pace.
Once again, the majority of vehicles here are automatics – only the GWM Steed does not offer that option. The winner here is the evergreen Toyota Hilux with a combined parts basket total of R79 660, ahead of the Isuzu D.Max at R88 191 and the GWM Steed 6 at R94 372.
Servicing honours go to the Hilux at R3 849, followed by the GWM Steed 6 at R3 891 and third, the Isuzu D.Max with a basket of R4 411. For repair work it’s the Isuzu at R5 976 ahead of the Hilux – R6 163 and the Ford Ranger – R7 725. The dreaded fender benders are less expensive in a Hilux – R69 646 opposed to an Isuzu at R77803 and the Steed 6 at R77 860.
The Nissan NP200 is now the only ¾ ton bakkie available and with over 2 000 sold in March alone is a significant part of the single cab market. With this in mind, we have included it as a stand-alone entry, ahead of its larger brothers. Its total basket price is R49 823 – which makes it the least expensive of all the 72 vehicles in this year’s survey, – and obviously it has a very important role in the SA pickup market.
The 1 tonne pickups are headed by the Nissan NP300, with a total parts basket price of R61 334 and not too far behind are the Isuzu D.Max at R65 326 and the Toyota Hilux at R73 696. When broken down into sub categories the servicing costs are least expensive for the NP300, at R3 090 followed by the Isuzu at R3 258 and the Mahindra at R5 032. The Isuzu is the most competitive for repair parts at R13 826, with the NP300 and the Hilux pretty much neck and neck at R20 232 and R20 420 respectively. Crash parts are least painful if you own an Nissan NP300 – R38 010, compared with R47 532 for the Hilux and R48 241 for the Isuzu.
The winner here again is the consistent Volvo S60, – its total basket cost being R214 362. There’s not much between the Audi A4 at R227 503 and the Lexus ES at R230 263 for second and third.
The service costs are much as one would expect for luxury models – service parts show Lexus with the lowest costs at R6 018, BMW 320 coming in 2nd at R7 575 and the Audi 3rd at R8 220.
Lexus leads the elite pack in repair parts as well R13 053 to Audi A4 at R14 686 and BMW in third place at R15 890. Body parts are least pricey for the Volvo S60 at R175 912, the Audi R204 596 and the Lexus R211 190. One thing remains constant – though prices are always on the increase, it is still useful to shop around to find the most satisfactory quote.
We’re not talking about your weight, but rather talking about becoming leaner. Workshops are under constant pressure from work providers to do more for less. However, there are ways to get better returns by managing your workshop so there is less “waste” and by being leaner.
Repairing a vehicle in a traditional workshop environment produces about 4km of waste. Now think about how long it would take you to walk 4km? Although this may be good for your waistline, it doesn’t do your wallet any good. From the moment a vehicle is first quoted, is booked in, dismantled, repaired, painted, reassembled, detailed, checked and the keys are handed back to the proud owner there is a huge amount of travelling that takes place. Add to this the jumping to conclusions, false starts, running back and forth, hurdles, diving off the deep end, the stumbling blocks, sprinting to a deadline and all for a nice photo finish, it’s amazing we aren’t all finely tuned athletes. Any moment a hand isn’t touching a car because of any of the above points and your ‘waste-line’ gets bigger.
Instead of all this rushing, perhaps it would be better to do the job more efficiently/leaner. Lean management processes focus on slowing down the repair planning so that everything for each job is coordinated from the outset.
Gone are the days where the person stripping down the vehicle only plays a minor role in the business strategy. The trend is now moving towards this being one of the most important. Imagine a repair bay set up for meticulous disassembly and comprehensive identification of any extra damage. Doing this early on is the key. Think of a pit stop in motorsport where every second is precious. The vehicle stops for refuelling, the tyres are changed, mechanical repairs are completed along with unscheduled adjustments and all within seconds. They don’t walk back and forward from bay to bay, tool box to tool box. Thorough preparation is vital. So why would it be any different in your workshop? If your process is done leaner, the key to key times can be drastically reduced and a better outcome for all achieved.
So where do you and your staff get the time to invest in these strategies and implement this change that you want to see? A great place to start is the free web-based programme called PartsCheck. The programme is designed to reduce the amount of staff walking the floor, it truly frees up resources. Suppliers receive more information to provide an accurate quote such as vehicle details and photos which reduces waste. You are able to improve your profit margins by sending the requests to 10 different suppliers. Once you have made your selections, you can specify delivery times and track orders so you can manage your inventory better and coordinate workflow. PartsCheck frees up your time to get on with the more important things in your job. You may even find the time to go for that 4km walk when you feel like working on your own waistline.
