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Car-mageddon – Will small businesses in the refinish industry be terminated by technology?

Imagine if everyone could get around easily and safely, without tired, drunk or distracted drivers. Last year 1209 people died on Australian roads. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration U.S.A) cites that approximately 94 percent of accidents are caused by human error. Now imagine a time where cars don’t crash, sounds amazing!

With the increasing developments in driverless car technology it seems the ‘robocar’ could be here sooner than we think leaving us as permanent backseat drivers. Across the board, the automotive industry may be poised for more change in the next 5 to 10 years than we have seen in the last 50.

When it comes to self-driving car manufacturers, understandably people immediately think of the likes of Tesla and Uber who are known for innovation and industry disruption. Currently Tesla’s Autopilot cannot wholly replace a human driver: it requires well-painted line markings to locate the lane, its cameras can’t tell the difference between green and red traffic lights and it won’t obey stop signs. A recent study by Navigant Research shows that the heavyweights such as GM, Ford, Volkswagen Group, BMW-Intel-FCA and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance are well into the research and development stage and closer to going to market. But the leader is Waymo, who are a subsidiary of Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc. Waymo has been working on autonomous vehicle technology since 2009, three times as long as almost all other companies.

Waymo currently drive more than 25,000 autonomous miles each week on complex city streets.

Other industries that have a symbiotic relationship to automotive refinish are already planning for this shift. Deloitte estimates future auto insurance premiums of $145 billion in 2040. This projections represents a nearly 70 percent decrease in premiums that the industry would have collected collect if there are no further advances in driver-assist technologies and autonomous vehicles do not become part of the national fleet, and ridesharing does not continue to expand.

Apart from the DIY restoration, occasional hail storm and falling tree will there be a need for smash repair shops? Fortunately for us, disruption is a journey, not a one-time event particularly when it is a product or service that involves our safety.

Our prediction – State 1, “Incremental change,” vehicles remain personally owned and driver-driven, much as today. In future state 2, “A world of car sharing,” driver-driven vehicles are accessed on demand, via car- and ridesharing. Future state 3, “The driverless revolution” sees the adoption of personally owned autonomous vehicles. Finally, future state 4, “A new age of accessible autonomy,” envisions a world of shared self-driving vehicles. The writing seems to be on the wall. Technology is being developed to take humans out of the driver's seat. This change will not only impact automotive refinish but many lines of business. How we live, where we live, and what we own will change dramatically.

E-Volution (Australian Auto Refinish Industry)

Welcome to 2018… If you’ve been enjoying a nice sleep-in after the millennium bug hit you’re probably going to wake up to a rude shock on the changes happening in the auto refinish industry, but also the greater automotive industry as a whole. It’s no surprise that we’re undergoing the biggest shift globally with the recent injection of market interrupters like Tesla, Uber and other robotic formats offering companies solutions that pose a nasty threat to the future of auto refinish. It’s safe to say that we will always enjoy the DIY project on our beloved car, it’s just that we may employ robots to DIY our other robots in the future.

The Australian automotive industry is going through a period of unprecedented change culminating in the closure of car manufacturers Toyota, Holden and Ford, in Australia in 2017. The impact of these closures will mean an abrupt decline in the forecast of employment and revenue growth between 2016 and 2018. These closures will have the biggest impact on businesses involved in manufacturing, whether it be the vehicles themselves, or parts for vehicles. However, the industry will continue to adapt and evolve. Businesses involved in wholesale and retail will benefit from greater access to imported vehicles and parts. There is already evidence that new car sales are on the rise driven by a combination of low interest rates and Government incentives. And as long as there are more vehicles on the road there will be a need for servicing and repair. So it is forecast that the Australian automotive industry as a whole will return to a period of positive growth sometime after 2018.

Some positive changes that have been making their way into the auto refinish world are online retailers who can offer incredible prices given their lack of overheads, freight services now offering door-to-door solutions much faster to avoid a decrease in shop productivity, AfterPay and other financial solutions to allow for better cash flow to smaller operators allowing them to survive in what feels like a David and Goliath industry with insurance companies buying up body shops to create their own market dominance.

So how does the evolution of the industry effect body shops around Australia? Will they survive?

The likely outcome in any industry is that operators will adapt to market needs. Customers will dictate the supply and demand but it’s quite commonplace that change comes over a long period of time and with good foresight for operators and customers to adapt.

