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Detailing in Africa

March 28, 2012
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Of all the continents around the world, Africa is the one I have the least experience save Egypt. Here is what I do know about South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and Nigeria.

South Africa: Being a commonwealth nation and probably the most advanced of the African countries; this area is very much like Australia and New Zealand. There has been an automatic carwash industry there since the 1970s, and, as well, a fledging detail business. I never had the opportunity to visit, but I know we would find a situation therein similar to the other commonwealth nations (prior colonies of Great Britain).

Egypt: Cairo and Alexandria are the two major cities in Egypt and have an interesting mix of 21st century developments as well as an ancient world. The automatic carwash business is not particularly well developed in the country with most washing being done by hand in bays in gasoline stations. In the mid-90s the first modern, first-class detailing center was developed in a suburb of Cairo called Heliopolis (new city), called Heliopolis Motors. Equipped with state-of-the-art equipment this has been a very successful operation. A few years later, another state-of-the-art centre was developed in the center of Cairo in the basement of an apartment building and since the early 2000s has been very, very successful in spite of the “out-of-site” location.

Morocco: This North African nation is on the far western side of the continent, and immediately south of Spain. Morocco is an Arab and French speaking country that is, again a mix of the ancient and modern world. While I have personally not sold any detailing equipment in the country, I know that there is an active detailing business. I have been approached by numerous investors wanting to get something started in the country. Plus there is a Saudi Arabian businessman who has detail operations in Saudi Arabia that has some activity in the detail business in Morocco.

Nigeria: This is one of the richest nations in Africa because of oil. However, in my experience, it is a very interesting country because of the mentality of the people. In any case, automatic carwashing has been known in the major cities of Nigeria since the early 70s and, as well, there has been an emerging detail industry, but I think it’s quite primitive. But, there is a great deal of wealth in the country due to petro-dollars and there are a great many high-end cars on the streets, but those with money do not start detailing businesses and those who may want to start such a business have no money to do so. This holds back development of an industry such as detailing.

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