In the face of an ever-larger demand for body shops to meet repairs, mainly coming from the 70% of drivers who don’t carry insurance, the Marouns Group have been busy developing a totally new value line in the Xcéla range of refinish. “Xcéla offers one of the most user-friendly systems on the market,” says Noel van der Berg, national operations manager. The group have taken time to train and learn how to enhance coverage and improve colour accuracy with this new system. “Currently we are installing around 15 systems into collision repair centres who are seeking better value and preference on their chosen paint refinish line. The company will by year-end, have introduced around 50 of the new Xcéla mixing benches into the national refinish customer line up.”
At the current pricing levels, we feel that Xcéla offers a top line colour brilliance formula back-up with the use of 71 XB basecoat toners along with 23 XK twin pack toners which meets and exceeds their competitors in this end of the market structure.
“Technical testing, which has been in process for some months now proved better business and cost reductions all round with Xcéla,” said Cindy Mathey, sales and technical representative Midrand. They are upbeat about the finished wet look results that the clearcoat delivers. In fact, the X100HS Radiant Clear is world class in ease-of-use and its final look with low levels of rejects and a superb wet-look on dried part films.
“With this exclusive distribution into our national footprint of the Marouns Group of the Xcéla brand, we are now able to offer a viable alternative to the automotive repair industry which is more economical and technical assured,” concludes Noel.
Here are eight good reasons you should protect staff by having fume extraction. Air fed units will protect the person welding but not other staff in the workshop.
Automotive grades of aluminium are alloyed with different substrates for differing strengths, the 6000 series aluminium is alloyed with bauxite and magnesium and silicon. The 5000 is alloyed with bauxite magnesium and manganese. The fine dust emitted when sanding aluminium will float for a very long time in the workshop and is very explosive if it comes into contact with an ignition source which could be as simple as a welding spark or static spark. Any extraction system used for aluminium dust must be a non-static system where the dust collector is separate to the motor driving the extraction system.
Long term effects
When welding automotive steels or aluminium the weld zone gives off harmful fumes. These can cause metal welding fever where technicians will feel lethargic – often with flu-like symptoms. But there are more long-term health effects from welding without adequate fume extraction or respirators.
Prolonged exposure to welding fumes may cause lung damage and various types of cancers, including lung, larynx and urinary tract. Health effects from certain fumes may include, stomach ulcers, kidney damage and nervous system damage.
Aluminium fumes cause…
Welding aluminium produces gases and particles which are harmful, extraction is vital to protect the welder. When welding aluminium materials, aluminium oxide is formed from the filler material and base material. The aluminium oxides are present in the welding fumes. The oxide occurs in the form of spherical particles. Breathing in these particles can put a strain on respiratory tracts and affect lungs if the particles are deposited there. Respiratory diseases such as bronchitis can also occur. The dust deposits can even bring about irreversible aluminosis, also known as aluminium lung. Another issue is ozone. Ozone is a highly toxic, chemically reactive gas, and can cause lung damage. It is produced from oxygen in the atmosphere around the welding area. Control of exposure to ozone can be difficult. It should be noted that cell damage due to ozone inhalation is permanent and irreversible.
Sense of smell?
All products used in our industry have a particular smell. Those odours are added to products so you are aware you are inhaling them and are encouraged to use fume extraction or respirators. If you can no longer smell a product you have become desensitised, which means you have no idea it is harming you anymore. A respirator may protect the person applying the product but the fumes are now also present within the nearby area which can affect others. Using fume extraction will protect everybody in the workshop.
Our industry uses several different composites in vehicle construction including carbon fibre and reinforced plastics. Any product which contains fibre for strength will have adverse effects if inhaled when sanding the products. The dust is far lighter than steel dust and will float through a workshop for hours. Without sufficient fume extraction at the ‘coalface’ these hazards are spread throughout the workshop. Carbon fibre dust can irritate eyes, throat and skin and the fine fibres in the dust can become imbedded in a technician’s lungs. Carbon fibres are electrically conductive, and dust or waste can cause short-circuits within electrical equipment. The fibres can be attracted to electronic components on other vehicles nearby and cause short circuits.
Failing to use an extraction system when working with composites can cause black lung disease, while inhaling carbon particles can irritate the lungs and cause coughing.
All products we use in our industry cause an adverse effect on our environment. By using filtered extraction systems, we take the pollution that is expelled and clean the air being released. This makes our workplace a far cleaner, healthier environment to work in.
Adverse health effects
The potential health and safety risks from short term effects such as irritant contact dermatitis, headaches and nausea to extremely serious conditions such as lung cancer, damage to the reproductive system, kidney or even lives, and include ‘painter’s syndrome’ (which affects the brain). Spraying of primers and paints outside of an extracted down draft booth will lead to all technicians inhaling these vapours. This also applies to cleaning products used in the detailing section such as mag wheel and glass cleaners.
