Auto Detailing in Japan. BANZAI !
We’re most exposed to auto detailing in the west, i.e. from Europe and the U.S., product discussions normally stem around products from those region. What about the other technologically advance country in the east? Japan.
Read on and you’d be surprised at their technologies, efficiency and professionalism.
It all began with using what I believe to be the world’s best trim product, Carmate Black Resin Restore.
I first saw it at Eneos(A Japanese auto store), the mysterious Japanese wordings on it attracted me. As if it had some glowing zen aura radiating from the box. “Buy me….buy me and discover our technological advancement and how it will kick Meguiar’s and Autoglym in the butt”.
How is it holding on after the initial impressions? I just took this photo outside my house and I myself was amazed. Then I checked the post date of the initial impression, even more amazed!
1 year and 4 months. That’s the longest durability of any product I have ever seen. Meguiar’s latest trim product, Ultimate Protectant? Hah…doesn’t even come near. Honestly, I am not sure if the western manufacturers do not have such technologies yet or they do not bothering producing it because it may be difficult for their customers to apply?
That’s when I got hooked and I need to find out more about Japanese products. Coincidentally, a local uprising detailing product distributor saw my blog at the old domain(http://wetshinedetailing.blogspot.com/) and was looking to employ me. Wow, I got found doing what I love and now I can do it everyday! Why not?
It was then that my old blog started to go silent as I was just too busy over there. They opened their first detailing centre and was the representative for G’ZOX Japan. I wasn’t familiar with G’ZOX at first and it was actually my second time seeing it. First was in Autobacs Singapore, they had a G’ZOX Hard Plastic Coat. Although I am no longer with the company, I did not regret joining them. During my 7 month stint at G’ZOX Malaysia, I learned so much more than doing it part time for 2 years. Learning to sell, learning to manage a small centre, learning to deal with not-so-educated employees, learning to respect and be respected, and so much more. At that time, I helped them managed their blog as they liked the work I did with mine. Which also helped me improve and you can see that in my new site here.
Here’s a photo of what goes on everyday at the shop. Don’t look down on him, he may be a foreign worker that doesn’t have a formal education, but this guy is a mean polisher. He can produce that swirl and hologram free finish using products that many people can’t.
Here I am fooling around with my partner during our detailing job at East Malaysia. I am the small kid on the left, and yes, that’s clay.
Here I am again dead and sleeping as we were pushing to get the cars done within the given time.
Anyway, back to the story.
It was also then that I learned about how advanced Japanese auto detailing products are. G’ZOX first coating, Real Glass Coat is a Si02/Silica based coating that has a warranty period of 5 years in Japan. And this product was launched in the year of 2005. Yes you read that right, that’s more than 5 years ago! The western counterparts are only starting recently. The only manufacturer I am aware that has this type of coating is Optimum. There is also Nanolex from Germany, CarPro and G|Techniq from the U.K, but I’m not sure if they are the manufacturers themselves. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong.
Meguiar’s will soon be launching their Deep Crystal Coating, but have read that somewhere that it is polymer based, which is older tech than silica/Si02. Again, I stand corrected.
However, nothing is perfect, and I still prefer the compounds and polishes from Meguiar’s. Japanese polishes have a common nature of being a little bit too dry. I don’t know the reason why, but it makes paint correction slower.
This brings me to another topic, efficiency (and practicality). I have heard that the reason they do not emphasize so strongly on perfect paint is because it is not practical to judge your paint up close. I mean, if you do have some light swirl marks or holograms. Will it look less glossy that our eyes can tell the difference? No.
Sure under an LED torch you might be able to reveal the defects to a fellow detailer, but to your friends or your neighbours, will they come up to you and say, “Hey, your car looks shiny, can I park it under the sun to see if it is 100% perfect with no swirls or holograms because it is just not right”. Maybe, if I am your neighbour.
So maybe…the Japanese know that hey, people won’t judge paint like that and it won’t affect overall gloss, let’s put our R&D effort into other areas instead. So there you have your paint coatings, plastic coatings, glass coatings, wheel coatings, etc. etc. Yes I may be a bit biased writing this article, look at the Jap anime character on the banner above.
Also look at these two videos below.
This video is just showing a guy using a DA polishing a car’s door. Notice his actions and movements.
He doesn’t switch off the machine when applying polish, saving him a few seconds pressing and locking the trigger twice(off & on). His arm speed when he applies the polish, again shaving off a few seconds. Which could be accumulated into a few minutes or even up to half an hour throughout the polishing process, and as with all service industries, time is the most expensive commodity. This time saving can be accumulated in the long term which might be equivalent to the time of detailing an entire car, which is money for a business.
The video below is what seems like a body painting contest. His fast movements indicate that he is being timed. This is the first time I have seen or heard a contest being held for that. The super competitive culture in Japan just forces them to be efficient in every way possible.
So you say, “Alright alright, they got the products, they got speed, do they have the skill?”. Firstly, let’s remind ourselves what Auto Detailing is. Auto Detailing is the process of improving and restoring the appearance of a vehicle, every single inch of it. Japan takes it to the next level.
Let me introduce a blog that you guys will love.
I’m not sure about other countries, but here in Malaysia, a paint polisher is a paint polisher, a window film installer is window film installer, a windshield restorer is a windshield restorer.
But the company below…does it all… professionally.
Of course, there are the old gurus who may have all these skills but do not post their work on the net or even have a website. If you know of any, please share them in the comments. Also, I’m only basing my opinions of what I have seen in Malaysia and of others shown on the web. Many do not post on forums or have a blog.
So feel free to disagree with me entirely but hats off to Japan for their technology, efficiency and professionalism.
** Our hope and prayers are with you as you recover from the recent earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster **
To end this post, here are some funny and interesting Japanese commercials.
Soft99 Fukupika Wash n’ Wax wipes.
Soft99 Fusso Coat.
Soft99 Spectacles/Glasses cleaner.
Not detailing related. Suntory Whisky.
That’s it and I’ll see you guys next time! Have a great week everybody.