Wednesday, 22 September 2021 10:53

Auto Body Shop Owner Gives Axalta Top Reviews After 1 Year

Written by Autobody News Staff
Hjelms Body and Paint Shop, in business for 27 years, switched to Axalta's Cromax XP one year ago and is delighted with the move. Hjelms Body and Paint Shop, in business for 27 years, switched to Axalta's Cromax XP one year ago and is delighted with the move.


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When you’ve practically grown up in the family business, like Brian Gilreath of Hjelms Body and Paint Shop of Helena, MT, it’s second nature to treat your customers like family.

Hjelms Body and Paint Shop
Location: Helena, MT

Facebook: @HjelmsBodyShop


Company At A Glance…
Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: Four
In Business Since: 1953
Number of Locations: One
Production Space: 10,000 square feet


“I’ve been coming here since I was a young kid, like 14, cleaning toilets to earn some spending money,” said Gilreath, 36. “I’m the fourth generation of my family to own it. I went and did my own thing for a little bit and came back.”


Hjelms was founded by Gilreath’s great uncle in 1952, he said.


“Then my grandpa bought it, and then my dad, and then I bought it,” the single father of an 11-year-old son said.


Axalta Hjelms SPS Oct 2021 2

Painter Shane Hall said he’s producing a “cleaner, crisper color” spraying Axalta at Hjelms Body and Paint Shop.


It is not yet certain if the business will pass to the next generation, Gilreath said.


“He says he either wants to take over the business or be a firefighter,” he said. “We’ll see. I’ve told him he has to get good grades for either.”


Meanwhile, Gilreath has a well-established, busy business to run.


“Committed to excellence since 1952,” Hjelms’ website says company officials realize “for most people, auto maintenance and repair is not fun or convenient. So, we want make the process as easy and enjoyable as possible for you.”


This effort has resulted in many repeat clients, Gilreath said.


“Most of our customers are repeat, and we know most of them by first name. We try to treat them all like family,” he said.


The shop employs highly skilled and experienced technicians who “love cars and care about yours,” the site says.


“Our customers love us,” it says. “Get to know our experienced technicians. They’ve got the tools, skills and a desire to help.”


In the interest of furthering that cause, Hjelms adopted the latest technological innovations from Axalta---Cromax XP---said Gilreath and his 27-year veteran head paint tech, Shane Hall.


“As the owner, when I took it over from my dad, that’s what they were using and I just carried it over,” Gilreath said. “It’s been good so far. No big complaints.”


With more than 150 years of industry experience, Axalta is “a global coatings company focused on providing customers with innovative, colorful and sustainable solutions,” according to its website.


Hall and Gilreath say that experience shows.


“We have better color matches with this new stuff, and it doesn’t take as much paint to...

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