Body filler dust
Body fillers consist of resins and filling agents. Various filling agents can be used and when reference is made to polyester or epoxy fillers, it’s the resin which is being referenced. Filling agents such as Styrene and Q-cell are found in body filler and can be highly toxic, especially if an individual is exposed to it at high concentration levels. Short-term exposure can cause eye, skin and respiratory irritation, as well as gastrointestinal effects.
ACT/9, the title of the Automotive Color Trends 2019-20, is a demand to shape the future with an active attitude. By analysing technological trends and societal changes, the designers at BASF’s Coatings division translated this drive into a collection of future colour inspirations for automotive surfaces. Four design studios from North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific worked within this collaboration. The focus on these regions creates a profound understanding of the respective markets and its colour drivers.
The global colour trends mirror the positive commitment towards connecting digital innovations with human needs. The increasing relevance of digitalisation underlines the acceptance of computer-based support. A decisive rethinking of resources is moulding new product landscapes and consumption patterns.
A diverse range of colours signposts openness to digital progress
Multiple hues and distinctly different levels of chroma characterise the open-minded attitudes to advances in digitalisation. Digital support is now seen as a natural part of life and its influence continues to grow. The colouration of future mobility, therefore, needs to take on a warmer and more approachable look. A typical automotive colour positions like yellowish off-tones and complex goldish metals comply with these directions.
Varieties of metallics mirror consumer commitment to societal change
The colour trends reflect designers’ observations of an increasing desire to make essential changes. This impacts not only general consumption patterns and behaviors but also personal objectives. Since lifelong jobs are rare for many younger people, straight biographies are superseded by multifaceted life styles – what is now referred to as the “slash” generation. This requires flexible attitudes towards mobility patterns. The attitude of the slash generation is geared towards flexibility and creativity, offering the right balance between work and leisure. This interplay is captured through a series of metallics and solid colours ranging from light to dark shades.
In addition, numerous consumer and industry driven initiatives promote the profound rethinking of material life cycles. The designers of BASF’s Coatings division transform these impulses into innovative colour concepts combining the aesthetic with sustainable solutions.
EMEA – Defining new standards
The immensely positive vibe is an indication for the upcoming changes of societal conventions in EMEA, in which unique colour positions like violet metallic can become more common. One of the facets emphasising this optimism is the continuously increasing importance of individuality for design concepts which is reflected in complex metallics in the beige and gold colour space. Another aspect of life in in this region is the exploration of human needs in the context of increasingly automated mobility. Therefore, a selection of colours in EMEA are characterised by an artificial look which deletes effects but adds functionality. This also underlines the approach to pursue progressive ideas.
Asia-Pacific – Awareness for a new scope of action introduces a balanced palette of warm colours
The spirit of multi-facetted life concepts manifests in the awareness of a new scope of action in Asian urban societies. Tradition fuses with new impulses of sustainable production and introduces a balanced palette of warm colours with calm, saturated flops. Moreover, these hues also go beyond the stereotype look of shades and surfaces, with fresh whitish silvers and more complex warm colour spaces.
While the technology-friendly mindset in Asia-Pacific favors bright floating colours such as silky neutral metallics and blues with a slight colour shift, the more emotional face of future automotive technology reveals itself in dark, raw vital colours such as coarse gray metallic or sensual purple. All in all, Asia Pacific’s modest and familiar colour ranges make visionary automotive concepts more applicable.
North America – Colour changing hues reflect digital and lifestyle trends
The continued fascination with technology in North America, coupled with an engaging and novel approach to ownership and co-creation, results in a change in the colour palette from previous years, manifesting in a more pronounced flip-flop effect in varying hues rather than lightness/darkness. There is also a softening of the overall texture of the metallic effect. The new look to colour travel comprises the emergent understanding of human interactions with machines, the mind-body duality, and the conflation of the conscious with the subconscious. There’s also the continued emphasis on the marriage of functionality with the aesthetic. Whether it’s creating a broad selection of colours to facilitate the engineering requirements of future transportation or a focus on using colourants and products from eco-friendly sources, the region’s designs are tied to expectations of performance and novelty.
Colour expertise of the Coatings division
Every year the designers of BASF’s Coatings division translate their findings and predictions of technological and societal change into a collection that will influence automotive colours three to five years into the future. They undergo intensive research into future trends which they use as foundation for the development of surface, texture and colour positions. As a result, the designers present global trends and developments within the regions of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Asia Pacific (AP) and North America (NA).