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Around the Industry - November 2013

October 21, 2013
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Angie's List founder promotes professional carwashes

Angie Hicks, the founder of Angie's List is promoting professional and commercial carwashes, according to a 10News report.

The Sept. 18 story, which focuses on car upkeep, quoted Hicks who said, “Not only are the mechanicals of your car important to be maintained, but also the appearance," said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List. "Many people don’t even think about that, but when it comes to resale value, you want a car that looks nice. You’ll get a better return when you sell it." 
The story also said to get your car washed every other week, to have it waxed "with the change of each season and professionally detailed every six months to a year." A number of factors can influence the decision.

Autobell Car Wash, Inc. awards scholarships to employees

Charlotte, NC — Autobell Car Wash Inc. has awarded $106,500 in academic scholarships to 83 employees in four states to the college or university of their choice.

The Autobell Scholarship is an annual program to current Autobell employees who are graduating high school seniors or have received a high school diploma. Applicants must submit an acceptance letter from an accredited institution of higher learning and write an essay about the educational aspect of their employment at Autobell. The applications are reviewed by the Autobell Selection Committee.

According to a press release the Autobell Scholarship Program has awarded over $600,000 in academic funds to employees. 

Wash Tub Car Wash founder passes away

SAN ANTONIO, TX — Albert Vizza, the founder of Wash Tub Car Wash, has passed away. He was 86-years-old.

Vizza founded Wash Tub Car Wash in 1986 and the company grew to 21 full-service locations. Vizza served in the United States Navy during WWII.

His services were held Sept. 26 at the Angelus Funeral Home in San Antonio, Texas.

Toyota shoots commercial at carwash

RANCHO MIRAGE, CA – Elephant Car Wash will be the site for a new commercial for the 2014 Toyota Camry.

The carwash was chosen from about five different locations because of their vintage sign which shows a pink elephant spraying water on itself.

“It’s very iconic,” Howard Butler, production manager for the commercial said in the story. “It’s a throwback to those good-time California vibes.”

The carwash has been closed for the duration of the filming.

Attention: Be aware of the Tesla Model S electric vehicle

Carwash owners and operators will likely begin seeing greater numbers of the Tesla Model S coming through their carwashes. Yet some owners of the relatively new all-electric vehicles might not be aware of a safety feature which might make their trip to a conveyor carwash a bit difficult.

Brock Siebert, manager of Butch’s Lube ‘N’ Wash in Red Bank, New Jersey, who spoke exclusively with Managing Editor Tim Branfalt Jr. explained that he has three regular customers who drive the Model S and with each vehicle a problem emerged when the customer got out of the car.

“What we found is that when you put them in neutral and get out of the car and close the door it automatically goes into park,” Siebert explained.

That means someone has to stay in the vehicle during its trip through the tunnel, which left Seibert short-handed on the line. 

Tesla Motors representative Patrick Jones explained via email that this is a safety feature in the event that the vehicle operator forgets to put the car in park. Tesla had been aware of this issue as it not only affects taking the car to the carwash, but also makes it impossible to tow the car without someone in the driver seat. The company recently deployed 5.0 software for the vehicle’s computer system which includes a “tow mode” override feature.

“This mode could be used to allow a car to be towed through a conveyer-based car wash,” Jones wrote in an email.

Jones also indicated that Tesla does not recommend using automated carwashes to clean the Model S.

The owner’s manual for the Model S indicates that the owner should not wait to wash the car and, instead, should wash any “corrosive substances” off the vehicle immediately. 

Fabulous Freddy's partners with Juvenile Diabetes Foundation

LAS VEGAS, NV — As part of its Customer Appreciation Day Fabulous Freddy’s gave customers at all of their locations free exterior washes and, in return, asked customers to donate to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a press release reported.

"We've been very fortunate to have fabulous customers who have supported us and helped us grow over the past 14 years,” Owner Freddy Smith said in a release. “This is a way we can begin to show our appreciation and hopefully raise a lot of money for a tremendous cause."

JDRF is a non-profit organization focusing on type 1 diabetes.

To read more about Fabulous Freddy’s, read the Profile in Success story on page XX.

Xpress Car Wash participates in 30 Days for a Cure

FORT MILL TOWNSHIP, SC — Xpress Car Wash partnered with other local businesses in honor of 30 Days for a Cure.

The fundraiser was part of a month-long campaign in September to raise awareness for childhood cancer as the month is recognized as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

In just the first week of the campaign the Fort Mill Times reported local businesses raised $4,180.82.

The funds were donated to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer – a nonprofit that raises funds for pediatric cancer research.

“It’s been amazing to me. I knew there were more stories out there but almost everyone has a story to share,” Mrs. South Carolina Strawberry Queen Dana Boutwell said. Boutwell helped organize the fundraiser. “People have just been grateful that we’re raising awareness and asking what they can do to make a difference.”

Developers looking to sue over permit denial

MILWAUKEE, WI — Developers of Pabst Farms are seeking the opinion of the attorney general’s office on the propriety of a Common Council member’s emails in which she says she enjoys seeing the developers “being screwed over” according to the Journal Sentinel story.

The developers had plans of putting a Kwik Trip gas station, carwash and convenience store at the site but the common council denied their permits.

The developers obtained the member’s emails under the state’s open records law and is using those emails as proof the permit denials were somewhat personal in nature.

"I personally love watching dan and peter [sic] being screwed over..." the member, Alderperson Cathleen Skattely wrote in an email."Peter" apparently refers to Peter Bell and "Dan" apparently refers to Dan Warren, development manager at Pabst Farms.

The developers are seeking $20 million in damages.

Carwash app officially launches

AUSTIN, TX — Mobile app Get Washed has officially launched. The app aims to help carwashes expand their customer base and encourage loyalty. Get Washed will show users where the nearest carwash is to their location using GPS and offer coupons for those businesses if available.

Businesses that partner with the app can create fully customizable profile pages, including their menu, pricing and photos. Businesses who want to be featured in the directory can pay $10 to $100 a month for the service. The contract is month-to-month.

Get Washed is already being used by Genie Car Wash and H2O Car Wash, both based in Austin, TX.

Presently the app is only available for the iPhone. An Android version is in development, a press release said. 

Carwash has their mascot returned

GOLDEN, CO — Bubble Bays carwash has had their mascot returned after it was stolen from the carwash Sept. 18.

The mascot, “Oscar,” is a six-foot, 100-pound velociraptor statue.

The dino is usually chained up at the carwash, but had to be moved so the sewer drains at the site could be cleaned. Carwash owner Steve Burns forgot to secure the raptor and it was stolen by local high school students.

Burns saw the statue when the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office posted a picture of the dinosaur asking for help locating the owner.

ABC 7 News reports that Burns was reunited with his raptor on Sept. 23.

Two men arrested for stealing nearly $800 in coins

NORTH RIDGEFIELD, KY — Two men have been arrested in connection with the theft of coins at the Wash Wizard carwash.

Larry Scearce and Tyler Hotaling were caught “stringing” at a change machine by carwash security cameras.

Police allege the men pulled about $800 from the change machine in 10 minutes.

According to the Chronicle-Telegram both men say they were traveling as professional pool players who repeated this crime in Tennessee and Ohio.