Herschell and Iris Augustus started the impressive Commercial Panel Beaters way back in 1976 from a small house in Greyling Street in Pietermaritzburg. They then expanded and bought the property next door in 1993. As the family business grew it gave employment to the four children over the years and today their son Marc and his wife Carman chair a business that came from very humble beginnings. It’s still in Greyling Street but it has changed beyond all recognition in recent years and now carries full repair approval from Dodge, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Fiat and Jeep, among others.
The workshop consolidation has seen the two body shops become one major repair centre with a new outside facade and a revamped workshop interior. Marc says that he still operates his first Aer-O-Cure spray booth that they purchased almost 16 years ago. It now sits with another new Sprinter type cabin. In addition they have have added flat dry decks for hands-on and small area repair with Aer-O-Cure dust free and infra red express primer, or topcoat drying over the past two years, which has boosted output considerably.
PPG covers the refinish side of the repair operation with their Envirobase waterborne system. With increased air consumption the company opted to install a new Aer-O-Cure Vane compressor and air drying package. This has all helped to bring Commercial Panel Beaters to very high levels of around 140 finished cars per month.
Like everyone else in the trade Marc says that obtaining the right skills levels needed today has become a major headache for many tradesman who are not keeping pace with the way that vehicles are evolving.
The ample customer parking and spacious reception offer any client peace of mind when getting their vehicle reapired. A great deal of effort has been spent on their first impression as well as their final output quality.
Commercial Panel Beaters have a team of 30 keen staff and that helps the company retain their client base in central Pietermaritzburg.
“We thank God for our successful progress at Commercial Panel Beaters and our staff have in all this played a huge role in the business to compete on quality repairs.”