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Around the Industry

May 26, 2014
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First carwash unionizes in Los Angeles County

PASADENA, Calif. — Victor Tamayo, the owner of High Performance Detailing, was originally a wash worker before opening up his own business, according to ATVN TV News

Tamayo said he wanted to work with his employees and not against them when it came to labor negotiations. "I'm not the kind of person [who] because I'm the owner, I'm just going to do what I want to do. …I give them the chance ... to listen to them, to ask what they want," he continued in the article.

Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, Councilman Victor Gordo and members of the Community Labor Environmental Action Network Carwash Campaign convened at High Performance to announce the contract, the article notes.

A representative for Gordo said that the contract will include a 2 percent wage increase.

Commissioner: Police should wash their cars at home by hand

NEW CASTLE, Pa. — A Lawrence County Commissioner is encouraging at-home carwashing in an effort to save money, New Castle News reported.

The April 30 story stated that Commissioner Steve Craig believes Sheriff Perry Quahliero and the sheriff's deputies should wash their police vehicles at home.

Craig said he came to this proposal after seeing that the sheriff's department had spent $66 at Jim's Brushless Car Wash in one month.

“We’re trying to pinch pennies here,” Craig said in the story. And, he continued, they should wash their cars themselves “and use their own buckets and sponges.”

Craig admitted that the $66 is not a lot of money, but, “I think its endemic of what the taxpayers get upset about when they see these kinds of expenditures," the story stated.

Self-cleaning car paint technology in development by Nissan

SMYRNA, Tenn. — With Nissan beginning to test a self-cleaning paint, there are questions about the potential products impact on the carwashing industry, according to ExtremeTech.

The nanotech paint would have the ability to do things like repel dirt, water, oils, and automatically remove scratches. The product is currently being tested in Europe, with half of a car being treated with normal paint, and the other half with the new nanotech paint.

Nissan, according to the article, said it is the first auto company to use this technology on bodywork, which it is calling Ultra-Ever Dry.

The car company has partnered up with UltraTech International, based out of Florida, to design the paint. UltraTech stated, “Ultra-Ever Dry is a superhydrophobic and oleophobic coating that will completely repel almost any liquid. Ultra-Ever Dry uses proprietary omniphobic technology to coat an object and create a barrier of air on its surface. This barrier repels water, oil and other liquids unlike any coating.”

There is no confirmation on if or when the product will come to the U.S. market, or exactly how the paint technology works, according to the article.

Surveillance footage catches change machine scammers

LANCASTER, Penn. — A pair of criminals, Justin Michael Jenkins and Andrew Michael McCracken, attempted to steal from a change machine, but surveillance footage caught them in the act, according to My Conestoga Valley News.

The two men inserted bills with a string attached to them into a change machine at Highland Car Wash. Their plan was to receive the change from the bills, and then remove them from the machine by yanking them out.

When the money became stuck in the machine, the men complained to an employee. The employee spoke with the owner, who watched the surveillance footage, which showed the reason why the money was stuck.

The owner notified the police, who arrested the men at the wash, while they were still waiting for their money to be returned.

Man high on drugs ran through carwash after lighting himself on fire

DICKINSON, N.D. — David Kissee was involved in a wild drug trip that included him lighting himself on fire, running through a carwash and stealing a car, according to Inforum.

The incident began on Monday at Tesoro gas station, when he ran through a carwash, after lighting himself on fire. He then stole a vehicle from the parking lot, which he abandoned shortly after.

Kissee was found in the basement of a house he had broken into, where police said he was still hallucinating.

Dickson Police Captain David Wilkie said Kissee will be charged with, “just about anything you can think of  ... it’s quite an incident,” he continued in the article.

Self-serve carwash adds music to improve customer experience

DES MOINES, Iowa — When Sam Gillotti bought Johnston Car Wash from the Superwash chain in December 2012, he decided adding music to the self-serve bays would be a fun way to increase customer engagement, according to The Des Moines Register.

“It’s a nice addition that people like,” Gillotti said in the story. "My tagline is: ‘The feel-good wash for your car and especially for you.”

The wash has three self-serve bays, and two in-bay automatic ones. He said the wash cleans a lot of bigger vehicles because of the self-serve bays.

Johnston Car Wash has a token program that can provide extra value for customers. “For example, if you buy the $7 wash and buy five tokens, then it drops the price to $5 per wash,” he said. The wash also has $1 coupons that customers can pick up at stores in the area.

California strengthening drought actions, discouraging at-home carwashing

LOS ANGELES — With the upcoming driest months ahead, Gov. Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown is taking steps to strengthen California’s ability to deal with drought, according to    

An executive order was issued on April 25 to “manage water and habitat effectively in drought conditions,” the article stated.

Brown said, “The driest months are still to come in California and extreme drought conditions will get worse. This order cuts red tape to help get water to farmers more quickly, ensure communities have safe drinking water, protect vulnerable species and prepare for an extreme fire season. I call on every city, every community, every Californian to conserve water in every way possible.”

Businesses and residents are called for in the order to limit water wasting activities, like lawn watering, and at-home carwashing.

A drought state of emergency was declared by Brown in January, but “reservoirs, rainfall totals and the snowpack remain critically low,” according to the article.

Groupon launches new self-service tool for merchants

CHICAGO — The new Deal Builder platform by Groupon allows business owners to choose from popular templates to create a promotion that works for their business, according to a press release.

This self-service option for local businesses, which was introduced in early April, can be accessed through

"With the launch of Deal Builder, we now have a customizable solution for the thousands of merchants that contact us directly every month wanting to run a deal," said Dan Roarty, vice president of product development at Groupon. The press release continues that Deal Breaker will provide both merchants and customers of Groupon with more options to better serve their needs.

The new service was tested by an audience of 10,000 merchants, and is now available to almost all local businesses. The process to use Deal Breaker is for a business owner/operator to fill out basic information, and then choose from the templates to structure the deal that works for them.

"Merchants can tell us how many customers they need and what type of discount they want to offer, and we'll use our expertise from working with more than 500,000 businesses worldwide to help guide them to create an effective Groupon promotion for their business," said Roarty.

Carwashing’s “biggest fan” leads ICA to create a yearly award in his honor

CHICAGO — When Brian Campbell was diagnosed with Williams Syndrome shortly after being born, doctors only gave him 10 years to live; but now, 20 years later, Campbell has surpassed that diagnosis. In April he was at The Car Wash Show™ in Chicago and was honored for his passion for the carwash industry, according to an ICA blog.

Campbell became fascinated with carwashes at a young age. Since 1993, a group of carwash owners has been paying for his family to travel to The Car Wash Show™.

His passion has continued to inspire the carwash industry, and because of that passion, starting in 2015, the International Carwash Association® will present one exhibiting company the “Brian Campbell People’s Choice Booth Award.”