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A passion for paint perfection

David Azzopardi represents the diverse career pathways the industry can offer and the SAPE Group can make them happen.

With more than two decades experience in the automotive industry, David Azzopardi represents the diverse and changing career pathways the industry can offer and the organisations, like SAPE Group, that can make them happen.

David Azzopardi recently culminated his decades in the automotive repair industry with a step into management at the SAPE Group, but the journey has been cumulative and brings with it the original passion he had for automotive and ensuring repairs are done right.

“I got into the automotive repair industry because I’ve always been passionate about cars, especially their paintwork. Fixing up paint problems and seeing the joy on customers’ faces when they got their vehicles back looking as good as new was a big motivation for me.”

The journey in the automotive repair industry began back in 2000 with a four-year apprenticeship at Linbar Smash.  He then worked at Medicar Revesby before completing stints at Hills Repair Facility Seven Hills with John Guest before joining Capital Smart under the new management of Jim Vais and Trifon Vais. He then worked at MVR Motor Vehicle Repairs with Vince Ruggiero.

This experience and diversity then set him up to embark on more technical specialisation with the SAPE Group, where he specialised in different paint systems like Glasurit, Baslac, Spies Hecker, Cromax, Duxone, and HB Body.

Image: SAPE Group

Not alone

Key to his development has been the support along the way, something he says he has found a particularly strong part of the culture at the SAPE Group.

“SAPE stands out because they’re really dedicated to helping their employees grow and making sure their customers are happy. They’ve always been there for me, answering my questions and supporting me whenever I needed it, which has really helped me grow both personally and professionally.

“The pivotal moment that propelled me towards a management role was the realization of the opportunity to not only expand my professional horizons but also to contribute to the growth of the organization, implement systemic improvements, and acquire new knowledge.

Azzopardi singles out Tony Maher, National Sales Manager at the SAPE Group, as a particularly valuable mentor on this journey.

“He has been a major inspiration to me in my career. Over the years, he’s offered constant support and priceless guidance, really helping to shape the path I’ve taken in my professional life.”

Trusted brand and trusted support

Azzopardi believes given the challenges repair shops face, the need to back them up with expertise and support is one of the strongest opportunities to build partnerships and growth.

“Repair shops often struggle with issues like pricing, getting support when they need it, and getting timely assistance,” he says.

“SAPE really tackles these problems head-on by making sure they offer comprehensive support, building good relationships with their clients, and coming up with innovative technical solutions to the problems the industry faces.”

He has recently taken on the role of Sales & Technical Manager with the HB BODY brand, products he believes have a great opportunity to grow in Australia,

“My main focus with HB BODY will be on dealing with customer inquiries, giving them thorough support, running training sessions, teaching about our products, and offering help whenever it’s needed.”

Established and renowned in Europe for more than four decades, HB BODY Group has grown into a leading automotive brand established in 75 countries and offering one of the widest ranges in the market and Azzopardi can only see this growing in Australia.

“The team behind HB Body is top-notch—they’re experts, dependable, and always ready to lend a hand, which means customers are always happy,” Azzopardi says.

“I’m really excited to dive into this role and help the brand reach its maximum potential.

HB BODY Marketing Director Mariza Vasileiadou says they are delighted to welcome David as the representative of the HB BODY brand in Australia.

“With his extensive experience and profound expertise in the automotive refinishing industry, David brings a wealth of knowledge and substantial value to our brand. His proven track record and dedication make him invaluable to our team,” she says.

“This strategic partnership with the SAPE Group marks a significant milestone in our efforts to enhance our global presence. We are confident that this collaboration will enable us to expand our reach, strengthen our market position, and deliver exceptional products and services to our customers in Australia.”

One of David Azzopardi’s firm convictions garnered from the decades of experience and key to his future role, is a belief in building ongoing professional relationships.

“Good relationships are super important; they help suppliers and customers work together smoothly. When you have strong relationships, it builds trust, makes communication easier, and in the end, results in better service.”

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