Home Velocity XPEL expels some car-paint protection myths

XPEL expels some car-paint protection myths

By Kap Maceda Aguila

A BRAND-NEW CAR is a definite source of much joy and satisfaction for its owner and his or her loved ones. Of course, it’s a big-ticket item that represents a substantial outlay for its acquisition — regardless of who buys it and what is bought — and obviously becomes an important part of a family’s mobility tale.

It’s but natural then for the new owner to take more-than-usual care of the vehicle, and nothing can be more distressing than finding the first scratches or nicks on it.

Several executives of XPEL, a leading and premium global manufacturer of automotive protection solutions, were in town recently to meet with several members of the media to talk about the brand’s paint protection film (PPF) product — specifically designed to save a car’s clear coat and paint from the effects of sunlight, nicks and scratches, and other risks and challenges such as, yes, bird droppings. “XPEL leverages (its) core strength in research and development that resulted in (a) series of innovations such as proprietary formulation for films that features stain resistance and self-healing technology, among many others,” said the company in a release.

XPEL Asia Vice-President Chris West advised against excessive detailing work, particularly buffing done on one’s automobile exteriors which would progressively scrape away the clear coat. “The clear coat shouldn’t be polished off,” he stressed. “It protects the paint.” PPF will protect the clear coat and, ultimately, the paint. Buffing, he maintained, isn’t needed even when preparing a car for PPF. A preferred alternative is to use a clay bar, which lifts foreign matter from the surface. The ideal protective process for a vehicle is to apply PPF, then ceramic paint protection on top of it.

As for bird droppings, they should always be removed as soon as possible, as they will eat away even the film, but it definitely buys time before the excrement even reaches the precious clear coat. The price for XPEL PPF’s protection isn’t cheap — treating a Toyota Land Cruiser, said Renault Tan, who heads XPEL importer and distributor Hart International, will set a customer back around P280,000 — but is definitely worth it. There’s also a 10-year warranty on the adhesive.

“We’re today the largest provider of window tint and PPF at the dealership level in North America,” declared Mr. West. “While China is the largest market, I see opportunity here in Asia-Pacific, where there is window tint in every car. I’m really excited to figure out how to attack this market more, because for PPF, whatever country we’re in in APAC, XPEL is generally considered the premium brand.”

Interestingly enough, XPEL started in 1997 as a software company, Mr. West said. PPF was a relatively new concept in those days — first used on helicopter blades and NASCAR vehicles. When it filtered down to the mainstream, it was applied by people using a vinyl knife to trim the material. “Guys would get the paint cut,” the executive recalled.

To prevent this, XPEL founders made a software to generate a specific pattern for each brand and model, which would then be plotted on a cutting machine for a more efficient and perfect PPF fitment. This technology was applied for 3M film, before the company decided to do the product by itself.

“Since then, we’ve just continued to grow, eventually becoming listed on the Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange. Through acquisitions, we have over 1,000 employees now,” added Mr. West, who revealed that the gross revenue for the international brand now breaches US$500 million. XPEL has also continued to work on its cutting patterns — today numbering over 80,000 via what is called the Design Access Program (DAP).

He continued to anticipate “rapid growth,” particularly in Asia-Pacific markets. That bullishness extends to the Philippine market, where the brand is becoming the choice product for owners of premium vehicles. Mr. West also believes there is business to be realized even among mid-tier automobiles as more people become fastidious about their rides.

Invited Mr. Tan, “XPEL offers you the very best when it comes to preserving and enhancing the aesthetics of your vehicle. We have it all, and we’re more than ready to serve your needs with genuine XPEL protective products.” XPEL also offers a host of other products including automotive window film, architectural film for buildings or homes, ceramic coating, marine coating, marine PPF, airplane coating, and even coating and tints for helicopters.

Official XPEL dealers are located in Metro Manila, Pampanga, and Cebu. An installer will open soon in Davao for genuine XPEL products and services.