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Paint and dry goods manufacturers prepare for no-gloss, no-deal Brexit

Posted by Ian Gallagher on 15th February 2019

Brexit

Paint and dry goods manufacturers are preparing for a no-gloss, no-deal Brexit with a mixture of contingency plans, according to the UK’s leading distributor to the accident repair market.

Graham O’Neill, CEO of ACIS has written to the bodyshop materials manufacturers and suppliers about their post-Brexit strategies which, they have confirmed, include product-bonded stockpiling in Europe and the UK.

Graham O’Neill initiated the discussions at the end of 2018 as most automotive paint production takes place in Europe.

Imported goods

“Nearly all of the paint brands used in the UK crash repair market are imported. This includes premium brands from the likes of PPG, Akzo Nobel, BASF and Axalta, along with the secondary brands from the plethora of manufacturers that produce them,” said Graham.

“In addition to paint, many bodyshop consumable products such as masking tape, plastic sheeting and even gloves and coveralls are imported. The majority of these imports come from within the EU and we are in regular dialogue with our supply partners about how they intend to cope, whatever the final result of Brexit turns out to be.

“Unlike the car parts business, we do not need to operate on a just-in-time basis, but we do have to guarantee the integrity of the supply chain and to communicate to our customers if any disruption is likely to occur.

“One supplier has informed us of the stockpiling of £1.2 million worth of product in a new UK warehouse while another has established its own Brexit ‘taskforce’ that involves external consultants to ensure minimum disruption to the supply landscape.

“Another supplier has agreed to provide more stock, but it all comes down to the sector having to meticulously plan and potentially invest more to minimise any disruption to key-to-key times as vehicles could end up clogging up bays in bodyshops awaiting supplies,” he added.

“No one knows as yet what the outcome of negotiations will be so the uncertainty means that business has to make its own contingencies or risk major disruption.”