BMW April 2022

Real Research have been monitoring the auto repair refinish (auto paint) sector in South Africa since 2014. From 2014-2018 the competitive market insights were exclusive to a global refinish brand, so information release was restricted. Late 2019 into early 2020, Real Research decided to build a new master database of 2000 plus motor body repairers and conduct new market research to update the market insights. The new database was geo-coded to street level. Manufacturer and insurance approvals were sourced and added to the database.

Refinish brands collected (anecdotal) from the research were linked to the master database. Vehicle throughput and average spend was sourced from the research and added to the database. Open text commentary from the research was also mined for a deeper understanding of the market. The primary goal of the research was to create a line of sight into the refinish and general suppliers to the motor body repairer market. The raw database is the building block for customer, brand, price and route to market insights and strategies for both refinish and other products supplying to this market. There was a high level of feedback in this exercise and revealed great brand breakdown in the local market.

Justin Swanepoel from Real Research states “Covid-19 has thrown the proverbial spanner into the motor body repair refinish market. Over 85% of the national car parc is out of warranty leading to an increased attention and awareness of non-warranty value refinish brands flooding the market. The current and future downturn of new vehicle sales will affect this market for over a few years still. The increased financial strain placed on drivers will lead to more “driveable damaged vehicles”.

“The refinish market is already highly competitive with the bigger brands trying to hold onto their market share but opening the doors for smaller brands to gain a foothold. The refinish brands that will grow in this tight economy, will be the brands that offer best-in-class price, quality and service, have a robust route to market strategy, are able to represent the repairer at manufacturer, insurance and group levels and lastly, are hungry for new business, no matter the size of the client.”

Real Research is a strategic research consultancy specialising in market analysis, competitor understanding and business growth. If you have a product you want to bring or thinking of bringing to the South African or African market, Real Research and their strategic partners have a direct line-of-sight into many industries and can assist you on “Where to Play and How to Win”. Contact Justin at or take a look at