Even a minor scratch on one's shiny and gleaming car can be a big heartbreak if you are a fellow petrol head. And Indian roads are no less reluctant in throwing those opportunities at us, especially if the driving conditions involve any of the busier metros.
While a trusted garage or an authorised company workshop are the go-tos for most car owners, the fear of not getting the correct paint shade or not obtaining a near-perfect finishing is always enough to give them sleepless nights.
A first of its initiatives in India, OEM paint supplier Nippon has tied up with Gurgaon-based Blue Bird Automotive to come up with a body repair and paint workshop.
The company's facility, christened Nippon Paint X'press, is located in Sector-52A in Gurgaon and is spread over 22,000 square feet. It has the capacity to accommodate 15 cars at a time, with the intent of offering quick and qualitative repair within 12 hours of the vehicle coming in.
Nippon will be using its range of environment-friendly paints, primers and clear coats, which are all being initially imported from Japan and Europe, and the company says that it strives to offer better quality than what is offered at authorised outlets or small neighbourhood garages, and at a fraction (one-third) of the cost.
While Blue Bird Automotive has done the groundwork with establishing the facility, Nippon has partnered by supplying equipment, consumables, trained manpower and also bringing in its colour robot – a first of its kind to be installed in India.
“The robot runs our software and is machine-learning enabled. It will scan the surface of the vehicle and will automatically formulate the exact paint shade without any manual intervention,” explained Sharad Malhotra, president, Automotive Refinish, Nippon Paint India.
Malhotra tells that the company has plans to establish the Paint X'press brand in the market before running on an expansion spree through a franchise-based model. “This will require us to run the centres ourselves over the next two years, at least, where we are targeting four more centres across the country. However, bringing cost viability with these imported paint products will remain a challenge on our profits,” he added.
The company is majorly looking at a lot of premium car owners in Gurgaon, who are pressed for time coming to the workshop, and also enthusiasts who are keen on getting a top-notch repair job done. Blue Bird Automotive is also tying up with various insurance companies for cashless facility and will offer its own ‘Cera-Bond’ ceramic coatings and other car maintenance facilities available at the workshop as well.