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They say that as your life progresses there is a lineal expansion of time disappearing before your very eyes.  Seeing as a I am not in this movie on my own (or am I) conceivably dear valued reader, it is also happening to you. So, it is with a view on the fascinating speed of all the trade changes and system advances that we’re currently seeing the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) that one can’t help feeling from time to time it’s a bit too much for a brain that’s developed a grey porridge memory.  

You can forgive me for saying it could be construed as being a bit sad from a stability point of view. Callers to the magazine are disturbed at the poor levels of body shop repair activity, for arguably we have seen no upliftment in activity for the whole year and clearly some will not survive this work reduction rate. 

It is not good in my opinion, to berate your company’s well-being as being blinkered or unimaginative, for all too often things beyond our control play a major role. One major development is the looming cost of fuel.  At close to R20 per litre, it’s no small surprise to see Lightstone and Trend Tracker saying that 47% of our national highway dwellers are driving less and a further close to 10% of the non-aspiring drivers are now using lift clubs and public transport to get around. It’s all scary stuff. But as usual, the silver lining of fuel levies tax which has ballooned close to 200% in recent years, will keep the coffers of the greedy ANC government happy regardless of the motor trade’s inability to survive.

What’s in this issue

A big surprise reality among the doom and gloom of low business levels was the sell-out conference that we organised, along with the CRA, at Automechanika in Johannesburg. The day was punctuated with top notch international and local speakers.  Attendees concerned got a real full frontal of the technical tsunami that’s heading our way. (See page 8)

All in all, the trade fair was something of a success with stall holders purveying a myriad of new repair sundries, welding and wheel alignments equipment on parade. (See pages 18-21)

This year has been nothing short of jam packed with new products and technology being introduced into the local market. 

The latest in innovative refinishing is PPG’s MoonWalkTM (pg 36) that has set the world alight with its automated mixing process that ensures almost zero wastage and improves the working environment as it remains clinically clean in the mixing room.

Profix, a new addition to Dekro Paints’ stable has launched their new spectrophotometer to enhance their colour matching performance that this refinish range offers. (pg 42)

A visit to Portugal to see Indasa’s latest factory is what you will be able to read about. This visit highlighted the pro’s and of the investment of hard work and creating a great work environment by surrounding yourself with the best qualified people for the job. We were also blown away at the process involved in producing this quality abrasive.

On the local front Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) have invested R454 million into local Hi-Ace Ses’Fikile production. By increasing the local content from 38% to 44% on the Hi-Ace, this has added R422 million per annum to the economy and created 80 new jobs to boot. Now that is fantastic news!

Focusing on local transport turns the spotlight on a unique repair shop that has to be seen to be believed, it is so colossal in size, SA Taxi (pg 60). This business truly is a one-stop-shop if you’re looking to buy a new or used taxi; get financing and insurance for it, repair any body damage, service or even buy spare parts for the various people carriers on our roads.

And that’s just in this page turning episode of publishing the last magazine for the year! Deep breath in and out, yes some much needed holiday time is fast approaching.  You can do it!

The team at Automotive Refinisher magazine would like to thank everyone involved in making this publication a must-read page turner. Thank you to our subscribers, printers, readers and advertisers. Without your valuable input we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.

We wish you a blessed Christmas and a lot of relaxed family time as the year catapults to a close. Safe travels and a prosperous new year all round!

By Ian Groat and Claire Macfie