Professional Carwashing & Detailing

News from the Industry

October 10, 2011

Autobell awards 131 employees with scholarships

Autobell Car Wash Inc., with headquarters in Charlotte, NC, recently handed out academic scholarships — totaling $91,500 — to 131 employees.

The Autobell Scholarship Program has now awarded over $407,000 to employees since its inception.

The annual program is designed to help graduating high school students who are attending a college or university. Students are asked to submit an essay that outlines their Autobell employment experience as an educational experience.

Danny's nears completion of Chapter 11 restructure

Danny's Family Companies of Scottsdale, AZ, is nearing the completion of a Chapter 11 restructuring of its carwash, gas station and c-store operations.

The Danny's Family Car Wash chain has been a family-owned business for 25 years, and it now has more than a dozen locations. Currently, the chain has over 1,000 employees.

Danny's filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in early 2010. Since then, the chain has sold or closed two underperforming locations, made significant changes in its operations and worked diligently with lenders, landlords and suppliers. The company has tried to develop an acceptable plan for reorganization toward the goal of protecting jobs and ensuring the long-term success of the company, its employees and its creditors.

Founder and CEO Danny Hendon also filed for personal Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Hendon said that his personal filing is necessary to protect the company from claims arising from unrelated real estate ventures.

First NASCAR carwash slated for Illinois

The nation's first NASCAR carwash could go up in Joliet, IL, by year's end.

The city council is reviewing plans for the carwash. At a city council meeting held in August no one protested the plans. If plans are fully approved, the carwash will be the first of its kind built from the ground up.

Local businessman Steve Timmer and NASCAR are also working to re-brand an existing carwash in Romeoville, IL, and it should be open for business in September.

Carwash employee thrown from spinning car

A carwash employee in Boynton Beach, FL, is recovering from injuries after being tossed from a customer's car. The accident occurred at the Main Street Car Wash. Lenom Berreth, 68, got into a Dodge Charger as it was exiting the carwash to drive it to the drying area.

When he pressed the gas, the car spun 360 degrees and went through the hedges onto East Boynton Beach Boulevard. Then, the vehicle spun another 360 degrees and threw Berreth from the car into the street.

The car kept spinning until a passing driver jumped into the driver's seat and hit the brakes.

Berreth was taken to the Delray Medical Center, and he is expected to survive.

SmartPhone app allows for carwash loyalty "stamps"

An application for SmartPhones called the "Stampt app" allows users to keep, maintain and have their loyalty cards stamped when visiting a carwash. Users have to find their "favorite business in the apps directory, scan the in-store QR code with the app after every purchase" and the digital loyalty card is then automatically updated.

The Stampt is free for businesses to use and is a free download found at the iTunes site. It is currently being used in San Francisco, Chicago, Cincinnati and New York.

Mister takes control of MO-based Auto Magics

Mister Car Wash, which is based in Tucson, AZ, now owns all of the Auto Magic and Jiffy Lube locations in Springfield, MO, and Hollister, MO. The three carwashes and the five Jiffy Lubes were previously owned by Orman LLC. CEO Steve Orman said in a press release, "After the seven very successful years we have had in Springfield this was a good opportunity for both Orman LLC and Mister Car Wash."

All of the 180-plus employees will be able to keep their jobs.

"It has been an honor to be part of Auto Magic and Jiffy Lube over the last several years and my family looks forward to continuing our work in the community," Orman added. "The experience to work with our employees and customers has been a privilege and I have taken pride in our customers stepping up to the challenge to support the community in whatever cause we were working with."

Fire blamed on overheated steam cleaner

An early-morning fire damaged the Zibart – Auto Detailing Shop in Shrewsbury, MA, and it looks like the fire started on the floor of the detailing bay. The fire occurred around 5:39 a.m. and when fire crews arrived they were met with heavy black smoke in the office area. As they made their way through, they found the fire in the garage bay and it was quickly extinguished.

The shop suffered damages as well as the cars in the bays. The total in damages is estimated at $50,000. An investigation showed that the fire was due to an overheated steam cleaning machine which ignited.