Industry long term executive Rob Simpson recently announced that he would join the new distribution network AutoCity Paint and Panel to oversee the expansion of group activities. The company have racked up impressive growth since its start-up of five national outlets in Cape Town, Durban, Bloemfontein, Pretoria and Johannesburg.

Body shop specialist supplies are the main focus of their operation. Simpson joins as managing director along with operations director, Wilfie Stonefield. They have a long history of success in the South African collision repair market.

Simpson started his journey in the collison repair industry back in the mid-1980’s when he worked for City Abrasives & Paints in the Cape market. Next came a long stint with the Spies Hecker brand, along with a further 12 years with the BASF premier brands. Simpson has in the last 10 years, been actively selling in such diverse markets as the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, and now with the launch of the Valspar flagship brand from Europe, Octoral, they are setting about putting the top technology refinish range at the very top of the local trade as a refinish system of choice.

If you look at their overview of key personnel now employed across the country you will quickly see that they have years of industry experience and passion for what they do. They realised that their team wanted to manage and oversee their own business operations and to reap the benefits of their hard work, as well as provide excellent local service to the body shops.

Speaking about the Octoral brand, Simpson says that a full line-up of first world quality colour and colouristic tools has made the brand incredibly successful. It is a fully imported system and currently their price for this comprehensive offer is approximatley 40% cheaper than some of the major pinnacle refinish brands.

Octoral also carries many major international approvals from global motor makers. One must remember when Sherwin-Williams acquired Valspar, they became one of the largest international paint manufacturers operating in global markets. They are definitely taking it seriously.

“You can expect Octoral to operate in the premium space in the South African market,” said Simpson. He has expressed a desire to hang up his globetrotting sales shoes and enjoy the Western Cape as well as this new chapter. Already the Octoral brand has been well received in local shop trials. “The market is looking for a value priced refinish offer and we are going to be part of that move.” he concluded.