A new joint venture that aims to disrupt carwash businesses across the nation is preparing for its Perth launch, because the Japanese distributors believe if their product can keep cars clean in Western Australia’s hot and dusty conditions, it will sell elsewhere in Australia.
Called Brila, the product is an inorganic coating that’s claimed to repel water, dirt and stains for years and, according to the distributor, has been applied to more than 500,000 cars in Asia and the US.
It is set to retail in Perth for $1,300 per car, with a five-year guarantee.
Perth businessman Arull Maniam, who owns Burswood-based leather upholstering business Vault Leather and is heading up the joint venture with Japanese business Itsuwa, told Business News Brila would offer Perth drivers an alternative to frequent car washes and waxes.
The Australian JV that will market Brila is called Itsuwa Vault. He said WA drivers who took pride in their cars offered a sizeable market, with local trains and buses also potential opportunities.
He said Japanese and German public transport networks used Brila coatings, in part to reduce costs associated with cleaning graffiti.
WA could also offer a new market for the company, Mr Maniam said, with the JV interested in selling the coating for vehicles used at mine sites.
“We want to be able to show that this product works in the harshest environment and that way when we go to Melbourne and Sydney and the other parts of Australia, there’s nothing as harsh as WA, so it will be a good example,” he said.
Mr Maniam said the company’s first priority was to sell its coating to car owners, through partnerships with dealerships and direct to the public via a showroom it is opening in Burswood.
It has secured partnerships with car groups Western Pacific Autobody, Fabcar, and Autostrada and is considering selling mobile Brila coating businesses to the carwash industry.
“If this takes off, the waxing industry is going to have a bit of a dip,” Mr Maniam said.
“So we are actually inviting them to come to our training and we will give this for free so that they can be part of a team to be going out there and doing mobile coating on cars.”
Once the company gets a foothold in the automotive industry, Mr Maniam said it would aim to sell coatings for boats and aircraft, and start selling its interior antibacterial coating, which he said could be used in public seating areas as well as in cars.
The joint venture is aiming to coat 30,000 cars in WA within 12 months.