This year has been a major landmark for our long-standing vendor, Dominion Sure Seal. Established by Ronald Morton in 1972, the Morton family company celebrated its 50th anniversary during 2022. Since his passing in 2011, Ron Morton’s children, Greg and Derek Morton, have continued to operate and expand Dominion Sure Seal in their positions as CEO and Managing Director, respectively. Business has doubled in the last decade and Dominion – named after the Dominion of Canada – is now sold at many major retailers in both Canada and the U.S.
CEO Greg Morton attributes part of their success to being a family business, saying, “It’s been key for our business, having a tight-knit, family-oriented team. It helps us be reactive in our processes—we’re able to solve problems quickly and get the job done fast.” That flexibility and focus on relationships is not only turned inward: “We look at relationships over the long term. We invest in the industry we serve, and sponsor client golf tournaments and various trade shows. We’re also involved in education and the Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF).” Dominion is clearly a company that cares about the industry and about their customers.
Another reason for Dominion’s 50 years of success is company innovation. In 1985, a chemist at Dominion invented an epoxy plastic repair process, according to Greg Morton, “that’s when Dominion Sure Seal really took off.” After only 18 years of business in Canada, Ron Morton expanded Dominion to an international company in 1990. Then in 1995, the company made the switch to working with distributors and wholesalers, instead of selling direct to body shops. This paved the way for the company’s 1996 invention, a pick-up bed liner called Gator Guard, to become a hot seller in the U.S. Since then Dominion has been a staple in the industry, today selling primarily aerosols.
Dominion has partnered with The Autobody Source for 20 of the past 30 years. How did your father, Ron, get into the coatings business?
Greg: My father worked in the automotive field selling chemicals in Cleveland, Ohio. And then he moved to Canada and decided to start his own business selling direct to body shops. We sold direct to body shops until around 1990 when began selling to warehouses, jobbers and OEMs. And things have grown ever since. Our relationship with International Autobody Marketing Group really helped the warehouse business for us. I mean, we were nowhere to be found in the U.S. until we got involved with them. We exploded onto the market with our Gator Guard product first, which has turned into a full range of products.
What is One Little-Known Fact About the Dominion Sure Seal Brand?
Greg: In the U.S. we have a product called Rust Check, which is even bigger than Dominion Sure Seal in terms of brand recognition. One of the things that we pride ourselves on is the fact that we’re still family owned. Most of our competitors have been bought out by mass conglomerates: AkzoNobel bought U-Pol, SEM is owned by PPG. It’s basically us and Pro-Form who are still family owned, so we are very reactive to our customers’ needs and we adjust quickly. It’s giving us an advantage in a lot of ways in the States because we’re not affiliated with a massive brand. We get a lot of jobbers who don’t want to deal with them.
What Core Values Have Shaped Dominion’s Longevity?
My father was very much involved in every aspect of the business. And one of the things I pride myself on is that, when he died, a lot of people thought that this business was my father—and it was, since he developed the brand—but they wrote me off. But we’ve more than doubled the business since then. Our market share and brand awareness have grown substantially. Back when dad was running it we were pretty much a plastic repair and bedliner business. We’ve gone from a five-, six-product company to where up to 100 products make up 20 percent of our sales. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve become. Our business has pretty much doubled within the past five or six years, and we’re on pace to double it again in another five years if we keep up our 20 percent growth.
Our products are like a tidal wave: Once a few people have it, then more people want it, and so on. That’s how our growth has progressed here in Canada. We have substantial market share up here. In the States it’s a lot more difficult, clearly. You’ve got brands that have been around for ever, like U-Pol and 3-M, so there’s a lot more competition there for us. But our brand is doing really well in the States, too.
Featured Dominion Sure Seal Products
From 1996 Vintage Gator Guard to 2022 Shake and Shoot Bedliner Kit – Product #1216
From 1985 Vintage Plastic Repair to 2022 Plastic Bumper Repair Kit – Product #50005
In 2022 about 60% of Dominion Sure Seal products are aerosol sprays: Spray Gun Paint Remover – Product #10065
See your local jobber for pricing and availability of quality Dominion Sure Seal products.