The catch-22 for most vehicle enthusiasts is, they want to show off the pristine finish on the open road but the open road is not a hospitable place for maintaining that look. Every time any vehicle hits the road, it is exposed to things that can deteriorate and damage its paint and trim. Whether it be rock chips, rain, road debris or the harsh rays of the sun, a vehicle is vulnerable to the elements without protection. 

Finding a product that can protect that finish from the elements is top priority for many vehicle owners. Salt Lake City-based ClearBra® has the solution. Founder and Owner Dan Mahfood says the company’s clear protective film has found a large, appreciative audience among lovers of cars, trucks, etc. who want to keep theirs looking as factory-new as possible for as long as possible. 

 

Mahfood was inspired to start the business in the late 1990s, after he started experimenting with various ways to protect the finish of his boat trailer. He actually found packing tape to be effective, but a very short-lived solution. That’s when he realized, if he could find and/or develop a product that could be more permanent, car owners would flock to it. “I started thinking that if I wanted this, other people are going to want it,” he remarked. 

Mahfood found the basis for the ClearBra® product in Canada, with a manufacturer that made a clear coating used to protect helicopter rotor blades. After some testing, adding UV protection to the film allowed it to fade “basically” at the same rate as paint naturally fades from exposure to sunlight. 

At first, Mahfood had trouble convincing manufacturers and dealerships of the product’s effectiveness, and for a few years, the company struggled. Eventually, Mahfood decided to take a risk and market ClearBra® directly to consumers. After taking out a loan on his home, he began advertising the new PPF (paint protection film), and from that point on, the company has ridden a steady growth track. 

“When the retail public saw his advertising, that’s when it took off,” Mahfood says. 

 

Full Package

ClearBra® has almost doubled its sales each year for the past five in large part by word of mouth. Mahfood says the product has proven to be popular with a broad range of vehicle owners, from hardcore enthusiasts looking to preserve their vehicle’s original look to owners looking to maximize their investment in their vehicles. 

ClearBra® offers packages that range from protective film covering the hood and fenders, to packages that protect the entire hood as well as lights, mirrors and bumpers. They also offer a full wrap. ClearBra’s® film is installed by professional certified technicians. For the do-it-yourself-ers, there is a kit. 

The selling point is the effectiveness of the ClearBra® system with its longevity in protecting vehicles from everyday exposure to road hazards and the elements in its environment. This has been refined numerous times over the years, and each level of improvement increases that effectiveness. Mahfood says their current manufacturing partner is a mid-sized company that is extremely responsive to ClearBra’s® needs, meaning any further improvements on the product can be refined to his satisfaction. “This is a proprietary material and we are confident in it. ClearBra® has been used on vehicles, boat trailers, and many commercial uses. It’s even been used on roller coasters for some well-known amusement parks. ClearBra® sets the bar for ‘everyone’ in the protective film market.” 

The experience ClearBra® has among its employees is another significant advantage for the company, especially in terms of custom installations. Mahfood says the installers train extensively for a minimum of six months before they can begin installations. This expertise is another level of effectiveness their customers appreciate. “The technique used to properly install is really an art form. We’ve gained their trust by providing a product and service which will protect their investment for a long time.” Currently, ClearBra® has performed more than 60,000 installs. “We love what we do and will continue to find ways to improve on what we have, to provide optimum value.”

 

Still Growing

The biggest challenge for ClearBra® is protecting its reputation in a market crowded with imitators. “Although many manufacturers and installers have tried to duplicate ClearBra® over the years, they tend to be short lived because the quality of their products and services is [generally] inferior to ClearBra’s®.”

Another more welcoming challenge has been keeping up with the company’s rapid growth over the last several years. Mahfood says ClearBra® has added another shop that gives it the capability to service almost twice the number of vehicles per day. “It’s critical that our installers are certified and well trained to maintain the level of service we provide.” The trend is likely to continue, as long as the industry as a whole continues to grow. “We’re further ahead this year than we were last year in terms of sales. Growth is good, it’s also a challenge but we’re in it for the long haul.” 

Digital Edition


View our Digital Edition!

 

Subscribe