GPI History


The 1st February is an important date for the GPI Group of Companies, it was on this day in 1978 that Colin Edwards commenced trading as GPI Automotive Products manufacturing the first Australian Lightweight Body Filler and Tuff Buff sheepskin buff pads.

Colin worked from a rented 300 SQ M factory in Sunshine cutting the sheepskins and making the body filler with 2 women employees, one sewing the buff pads and one labelling the cans, cleaning the buff pads and doing some office work.

40 years later the company has grown into 8 entities currently employing 184 persons and working out of 14 warehouses spread Australia wide, having its headquarters in a 18500 SQ M warehouse in Mulgrave, Melbourne.

The GPI Group’s success has been partly brought about by the personnel employed with over 20 persons being with the company for over 20 years.

In 2013 Colin was presented with “A Lifetime Achievement Award” by the National Collision Magazine and in April 2018 Colin will reach a milestone of 50 years in the Automotive Refinish Industry.

It proves that dreams are possible and that opportunity can be the greatest gift given to man. If you have the desire to succeed and are given an opportunity you can create your own future and take it as far as you want.

GPI moved into its current National Headquarters in June 1993, at 275 Wellington Rd. Mulgrave, Victoria. These premises are owned by the Directors and comprise an area of 4 1/2 acres with approximately 100,000 sq. ft of warehousing and office space. In 2005 a further building was taken at 5/200 Wellington to house the offices and showrooms of the Corporate, Health & Fitness and Bicycle businesses.
The Brisbane warehouse of 12,000 sq. ft at 2-4 Allgas St, Slacks Creek was purchased in early 2004 and a second property of 10,000sq. Ft at 6-8 Allgas Street was subsequently purchased in 2009.
The Sydney GPI warehouse measuring 10,000sq. ft is situated in Millennium Court, Silverwater, the Perth warehouse of 10,000 sq. ft is situated at 50 John Street, Bentley, the Adelaide warehouse of 10,000sq. ft is at 2C Gladys Avenue, Clarence Gardens, and the Launceston warehouse comprising 6000sq. ft is at 5-7 Herbert Street, Invermay.
Each GPI branch carries its own sales and warehouse personnel and direct imports are received in all GPI warehouses around Australia from overseas and local sources.
GPI Automotive Products P/L

On the 1st February 1978, GPI Automotive Products was formed when Colin Edwards, founder and current CEO of The GPI Group of Companies, commenced operations as a sole trader. Product was produced and sold to Automotive Refinishing Distributors, who then distributed the product range to panel beaters and spray painters. Over 33 years on, the company has grown from strength to strength and currently the products listed for sale in this Division number in excess of 3500 items. Through its 6 warehouses and 14 automotive salespersons employed throughout Australia, GPI would be regarded in the industry as the largest supplier of assorted consumable products, excluding paint, sold on a strictly wholesale basis, to in excess of 650 resellers spread throughout Australia and the Asia Pacific area.
In February 1998, GPI acquired Black Diamond Industries, GPI's competitor in the buff pad market. This acquisition in tandem with GPI's Tuff Buff division gave GPI the major share of the Australian, Asian and Pacific area buff pad market.
The GPI Automotive Division imports exclusively from many suppliers on a world-wide basis, brands including Gerson, Dominion, Fiberglass Evercoat, Eezer, Unic, Loy, Kwasny, Preval, Holbros, SAS, and JTape and also exports product manufactured in Australia to the Middle East, U.S.A, Europe, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region.
Within Australia GPI currently is a Master Distributor, on a National basis, for the product ranges of Iwata, Devilbiss, Meguiars, Sykes, Teroson, Bostik and Sundstrom, to name a few. In 2003 GPI became the exclusive importer of Stayer and Felisatti Power Tools and Telesch Air Tools, all manufactured in Italy. Also in 2003 an arrangement was made with Sun Abrasives of Korea for GPI to be the exclusive importer of their unique filmed backed Automotive Abrasive range for Australia and New Zealand. In 2011 GPI started importing Roberlo from Spain, Pneu-Trend from Taiwan, Spectratek from Canada and a large range of product lines from China, released to the market under the Velocity branding.

In order to expand the GPI Automotive product base, an engineering operation commenced with the purchase of McKay Engineering in 1987. In April 1998, GPI McKay Engineering in tandem with a design Contractor obtained an order for collapsible stillages from a pallet hirer which were manufactured, around the clock, over a 15-week cycle. This contract was worth $1.7 million and an extra 42 persons were employed for this manufacturing cycle. The user of the product for this order was General Motors Holden. Further response to the product has yielded a sale value in excess of A$5 million.
The GPI Engineering division also manufactures sporting goods for GPI Sports & Fitness including metal cricket stumps basketball rings and telescopic netball stands with rings. For the GPI Automotive division, engineering manufactures work benches, electric drying lights, mobile paper/tape dispensers and trolleys. The Engineering Division also houses a repair section for electrical and air power tools, spray guns and welding equipment. Our delivery trucks pick up and deliver repairs from our metropolitan distribution network.
The Sports & Fitness Division is extremely well regarded by its hundreds of retail customers and GPI is continuing to increase its product range offered through direct importation from Taiwan, China, U.S.A, and Europe. Sales for this division are handled through a network of 10 personnel spread throughout Australia and they are achieving excellent growth rates on an annual basis.
This division specialises in fitness hardware including treadmills, exercise bikes, gymnasiums, steppers, weight benches and weights & bars and imports from many manufacturers exclusively including the world famous Gold's Gym brand. House brands include BodyworX, Bodycraft, Diamondback and GPI.
In 2004, GPI released its range of road and mountain bicycles under the Cheetah branding. The range includes bicycles for children and adults and also a scooter range marketed under the Cheetah, Devinci and Sorbonne brandings. The division also includes a full range of bicycle accessories branded under the Cheetah, GPA and BodyworX brandings.
With the move into sports clothing, the GPI Group decided to enter into the casual menswear, and to that end, Daintree Clothing Company was created. The Daintree range was sold to leading menswear retailers throughout Australia but subsequently ceased operations in 1998. This entry into the apparel industry paved the way for the company to expand into the corporate clothing business under the image of GPI Corporate. The division has developed an extensive range of corporate, casual and work wear and is currently obtaining seven figure orders from national corporations.
GPI acquired the business known as Panache Corporate in March 1998 and amalgamated it with GPI Corporate Promotions to form GPI Panache Corporate. Panache was primarily involved in corporate gifts, promotional products and sales and convention products.
Recognising the compatibility between the corporate clothing and corporate merchandise businesses, the company adopted an "All Under One Roof" approach and merged the two businesses to provide clients with the advantages of a 'Total Concept Management'. This move was completed in October 2000 and GPI Corporate is now situated in an office/showroom at Unit 5/200 Wellington Rd, Clayton. In March 2002, GPI acquired the business and sales staff of Mahlab Corporate, a well-known supplier in the industry and further expanded the GPI Corporate business.
In July 1993, GPI acquired the Loy Tape division and certain personnel from Brown and Dureau, a subsidiary of Amcor, and together with an existing tape importing business created the Tape division of the GPI Group. GPI today is one of the major importers of masking and cellulose tapes for the automotive, packaging and stationery trades and successfully competes with multi-national and local suppliers.