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R-M 'one-off' deal boosts business

R-M Automotive Refinish is securing additional bodyshop business in the UK through a pact with Churchill Insurance.

The paintmaker agreed last year to sidestep company policy by supplying materials direct to Churchill's six body repair centres. In return, the insurer recommends R-M products to its approved repairer network.

Paul Buckingham, UK managing director, said: “This is a tremendous spin off for our distributors – they get more business this way. We now supply nearly half of Churchill's approved network, on a 100% conversion rate.”

However, he stressed that Churchill was not forcing its repairers to change to R-M products.

“We are usually invited to see bodyshops when they are already dissatisfied with their existing paint supplier,” he said.

Mr Buckingham insisted the deal was a one-off, adding that R-M had “no plans to bypass distributors by supplying direct” to other bodyshops.

He is currently looking for 12 independent distributors –“independents will grow the business because it's their profits” – to cover larger regions in the UK.

  • Mr Buckingham has dismissed claims that R-M and Glasurit, the two BASF paint refinish brands, supplied similar products. He said they were working “closer together” to reduce costs on R&D and colour technology, but added: “The products are different – it's like comparing lager and bitter, they are made from similar ingredients, but are totally different.”
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