AutoCity Paint and Panel, Pretoria, is one of the latest additions to the refinish distribution business. Company owner, Yolandi van Vuren is a well-known local personality with many years of operating experience. Automotive Refinisher magazine took time out to talk to her about the new venture plans for the future.

Q

Is this your first business in the Pretoria market and where do you see the opportunities?

A

No, previously I was a manager of one of the largest distribution outlets for automotive refinish products in Pretoria. Opportunities exist across the broad spectrum of the whole refinish market, but I intend to explore the opportunities in the value space market within our industry. I believe this segment of business has been neglected from both a quality and service perspective and my focus will be to improve that.

Q

Tell us a bit about your experience in the body shop supply business.

A

I have a financial background and entered the refinish industry in Springs five years ago. This is my third branch/distribution outlet that I have managed/owned during this time.

Q

The market is getting quite crowded so why do you think that Octoral will be a big success?

A

Octoral brings together a quality package at an affordable price. Most brands with the same quality offering as Octoral, will be far more expensive and out of reach for middle sized body shops. Octoral will be the perfect fit for this segment and it still has many manufacturer approvals, which will appeal to the larger body shops too, which increases our target market and it becomes very inclusive.

Q

What are the main points of difference in the way the company plan to come to market?

A

The big difference is the segment of the body shop industry we are targeting. Whilst we will still target the top body shops, we want to deliver quality brands, backed-up by world class technical support and service to other repairers who are mostly catering for uninsured drivers and the informal segment of our industry. We aim to focus on this and deliver the goods, so to speak.

Q

Brand approvals are important in the local market. How does Octoral stack up in this area?

A

Octoral, being part of the Sherwin-Williams Company, already has some approvals. Whilst this is critical for the A grade body shops, our focus will also be on the other sectors to start off with, and offer a package that they can use now and still grow into with it’s approval pedigree.

Q

How do you plan to keep your clients ahead technically in such a rapidly changing market?

A

We have hired some of the top technicians in South Africa. They have already been trained by Octoral technicians from Germany, England and Holland. This training will continue annually on a reciprocal basis and the knowledge from this training will in turn be passed on to the body shops for better efficiency.

Q

How many people are in the team at the Pretoria branch?

AAutoCity Paint and Panel Pretoria employs around 20 staff, all of them skilled in their segments of the distribution business.

Q

What areas do you service from AutoCity Paint and Panel, Pretoria?

A

We service the whole of Pretoria through to Polokwane in the North, Middelburg in the East, to Brits in the West and Midrand in the South. Deliveries are prompt and outstanding client interest has been shown for our company that promises to always deliver the goods in every area of its operations to the best of our ability.

Call AutoCity Paint and Panel Pretoria on 087 470 0522 for any queries or orders.