Industry Watch - March 2013
- The NFA Group in Shanghai, China, signed on to manufacture a number of MICHELIN products and accessories.
NFA’s New Focus Lighting and Power Technology Co. will create a series of auto-related consumer products including work lights, cables and car beautification kits. NFA will be responsible for product development, promotion, sales and distribution, and will distribute the products through its 100-plus direct-owned service retail chain and wholesale channels. NFA operates New Focus Auto, the leading automobile after-sales service provider in China, a press release noted.
New Focus Auto provides automobile maintenance, professional detailing, carwashing, body repairs and product sales. The NFA Group de-emphasized its manufacturing wing in recent years and transformed into one of the largest after-sales and service retail chains in China.
“Adding NFA's extensive service retail chains to our capabilities makes good sense and we believe that the two companies complement each other's strengths,” Olive Han, regional manager of Michelin Lifestyle, said in the press release. “We are excited to leverage on NFA's strength in both manufacturing and retail to roll out MICHELIN products to more consumers."
- A newly formed company in Tacoma, WA, will combine product distribution with a vehicle cleaning service, according to a press release.
The Jan. 16 release stated that the new company, Eco Green Auto Clean Freedom, looks to service customers and hopefully expand its business model across the U.S. The company combines Eco Green Auto Clean and Freedom Waterless Car Wash.
Freedom International, LLC was a full-time business formed in Tacoma, WA, that sold products in over 100 countries. The company offered an alternative to cleaning with soap and water, and it is one of the leaders in the global eco car care industry with an estimated 10,000 cars cleaned daily with its products, the release noted.
Eco Green Auto Clean was founded in 2010 to develop next-generation cleaning products and solutions that were nature friendly. Products were sold directly to consumers, and the first Eco Green Auto Clean Car Wash was founded in the San Francisco area. A mobile operation was also created.
Eco Green Auto Clean plans to replicate their operations across California, the U.S. and the rest of the world, the release stated.
- The Grimes, IA-based Ryko Solutions Inc., a provider of carwash equipment, national technical services, cleaning products and marketing programs, recently achieved one of its best annual performances in 40 years of business, according to a press release.
The Jan. 17 release stated that, in 2012, the business’ total corporate revenue approached $90 million with a 22 percent year-over-year increase.
The end-of-year results showed a 38 percent increase in equipment sales and an EBITDA increase of 53 percent. Ryko experienced double-digit growth in all three segments of its business.
Ryko’s primary focus is creating profitability in carwash operations for c-stores, private investors, land developers and auto dealers.
- MacNeil Wash Systems of Barrie, Ontario, Canada, announced in a press release that Portwest Wash Systems will serve as its distributor for the province of British Columbia, Canada.
The Jan. 23 press release stated that Portwest has been in the industry since 1994 and currently service over 100 washes.
"We are very excited with the opportunity to be a part of the MacNeil Wash System’s family,” George Porter, president of Portwest, stated in the press release, “and we’re looking forward to significantly growing both the in-bay express and full-tunnel express markets here on the west coast.”
- The Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA) has named Meredith Young as its new executive director, according to a press release.
The Jan. 23 press release said that since 2006, Young has been employed by SmithBucklin, the firm the AOCA retained last October to manage the Association's daily operations.
"Young’s strong leadership skills and financial expertise have resulted in growth and prosperity for other SmithBucklin clients including the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD), Healthcare Industry Supply Chain Institute (HISCI), and Association of Meeting Professionals (AMPs). In her role as executive director, Young is responsible for complete oversight of all programs including membership, finance, marketing and public relations," the press release stated.
Young previously served as the manager of operations for City Gate, Inc., which provides afterschool activities for underserved youth in Washington, D.C.
AOCA President Pat Wirth stated in the press release, “We’re thrilled to have a professional of Meredith’s caliber lead the staff team and help our board of directors focus on our 2013 strategic goals. One of Meredith’s first priorities, together with her AOCA staff team, will be to work closely with the board of directors and convention committee to plan a successful 2013 convention and International Fast Lube Expo (iFLEX).”
- Goff’s Enterprises Inc. of Pewaukee, WI, announced the addition of Michael Wells as dealer development manager, according to a press release.
The Jan. 17 release stated that Wells will join two other dealer development managers at Goff’s, and he will cover the East Coast and Midwest. He will focus on improving dealer performance through training and targeted sales efforts.
“Michael will play a key role in our continued efforts to grow and strengthen our distributor network” Marcus Mohwinkel, vice president of sales & marketing at Goff’s Enterprises, said in the release. “His skill set and experience in the industry will be an asset to our company. We are thrilled to have him join our team.”
Wells has more than 17 years experience between the material handling and high-speed door industry. He is based with his family in Olean, NY.
Goff’s Enterprises has been manufacturing a variety of flexible industrial space partitioning products for over 25 years.
- Stellar Automotive Group of Seville, OH, announced the promotion of Nora Howsare to vice president, according to a press release.
The Jan. 11 release stated that the Howsare will oversee all of the Stellar Automotive Group companies including International Lubricants Inc. acquired in 2012.
“Nora has tremendous experience and a keen understanding of both internal and external operations, having previously managed multiple functions within the company. Her in-depth understanding of our customers' needs will ensure the continued success of our expansion goals,” Justin Archer, president and CEO of Stellar Automotive Group, said in the release.
Howsare has been with the company since 1998, and she has worked in international sales, accounting, customer service and human resources.