Colorado is the Nation’s largest Paint Protection Film Market. Between all 3 of the major manufactures (3M, XPEL, and Suntek) there is more film sold in to Colorado than any other state. The product was actually launched by 3M nearly 30 years ago in Colorado and Utah. So the market is very mature. Automotive enthusiasts understand what Paint Protection Film is and why they need it.
The down side to the popularity of product and a mature market is the amount of shops this size of a market can support. Like any other service or product there are low, mid, and high level options with correlating price points. But what’s the difference? If every shop says they are the best, and most every shop has access to the top tier product from each manufacturer, and even the dealership says they can provide the service and tuck it in to your financing, all of the final products…the installations themselves must be the same correct? Wrong!
I like to use the Painting Contractor analogy the most. Any interior painting company can go to the supply house and buy the very best paint on the shelf. They can promise you the world, tell you how good they are, and present a price that is below the market standard to try and earn your business. And then you see the finished product. The edge work is terrible. The coverage is terrible. The attention to detail is nonexistent. The house is left a mess when they are complete. And you start to realize that you got what you paid for.
We run in to this same issue in the Paint Protection Film industry. You can have a shop that has been installing for 2 months offer the same raw material (XPEL film for example) as the shop installing for 20 years. And if you don’t understand the intricacies of the install process, which you wouldn’t as a consumer, and both businesses have great websites, cool pictures, and are promising the world….how do you chose? This is where people begin to shop on price. And this is where the mistake is made. If someone is offering a similar service at a lower price than the market leaders THERE IS A REASON! And you won’t identify the reason until it is too late.
This 2017 Porsche 911 Turbo S is a perfect example. The car was purchased new, and the owner elected to have the Dealership provide the Clear Bra coverage. Now a dealership operates as a dealership does at every level of the business. It is volume focused. It is price focused. It very likely outsources the Paint Protection Film, especially any large area coverage like a Full Front or Driver’s Package. The Dealership does not have the space to perform this work. It does not have the work flow to keep a highly skilled paint protection film installer on staff. So the project is outsourced. It is outsourced to someone who will do it cheaply and quickly to earn the repeat business. And it is outsourced to someone who has the room in their schedule to do it immediately, which may not be good.
Now back to the Turbo S. Lets take a look at the installed coverage. The edges are not wrapped. The fitment is poor. There are major distortions and stretch marks in the adhesive. The film is hand trimmed with hard and misshapen corners. And the finish work is poor. The finished product simply does not look as good as it could. And on a car like this, that matters. Lets take a look at a few before and after photos. The photo on the left will be the film as we received it and the photo on the right the improvement we were able to make in the fit and finish. The details matter!
We can achieve a much better fitment around the hood crest using the pattern software, which is front and center on the car.
Below we have a “hand trimmed” parking sensor. Not only are there very likely cut marks underneath the film, the uniformity is bad and noticeable. It is the lack of uniformity that allows he eye to pick up a foreign object on the surface.
More hand trimmed edges with jagged lines.
Jagged corners and unwrapped edges.
For me, this one is the worst and I see this all the time. There is a huge “U” hand cut from the bottom of the headlamp, down around the headlamp washer, and back up to the lamp. This is just unnecessary and adds a visual blemish. Was can cut a clean circle around the washer using the pattern software.
The goal of applying Clear Bra is to have more fun driving the car you care about, knowing the paint is well protected. And we can do this without any of the visual detraction’s shown above. We have an impeccably clean working facility that allows us to properly prep vehicles and ensure that the installs are debris free. We use a computer software to custom design the coverage for each car, and pre cut the areas for install without ever touching a razor to the car. We wrap every edge possible. Clear Bra can look very good, and we pride ourselves in our ability to exceed our customers expectations of what a proper service can look like.
The moral of the story is do not shop for Clear Bra on price. Of course, there are always budgets to keep in mind. And a high level service isn’t the best fit for every car on the road. But if attention to detail and receiving the best possible finished look matters to you, then have this conversation with the shops you are looking at. And if someone is offering the “same” service at a lower price, it likely isn’t the same. Take your time, do your research, go visit the shops, see the facility and other projects in person. Make an informed decision on who you let contribute to the car you care about.
We removed the existing Full Front Coverage and replaced it with our Full Body Clear Bra Package and Level 2 Ceramic Coating Package. Now that this Turbo S is back in proper shape it can be fully enjoyed, driven worry free of rock chips and road debris damage. It will look its best for years to come, and be very easy to wash and keep clean.