Monday, 19 January 2015 00:00

RUPES Brings Collision Repair Tools to U.S. Through Acquisition of Cyclo Toolmakers in CO

Auto body shops will soon have easier access to purchase collision repair tools from Italian-based business RUPES. The company recently purchased Cyclo Toolmakers in Longmont, Colorado, and the U.S. facility will become the center of RUPES’s operations in North America.

“RUPES is absolutely committed to growing its presence in the North American market,” said Jonathan Kissov, the VP of Sales and Marketing for RUPES USA. “We see tremendous synergies between Cyclo and RUPES and are excited to have Cyclo’s engineering, manufacturing, distribution and support capabilities available to use.”

Cyclo Toolmakers first introduced the Cyclo in 1952. Cody and Carolyn Sutherland purchased the company in 2003 and re-located to Longmont, Colorado. They moved to Mead a year ago, where they manufacture the Cyclo onsite. Originally designed as a metal polishing tool, the Cyclo is used as a final step buffer in a body shop environment. It is also used for auto detailing and airplane polishing, including caring for the Air Force One fleet, as well as for industrial uses.

“It is an incredibly durable product,” said Sutherland. “It’s made the way power tools used to be made, constructed of metal and built to last.”

Very few changes have been made to the Cyclo machine design over the years.The business owner still receives products from the 1950s on a weekly basis that come in for repair.

“If you look at a 1954 version and you look at today’s version, you would have to look pretty close to find the differences,” he said.

In January, the company announced an updated version of the Model 5 called the Mark II. Sutherland said it has an improved power switch and the shape of the tool has been modified for easier control. Sutherland was approached by RUPES in 2014 about the possibility of acquiring Cyclo Toolmakers.

“As I learned more I was impressed,” said the business owner. “I thought they would be a benefit to Cyclo’s customers and our efforts to continue modernizing our products.”

Sutherland traveled to Italy to meet with the owners and executives of RUPES. Located in Vermezzo, Italy, a suburb of Milan, RUPES was established in 1947. RUPES is an acronym for Realizzazione Utensili Pneumatici Elettrici Speciali, which means Manufacturer of Special Pneumatic & Electric Tools in English. The company entered the North American market nearly three years ago with their Bigfoot polishing system, which encompasses a line of electric and pneumatic car polishers along with foam pads and polishing compounds. Sutherland said the products allow a swirl-free finish on vehicles and other surfaces and are becoming popular in the industry.

Guido Valentini, President of RUPES, said the company also offers a wide range of products that cater to the auto body repair industry.

“During 2015 we will enforce the ‘gearing’ within the Italian and American companies improving logistics, customer service and repairs,” said Valentini. “Beginning in 2016 we will implement local R&D, and we will start the manufacturing activity of all new products. Definitely, we want to manufacture and assemble in the U.S. all of what we sell in North America.”

He said they will also manage distribution in Canada and Mexico from the Longmont, Colorado location.

“RUPES has plans to serve all of its customers in North America better,” said Sutherland. “That was really the reason for the acquisition—to get an organic existing operation here with customer service, warehousing, manufacturing and engineering.”

As the new VP of Operations, Sutherland is the general manager for the North American operation of RUPES.

“Part of our future role in the global operation is to manufacture products now made in Europe, here in the states.”

These include polishers, grinders, sanders and dust extraction vacuums. Sutherland said the dust collection systems offered by RUPES will benefit shops repairing the new aluminum-bodied Ford F-150.

“With the introduction of more aluminum body parts, and the F-150 being a flagship of aluminum body parts, dust collection has become a far more important safety issue,” he said. “Aluminum dust can be explosive, so safe collection becomes an incumbent responsibility on body shops working with those materials.”

“We recognize the high-quality reputation that the Cyclo brand enjoys across several market segments and promise to work diligently to both honor and improve the status of the brand while leveraging Cyclo’s capabilities to improve RUPES’s service, support and technical levels in North America,” said Kissov. “We are also looking forward to embracing the international distribution network that Cyclo has developed and working with them to further promote the Cyclo brand internationally.”

The companies’websites are www.cyclotoolmakers.com and www.rupes.com.

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