MIX & MATCH FLYING WITH THE CHALLENGER BRAND
April 1, 2024

MIX & MATCH FLYING WITH THE CHALLENGER BRAND

In the space of a few short years, Challenger, the Axalta value brand, has been successfully distributed nationwide by Mix & Match. This Durban-based company have made significant impact with the refinish system.

The company was founded about 50 years ago in Clairwood by Satar Mahomed, who had spent some time in the family paint manufacturing business of decorative coatings in Jacobs, KZN.

“We got started,” he says, “with the Duco brand which sadly fell apart over the years. As importers already in our own right, Mix & Match decided to finalise a distribution deal for the Challenger paint systems. The range offers a full refinish line up of 2K toners and basecoat, which offer the most competitive pricing and world class colouristics – exactly what we wanted to offer our customers. Challenger has a heritage of 150 years of development with quality innovation, behind them in this sector. We started on the road forward with Challenger in 2017.

“My sons Yacoob, Ahmed and Zahid form part of our tight-knit team at Mix & Match, and they all do a fantastic job in this marketplace.” 

Satar says the secret of his success has been all down to working very hard every day. 

The market has become more demanding after Covid, so with ever better pricing, as well as colouristics and formula retrieval, an impressive brand loyalty has developed for Challenger. 

Yacoob has been instrumental in understanding and achieving the company’s online purchasing platform. They now have about 50 distribution points of service in South Africa. Mix & Match didn’t take the route to market by giving away free mixing machines and stock to a few end users. This plan fails ultimately because guys don’t invest in the brand in any way – other than consuming stock. 

Mix & Match set off in another direction by opening specialist distribution outlets that could also sell other key brands items such as Farécla polish, Standox, Spies Hecker and their own in-house Speed brand of buffing pads, ranges of air sanders, spray guns and G3 polish, along with other accessories in sub-Saharan African markets.

All this has led to their diversification into the Wagema spray gun range, and just recently the Speed vehicle aerosol cans of paints. There is also other refinishing essentials on offer such as the Polimax body filler range.

Ahmed, who handles the daily distribution orders which are carried to overnight destinations, said the market has become very price conscious. He said that by keeping company overheads down to a minimum as well as their buying costs, they have kept ahead of this trend.

By constantly reinventing themselves and holding adequate stock on hand, Mix & Match have been able to deliver on their promises which is the cornerstone of their ongoing success. The business has successfully transitioned to the convenience of a click-of-button service while they have revolutionised their daily operation to keep pace with the additional savings in both time and money for their client base.  

Story and pics by Ian Groat 

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classic corner & resoration

Classic cars are the next big investment. As such the sector of restoration is growing in the realms of collision repair and it’s definitely the “sexier” side of the business. There are many opportunities to create exotic special-builds as well as keep timeless beauties in mint condition.

Driven

With three motoring-journalists on our staff, we are able to test drive and review some of the latest models available on our roads as well as attend the latest model launches.

TRAINING

Knowledge is power. Training is key to up-skilling repairers as models launch onto our local roads faster than we can count. We also need to grow new talent into the collision repair industry. Courses are available to help and organisations are in place to train – this information is in Industry Index.

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