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News from the industry

October 11, 2010
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P&G plans more carwashes
Procter & Gamble intends to open up to seven more Mr. Clean Performance Car Washes in Ohio and in Kentucky. The move is a result of strong sales at the company’s two test locations.

Earlier reports from Professional Carwashing & Detailing® have said the company plans to test several full-serve locations in the Cincinnati area before deciding if it will launch a national chain. The company has yet to select and purchase sites for its future locations.

“We rolled out two to learn the market. Those have done well. Anytime anything does well, you want to look at options to make it better,” said Jeff LeRoy, P&G external relations manager. “We are in discussions with several entrepreneurs who are interested in being part of the expansion.”

Tammermatic Oy InterClean merge
Tammermatic Oy, a car and truck wash equipment manufacturer based in Tampere, Finland, and InterClean equipment, Inc., a truck, bus and train wash manufacturer based in Ypsilanti, MI, have merged. The merger forms the largest specialty vehicle wash company in the world for heavy duty applications. The combined sales of the two companies are approximately $50 million and are budgeted to reach $75 million dollars in the first two years of joint operations.

The new company, to be called Tammermatic InterClean Group, will retain operations and manufacturing facilities in both Finland and in Michigan. Both corporate identities and brand names will be retained. The merger is not expected to bring either management or personnel changes in either company.

Tammermatic Oy, founded 42 years ago, is known for designing and building the very first rollover bus/truck wash systems. In February 2007, Sentica Partners, a Finnish private equity company acquired the entire share capital of Tammermatic Oy.

InterClean Equipment was established in 1984 and specializes in numerous large heavy duty wash applications.

Superior Car Wash Systems is sold
Superior Car Wash Systems, a carwash manufacturing company based in Phoenix and founded in 1971, has been purchased by Jim Graham and James Gillespie.

Archie Johnson, former president and sole shareholder, will remain with the company as the director of research and development. Gillespie will serve as president and Graham is acting as interim CEO.

The sale was completed March 24. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Graham owned and operated a carwash in North Phoenix from 1988 to 1998. Gillespie has been involved in many start-ups ranging from local phone companies to small manufacturing companies. Most recently he was president of Twisted Cactus Enterprises which acquired 12 Weiss Guys carwashes in December 2006, formerly operated by Mace Securities International.

Move to unionize carwash workers in CA
Union officials with two of the country’s largest organizations, AFL-CIO and the United Steelworkers, are planning to campaign to organize thousands of workers from Los Angeles carwashes.

The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and a coalition of community, religious, environmental and immigrant rights organizations also plan to release a report documenting allegations of violations of labor laws in the industry.

The coalition’s move follows an investigation by The Los Angeles Times of alleged abuses in the local carwash industry.

Carwash owners say unionization will only raise costs for operators and push up prices for consumers. It could lead to job losses as well, if the industry embraces mechanization.

Drought eases in NC and GA
Water restrictions in several North Carolina cities were being eased as rains soothed the drought situation in some areas.

In Goldsboro, NC, the city council reduced the level of the city’s mandatory conservation ordinance from Phase III to Phase I, but warned residents to continue conserving wherever possible.

Residents can wash their cars at home under Phase I, but they must use a pistol grip handle and it is only allowed on Saturdays and Sundays. Carwash fundraisers were also green lighted under Phase I ordinances.

In Gastonia, NC, the city eased restrictions slightly but maintained its Stage Three classification. Under the eased restrictions, residents can wash their cars at home with a hose that shuts off automatically. Commercial carwashes that recycle water may continue to operate with a 20 percent conservation goal.

In Raleigh, NC, the city moved from Stage 2 to Stage 1 restrictions which allow home carwashing on Saturdays and Sundays.

In Atlanta, GA, operators celebrated a victory after Georgia’s Coalition of Carwashes, a group formed under the umbrella of the Southeastern Car Wash Association, announced SB466, legislation removing carwashes from the list of outdoor water users, was passed.

The legislation, which passed in a landslide 161-2 vote, allows carwashes that use recycled water to remain operational during a drought.

The coalition said it would have more details regarding the recycled-water certification process soon.