Attendees Eager to See What’s New in Film and PPF at SEMA

Thousands of attendees from around the world came together in Las Vegas for the SEMA show’s opening day. The four-day event is taking place at the Las Vegas Convention Center until November 8th.

It wasn’t long before large crowds formed at exhibitor booths to learn about what’s new and on display, a few companies showcased new options for paint protection film (PPF) and new methods for printing.

Global Window Films debuted its new PPF, which has a repositionable pressure sensitive adhesive. The adhesive, according to the company, makes installing the film easier. Some of its key features include:

  • Anti-yellowing;
  • High durability levels;
  • Optically clear with removable adhesive;
  • Equipped with water repellent properties (adds to the product’s durability).

Many were interested to see and feel the new BODYFENCE options from HEXIS.

Hexis followed the PPF theme by showing attendees what it’s been working on, which is Bodyfence. The company’s latest PPF protects outdoor pollution, minor scratching, acidic rain and more. Company representatives highlighted Bodyfence’s availability, which can be found in both matte and gloss finishes and is backed for seven years.

Nexfil gave those who stopped by its booth a sample of its Easy Tack PPF. According to the company, it’s warrantied for five years, has a “special adhesive,” prevents against yellowing and discoloration and more.

Not all companies chose to highlight PPF, as some like American Standard Window Film (ASWF) showcased new window film options.

ASWF packed its booth with several of its films at this year’s show.

“Our Dimension HD 85 window film has one of the highest light transmission levels in the industry. It’s a higher end film that has new and better quality than some of our previous films, and it’s been very popular,” said Andrew Park, sales representative.

According to Park, the film has a visible light transmittance of 83% and protects against ultraviolet rays by 99%. “The film’s IR rejection is at 87%, I mean that’s top of the line when you think about an HD film,” Park added.

The company also offered a timed wrap challenge to see who could install its film in the shortest time possible with minimal bubbles. The fastest time of the first day was just over three minutes, according to Park.

MUTOH put its new printers to the test with a daring and bold print that it had installed on the show floor.

MUTOH had all eyes on its two new printers, the Xpert Jet 1641SR and the Xpert Jet 1682SR. According to company representatives, both printers have upgraded touch panels, integrated LED lighting, can align automatically, and can be used for wraps, signage and more.

Industry Expert Panel Details How You Can Find Success with PPF

A paint protection film (PPF) panel was one of the many highlights at this year’s International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off, in Indianapolis, Ind. PPF experts who were included on the panel were Hamza Nadeem, Get Detailed Toronto CEO; Brodie Mathews, president and CEO, DeCo Tint PPF Wrap a Tint America Company; and Carl Melendez, owner, 631 Coatings. During the session they took turns answering attendee questions, as well as giving advice to the audience. The panel of experts was moderated by Window Film magazine editorial director, Tara Taffera.

Pictured from left to right: Tara Taffera, Brodie Mathews, Hamza Nadeem, and Carl Melendez.

One notable question centered on timing. “How long is acceptable to keep a customer’s car?” “We keep our cars for 5-7 days and price them accordingly,” said Mathews, an answer that seemed to surprise some.

Won’t the customer complain about being without a car, one attendee asked? “Nine times out of ten the exotic car guy has another car to drive,” said Melendez. “And if they don’t it’s helpful to set up an account with a car rental company to offer loaners. We wrap the Enterprise cars for free and we have a fleet account set up with them so we can use their cars as rentals,” he added.

Another discussion area was must have items for PPF shops. For Mathews it’s all about lighting.

“I will never stop adding lighting to my store,” he said. “It’s like heaven shining down. I am going to add it to the walls soon.”

Melendez mentioned an item that may have surprised some but he puts it at the top of his must-have list—a downdraft air purifier system. “That and working on a lift is key,” he said. “It’s easier on the body plus you aren’t laying in fluid.”

When the conversation then turned to how to find employees willing to put the wear-and-tear on their bodies that a film career requires, the panelists said yes they will hire employees with no experience but all emphasized the importance of training.

“Get your B and C rolls and just have them wrap things such as a refrigerator, etc.–anything that is flat,” said Nadeem. “There are also grants you can use to get your employees trained. Take advantage of those.”

