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News from the industry

October 11, 2010
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Mister Car Wash reaches 42
With the acquisition of Waterworks carwash chain in Rochester, MN, Mister Car Wash, the third largest conveyor carwash chain in America, inches toward the number two spot held by Autobell Car Wash with 47 locations.

The Waterworks acquisition includes two carwashes, three lube shops and one detail center, and brings Mister Car Wash’s total holdings to 42 carwashes, 14 lube shops and three convenience stores.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In early 2007, the Mister Car Wash chain was acquired by ONCAP, a private equity firm based in Canada. The company plans to aggressively expand its carwash chain in the coming years.

P&G opens second carwash
Proctor & Gamble Co. has opened its second Mr. Clean Performance Car Wash here to test the carwash industry for earnings potential.

Professional Carwashing & Detailing staff attended a grand opening for the Evendale store on Oct. 27-28. The opening festivities included giveaways and a visit by Mr. Clean.

Similar to the company’s first full-serve conveyor location, the new carwash has a café with Wi-Fi, flat-panel TV and remote soap sprayers for kids.

The first Mr. Clean carwash opened this summer in nearby Deerfield Township, OH.

Mega truck/carwash breaks records
InterClean Equipment, an MI-based specialty vehicle wash equipment manufacturer, has recently started construction of the first of its new “mega size” vehicle wash facilities.

The new facility — Trans Canada Truck Wash — features both a conveyerized carwash and drive-through truck wash systems side-by-side.

Both the carwash and the truck wash systems are breaking several records in their designed features. Combined total high pressure flow between the two systems is nearly 10,000 GPM of recycled water and the conveyer carwash has high pressure of approximately 2,000 GPM, which makes it likely the biggest recycled water flow ever in any single retail carwash system.

The facility will be totally automated and will have no manual detailing option available. The estimated capacity is 60 pick-up trucks and 20 large oil field trucks per hour.

The facility is expected to have a grand opening in early 2008. InterClean is already planning several other mega size harsh environment wash facilities for Western Canada.

Drought seizes the Southeast
From Georgia to Alabama to North Carolina and even Virginia, drought was the topic of the season in the southeast. Carwashes that did not recycle water were shut down in metro-Atlanta and several counties surrounding the city, as well as in some areas of Virginia and North Carolina.

Carwash operators and vendors in Georgia held a meeting with former International Carwash Association president Bill Sartor to discuss his experiences with drought in San Antonio. Some of those present at the meeting grouped together to form a state carwash association, imbedded under the Southeast Carwash Association, to pool together resources to fight the drought. That association now operates a website,, with media resources and information for Georgia carwash operators.

In North Carolina, while several carwash businesses reported an increase in volume, many were concerned they would be shut down if the state moved to stage 2 water restrictions. Under stage 2 restrictions, carwashes that cannot recycle at least 50 percent of their water will be shut down.

CarWash College offers more courses in 2008
CarWash College™ is offering an expanded course schedule, adding additional Preventive Maintenance courses for 2008.

In addition to the new classes added to the 2008 class schedule, the college has announced it will be increasing its tuition fee for all of its 5-day certification programs by $100, or $1,095 per course, effective Dec. 14.

Registrants wishing to “price lock” tuition through March of next year can reserve now and save on any tuition increases.

CarWash College, sponsored by Sonny’s Enterprises, Inc., was launched in early 2006 as a way to provide information, education and training to the carwash industry.

MI carwashers rejoice: No carwash tax
Donn Eurich, executive director of the Midwest Carwash Association (MCA), said Michigan members will not be affected by the state’s new tax on services, originally planned to include carwashes.

In March of this year, similar legislation threatened carwashes in Maryland. Officers of the Mid-Atlantic Carwash Association voiced their concerns at a state meeting, telling state legislators that carwashes could not raise their prices to cover the increase in taxes because 2006 had been a poor year.

And this isn’t the first time carwashes in Michigan have been threatened with a service tax, either. In 2005, operators fought off a similar tax on services.

The Midwest Carwash Association said hard work by association staff, members and MCA lobbyist Vanessa Crocetta ensured carwashes wouldn’t be taxed in 2007, although Eurich urged operators to continue to write and call their state legislators to be proactive in the fight against future taxation.

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