Our view – We see the need for service and repair growing over the next decade until the next phase of automated, driverless cars taking over our roads, which will point to a decline in the service and repair industry. The inclusion of automated, driverless car technology will also see a market vertical integration where manufacturers will own the software, hardware, service, repair and insurance side of automotive. Change is coming, but there’s plenty of time to adapt.

Everyone gets attracted to good-looking things, and cars are not an exception. Your daily vehicle use means encountering different issues which can damage car paint. While the dings and scratches the vehicle is exposed to are inescapable, there is a way to avoid damaging the paint.

 The best thing is to identify the elements that can ruin the paint because the outside of your car has more adversaries than wandering shopping pushcarts. Check the following items that can destroy your car’s paint.

The Sun

We get vitamin D from the sun. While it is beneficial for our health, the same cannot be said about vehicles.

If you live in a sunny area, your car is most likely exposed to the sun most of the time. Too much sun exposure may damage the paint. Ensure to protect the color of your car in a shade, carport or garage. 


Looking at snow or playing with it can be fun. But not when it hardens into ice as it can ruin the paint of your car. If a vehicle gets covered in ice, you may need to shave it to get rid of the ice, and this can damage the paint.


While the vehicle uses petrol, it rarely gets in contact with the car’s surface. However, if the gasoline leaks out, it will definitely strip the paint. Ensure to rinse the part in contact as soon as it happens.


When you drive your vehicle on gravel, you expose it to harm from rocks and stones. The gravel can get to the car’s exterior and thus, damage the paint and the panels. If you get such scratches, make sure to treat them right away.


Believe it or not, but food is among the things that can ruin the paint of your car. If meals or drinks spill on your vehicle, the damaging elements can corrode and damage the paint.


Although dust is only fine filth, it can scratch the paint if you or a buddy write down in it. Pollen and dust may leave scrapes if you wipe the car dry. Just a mild wash of the car will help clean the dirt minus damaging it.


If you live next to the seashore or drive down the coast, your car is most likely exposed to salty air. This might result in the rusting of different parts of the car which includes the paint. See to it that you wash the vehicle with water to protect it from damage.


Eggs are tasty, but they can damage your car paint. This is because the it’s yolk and whites are acidic and can possibly corrode the paint. It can also stain the car, thus, damaging the bottom coat.

Cleaning with a Dirty Cloth

It doesn’t make sense trying to keep your car clean with a dirty material. The filthy substance can cause damage to the car’s paint or leave scratches.

Bird Poo

This is unbelievable! Understandably you don’t want to clean the bird poops. But apart from cleaning, the poop can damage your vehicle's paint. The waste of the birds is acidic, and therefore, it will stain and dull the paint while leaving a constant reminder of the birds. Wash the area with the poop immediately.


If you are fond of shaving next to your car, you will be surprised that you are exposing your car to paint damage without knowing it. For your information, the cream you use for shaving could permanently tarnish your paint. But you can redeem the harm by washing the car immediately when you notice this.


When it comes to damages, the color of the paint does not matter. Any paint color can get ruined. But if you identify all the elements that can cause harm to the paint, it can be easily avoided.

Sure enough, it can be costly to spend on an auto painting job (check this) only to have it damaged with just a drop of bird poop. That is why you need to be careful about factors like where to park the car, where to shave or eat. Some damages can be prevented if you exercise carefulness.

6 Simple Tips For Removing Paint Scuffs From Your Vehicle

Getting paint scuffs on your vehicle is an unavoidable occurrence and can send anyone into a frustration spiral. One day, you parked your car, and upon your return, you witness scuffs from another car’s bumper bar - annoying!

Some scuffs are simply little scratches marks that are raised above the paint and are left there by another object. The intensity of the scuff marks depends upon the level of bump your vehicle got from another object like a shopping cart, or car.

Whether you got it by yourself or someone else’s negligence, learning how to remove paint scuffs from your vehicle could come in handy.

Take a deep breath! As long as you don’t get any paint off, the scuff marks can be easily removed. There are a few different ways of dealing with scratches, dents, and scuff marks, which will not burn a hole in your pocket.

Best Tips to Remove Scuff Marks

Don’t worry about the scuff marks any longer, as these simple tips will allow you to remove them effectively, without damaging your vehicle’s exterior.

  1. 1.     Examining the extent of the damage

Instantly jumping on the cleaning process is not a wise option. Gently scratch the surface of the affected area with your finger nail and check the extent of the damage. If you can see the inner paint of the vehicle, then you will probably need painting job along with scuff marks removal. Deeper scratches are difficult to remove and usually needs sanding, while lighter marks can be easily removed using an adhesive remover.

