The Paint & Panel Sydney shop tour, sponsored by Sydney Automotive Paint & Equipment (SAPE) set off on Thursday 12 March. The group comprised of shop owners from as far afield as Queensland, Adelaide and country New South Wales.
The first stop was the enormous and extremely impressive Lexus of Chatswood Body and Paint. Not only does it have an amazing customer reception with restaurant, but the Maserati and supercar floor was simply stunning. We didn't take any photographs in prestige workshop, as the business is sensitive to its customers' privacy. There were some rare and interesting cars on the floor including a little Isetta bubble car. If you have experiences any delays in parts deliveries because of the coronavirus, spare a thought for Ferrari and Maserati repairers who normally experience delays but are now likely to be housing some of the cars on site for many months.
The vast bodyshop in the basement houses a spotless paint room, spraybooths, and an aluminium/mixed material booth and is extremely well laid out. Thank you to general manager Joey Stephan for showing us around.
Next we visited Gemini Chatswood were manager Terry McGuirk gave a detailed tour sharing the processes that they use at this heavy vehicle repair facility which is just a under a year old. The shop is on two levels with assessments and pick ups in the basement and panel beating and paint on the ground level.
A tour of SAPE's HQ was to follow lunch. Warren and Paul McMartin show the group around the warehouse (proudly displaying their fast selling line of toilet paper) and the training facilities. Lunch took place in the equipment showroom.
Our last visit of the day was to Marrickville Prestige Smash Repairs (MPSR). John Karavasilias has built a stunning new shop around the corner from his established shop. He shared his thoughts on how the new shop will operate and showed the group both shops. As an added bonus MPSR brand ambassador former Sydney Roosters captain Anthony Minichiello was there and many of the tour had their picture taken with him.
Here's Sydney repairer Dan Maher from L&M Smash's report.
"Over Thursday and Friday last week I didn’t anticipate how much I would enjoy or take out of our Shop Bus Tour & Next Gen Seminar with Paint & Panel. This wasn’t my first Next Gen Seminar but it was my first shop tour. Seeing how the “other half” lived over in Artarmon in the prestige district I was blown away by the shop fronts and reception areas they were Lexus of Chatswood and Ferrari Maserati Prestige. Both were better than the places I holiday and were very impressive. The order and cleanliness of the workshops were on par with their shop fronts and were equally as impressive. The systems and processes on the floor were managed extremely well and I plan to implement some of these processes in our own business. Seeing similarities in our own systems currently makes me feel like we are already on the right track
"The Gemini shop we visited looked like it was off to a good start only being around for a few months but was lacking vehicle volume which I’m sure will ramp up after our current COVID19 Pandemic comes to its conclusion.
"SAPE's HQ was on a whole new level. It was like a panel beaters' Disneyland with the amount of toys they had on hand. We might be running out of dunny paper but we wont be running out of paint any time soon. Actually the blokes even supply toilet paper in bulk, so if anyone is running low - give the fellas a call. Lunch there was great so thank you fellas and Sam's culinary skills as a baker were on show with her cake also very good. 11/10
"Our final leg of the trip was Big Jonny Ks new megafactory in Marrickville MPSR. His new multi site facility was breathtaking and sets the new benchmark for high quality volume vehicle repairs. The new shop has been purposely designed for continuous flow and high production I look forward to hearing what kind of numbers this new monster will churn out and hearing his successes
"Seeing and walking through these facilities is a breath of fresh air when it comes to motivation and fresh thinking. Big, modern, successful, profitable business is what we all strive to have and seeing these blokes plans coming into fruition makes me a proud panel beater and I look forward to walking in their footsteps."