Smart Quote
Axalta SEP 2021
BMW SEPTEMBER 2021

Gordon Cumming Body Repairs is a state-of-the-art body repair centre in East London, South Africa, with a robust heritage and a long-standing relationship with global refinish brand Spies Hecker. The family-run business not only relies on the premium refinish brand from Axalta, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, for its products and services, but also to train the next generation of refinishers.

Bruce Cumming, the repair centre’s owner, and grandson of the business’s namesake who founded it in 1950, says, “This business and this industry mean the world to me. I’m so proud of the work we are doing together with Spies Hecker. We are training the next generation of refinishers to work with tailored, uncomplicated products, to love what they do and to take pride in their work.”

Bruce Cumming takes on five or six school leavers each year, to give them an idea of what body work involves and to see if they are suited to it. Those who show an aptitude for the work stay on as apprentices, getting the best possible training both on site and at the Axalta Customer Training Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg.

“It may be across the country, but I feel it is important to get my entire team, including the apprentices who have passed their first level, to visit the Axalta Customer Training Centre once a year,” continues Cumming. “The facilities there are ultra-modern and very impressive. I believe it’s hugely beneficial for the team to train in a completely different setting, away from the usual work environment, and with the very latest products and equipment, which they can do comfortably and with experts at the Axalta Customer Training Centre.”

Gordon Cumming Body Repairs has seen many changes since first opening its doors over 70 years ago, including a recent move to its current, state-of-the-art 1,600m2 site. Its ethos of putting people first, however, has never changed.

When Cumming took over the business from his father in 2011, he wanted to work with a paint brand that not only supplied top quality products but also shared his ethos of building strong, lasting and productive relationships. Spies Hecker ticked all the boxes and over the past 10 years, a close partnership has developed that has helped Gordon Cumming Body Repairs grow and thrive.

“Good relationships are as critical in your business life as they are in your private life,” says Cumming. “Getting on with people and making them feel valued is of the utmost importance, whether that’s the people you work with or the people you work for. This is the foundation of our business and I believe it’s the reason why we have been so successful.”

Gordon Cumming Body Repairs uses the Spies Hecker Hi-TEC System, which includes the Permahyd Hi-TEC 480 Base Coat, and a range of other products such as the wet-on-wet Permasolid HS Vario Primer Surfacer 5340 and the versatile, fast-drying Permasolid HS Race Clear Coat. For exceptionally accurate colour matching, the repair centre relies on the ColorDialog Phoenix spectrophotometer and Spies Hecker’s Phoenix Cloud colour management software, which enables users to work completely digitally and offers instant access to over 200 000 colour formulas.

Hannes Kloppers, Country Business Lead for Axalta in South Africa, says, “Gordon Cumming Body Repairs is like one big family and we are delighted to be part of that. The apprentices who qualify are great ambassadors for the Spies Hecker brand, as they have first-hand experience of the quality of the products, their ease of use and the tailored solutions they provide. For us, this is a truly special partnership, with its eye very much on the future.”

Cumming concludes, “The marketplace is very competitive, so we are always looking for an edge. Other brands have come calling over the years, but none of them can match Spies Hecker. The service we get from the technical team is tailored to meet our specific needs. And we know each other so well, the relationship is effortless. What more can you ask for?”