Detailing in Eastern Europe
The close proximity to the Western European countries and the many manufacturers of automatic carwash and detailing equipment, chemicals and supplies gives this area a big advantage over the U.S. manufacturers. That said, those U.S. manufacturers who are active, have a presence in the Eastern European countries. Having had limited experience in this area, the only countries whose involvement in the carwash/detail industry are Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Russia.
In addition to being a basketball power sending many players to the NBA including the world famous Arvydas Sabonis, this country also has a fast developing carwash and detailing industry. One company began their journey in the carwash business with self-service installations and today is developing multiple automatic carwash locations, some with auto detailing services. In the 90s there was a fledging detail business and the operators of such businesses were much like those in the U.S., independent entrepreneurs. Today business continues to grow, albeit, quite slowly.
This country has had an emerging automatic carwash industry and several U.S. manufacturers of detailing chemicals have a good presence in the country, too. There are numerous well-known Polish entrepreneurs who are making contact with U.S. suppliers for equipment, chemicals, supplies and distributorships for their products.
When I was in both the capital city of Bucharest and Timisora to the north I had occasion to visit many well organized hand washes, a few of whom offered detailing services. The detail industry in Romania is lead by a gentleman named Cristian Pop, owner of a company called Expert Detailing. At one time he owned at least four freestanding detail centres in Bucharest. He also offers training and education to aspiring detailers in Romania. Interestingly there are two very active detail chat forums emitting from Romania: www.detailing-club.ro and www.detailingforum.ro. You should click on these links and visit these forums you will see that detailers all over the world are basically the same.
Russia has fast become the emerging power in Europe in many ways. Unlike most of the Western European countries with large middle classes, Russia is like the countries of Latin America, with a rich “ruling” class and a very small middle class and a large poverty class. But it has a very active and growing automatic carwash industry with new locations being developed by both U.S. and European equipment manufacturers. All of the major U.S. detail chemical companies are represented in Russia and while I know of no detail center chains, there are a number of individuals in the detailing business. It is a country to watch in terms of the development of the auto detailing industry.