Madico, Inc. Introduces Protekt® Paint Protection Film

Madico Inc. introduced Protekt. It’s an advanced paint protection film that safeguards vehicles against scratches, chemicals, stones, bugs, sand, salt, and discoloration.

The film guards against stones, gravel, sand, scratches, winter salt, and other flying objects while providing clarity, according to the company. Madico’s transparent paint protection film keeps vehicles looking factory-new longer.

It cuts easily by plotter or by hand, and offers a simple installation, the company says. Optically clear, Protekt PPF’s top coat eliminates fine lines over time and is backed by a 7 year warranty.

“Protekt PPF is by far the best PPF offering that we have ever had. The initial feedback has been extremely positive, and demand has been great, largely due to its quality, ease of installation, versatility and competitive price,” Jeffrey Plummer, Madico senior vice president of sales and marketing, said.

The film protects the paint finish on more than just cars and trucks. It provides protection to RVs, ATVs, jet skis, boats, motorcycles, tractors and commercial vehicles as well. Protekt can be installed on the hood, front and rear bumpers, grill, side mirrors, roof, quarter panels, door edges, truck beds, door frames, utility racks and more.

XPEL Acquires Taiwan-Based Distributor Apogee Corporation

XPEL, Inc. announced it established its first local office in Asia with the acquisition of Apogee Corporation, XPEL’s Taiwan-based distributor of automotive paint protection and window film. As a result, the company will begin directly selling to customers in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.

XPEL also appointed Christine Pu, Apogee CEO, as Managing Director, Asia. She will now have leadership responsibility for the company’s operations in the region.

“We’re excited to welcome Christine and the entire Apogee team to XPEL. We’ve seen that our get close to the customer strategy works effectively to help amplify our brand and propel growth through our other global operations and we expect the same in Asia,” Ryan Pape, XPEL CEO and president, said.

Growing Your Business Through Manufacturer Relationships and PPF

One of the afternoon talks at the International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ (WFCT) featured Steve Pesce speaking on “Growing Your Manufacturer Relationships.” Pesce founded his company, New York Window Film, in 1990.

Steve Pesce grew his business by asking for help from his supplier.

Pesce opened by explaining to the audience how he got started in the industry almost 30 years ago. When he first started out, Pesce he said he had nothing more than a phone, an old computer, a laser printer and a reliable supplier. What he didn’t know at the time was that his supplier would become his staunchest ally in the industry.

One day, on a whim, Pesce asked his supplier representative if there was anything he could do to help grow his business. The representative answered that he wasn’t sure, but he could help him do cold calls. This was the beginning of a partnership that helped them both. If Pesce had customers, then his supplier had customers as well.

Pesce soon realized he could ask more than just his supplier for help. Between word of mouth and mailing out advertisements, Pesce’s company grew within one year.

He didn’t only ask his supplier for help, he also extended the invitation to anyone he could. He received help from many businesses looking to do the same thing he was: getting the word out about the industry.

Pesce explained that co-op money was another critical factor that had helped him. This has allowed him to advertise relatively cheaply, and also made him some allies along the way.

Another Thursday WFCT presentation was “Profit from the Power of PPF” given by PremiumShield’s Jamie Werner. “You need to find someone who can sell your product. You have to sell it,” Werner said.

That was just one of his many helpful tips on selling paint protection film (PPF). “You have to be willing to talk about it and educate the consumer about it,” he said.

And not just talk about it: “You have to promote the crap out of it,” he said. “You have to promote through all platforms. If you don’t know how to do it, pay someone or find someone who can.”

Being successful with PPF requires a lot of effort. “If you don’t put time and effort and money into it you won’t be successful,” said Werner. “Invest in training. Do a few free jobs. That will be a win-win.”

“Newer cars mean bigger profits,” he said. “The majority of time they are spending a lot of money on a car so they will want to protect it. And most of the time people looking at PPF are looking for other products. So now you have an opportunity to sell those other products like film and increase your overall ticket price.”

WFCT runs through Saturday at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio. Stay tuned for the latest from the event.