  1. 2.     Wash the area

Washing is a vital next step with it comes to removing scuff marks effectively from your vehicle. This step will remove the dust and dirt accumulated on the top and will make your job a lot easier. You can use one of many regular wash and wax products available.

  1. 3.     Applying light paint cleaner in the start

Don’t forget to apply a light and less abrasive paint cleaner during the start of the removal procedure. A non-abrasive cleaner will remove the old wax and grime on the surface and will make the removable of transferred paint much easier.

  1. 4.     Apply cleaner using a clean, micro cloth only

Avoid using your hands or a dirty cloth for applying the cleaner, as it can further worsen the condition and will make the removal more difficult. A clean, microfiber cloth or pad will make sure your hands stay protected while removing the dirt and residue becomes easier.

  1. 5.     Use an adhesive remover

You can use any of adhesive removers while making sure that is safe for use on paint and coated surfaces. Some remover works wonders on scuff marks and instantly removes any stains from other object’s paint.

You can also get turpentine or methylated spirits as an adhesive remover, which is tried and tested by many around the globe.

  1. 6.     Apply polishing compound

While using a disk pad, you can now apply a polishing compound to remove the scratches that were caused by sanding or abrasive method used to remove the scuffs. During the end, you can clean the polished surface area with a clean cloth and seal the deal. This will also restore the shine and will protect your vehicle’s finish for a longer run.

Removing scuff marks from your vehicles might sound like a frustrating job and a task for a professional, but if you have the right tools and knowledge, it can be done with ease. Accidental bumps and scratches are practically unavoidable for every vehicle, and to keep some sneaky tips up your sleeves will work a long way. Follow these simple steps and tips, and you will always remove any light scuff marks with ease.

For heavier scuffs, professional sanding is required. Also, if you are in the situation where you need to remove all the paint from your vehicle for whatever reason that may be, dustless blasting is probably one of your best options. Dustless Blasting Australia is the new Sandblasting Brisbane and here we can strip your vehicle paint in minutes without you worrying about any panels warping.


Sam Morgan is the owner of Dustless Blasting Australia. He has been blasting of paint, rust, and grease of pretty much any surface for almost 5 years now. If you want to restore old painted weathered homes back to a natural timber look or you have a muscle car that needs to be blasted back to bare metal, Sam is your guy.

01/05/2017 1:06:47 PM By Sam Morgan Tips, Tricks & Advice,

If you’re re-colouring and refinishing your vehicle, once your work with the spray paint gun is complete and your clear coat applied, you might want to add a stunning mirror like gleam to your surface. The cut and polish procedure, also known as colour sanding and buffing, is the key to polishing up your paint work and imparting that show-stopping finish to it.

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07/02/2017 5:51:11 PM By Admin Tips, Tricks & Advice,

Taking a spray gun to your car is one of the coolest and most satisfying ways to revamp your vehicle and impress your mates. Many car enthusiasts will be itching to get cracking on their re-finish, but before you throw yourself into it, it’s important to be prepared and informed. Mis-use or misapplication of car paint can be inconvenient and costly!

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01/02/2017 8:52:33 PM By Admin Tips, Tricks & Advice,

Just as important as knowing how to use a spray gun is knowing how to prep your surface beforehand.

Before using a gravity feed spray gun or any other type of spray gun on your vehicle or panel, you need to ensure that the surface you’re working with is as clean and smooth as it can be. This is where prep work comes in. It’s a vital stage of auto refinishing.

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01/01/2017 8:35:57 PM By Admin Tips, Tricks & Advice,

Using a spray gun to get that smooth, glossy finish on a vehicle is really satisfying. You want an even, gleaming, polished look for your surface, with no ‘tiger stripes’ (paint passes that stack unevenly creating a striped look) or ‘orange peel’ (a surface with a mottled texture, usually caused by the incorrect level of paint atomisation coming through your paint spray gun). You also want to avoid dense paint that gathers at panel or style line edges.

Read More
01/12/2016 5:17:21 PM By Admin Tips, Tricks & Advice,

Checkout this video from Formula 1 about their Carnauba Wax

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01/12/2015 12:23:00 PM By Auto Repairs Direct Formula 1, Product Information,
Faded, yellowed or cloudy headlights are unsafe, costly to replace and may reduce your night time visibility by as much as 50%. Now you can achieve like new clarity and increased visibility without replacing your headlights!Read More
01/12/2015 12:20:13 PM By Auto Repairs Direct headlights, armorcoat, Product Information, Tips, Tricks & Advice,
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