News from the Industry
Autobell chain adds another wash
Anew Mooresville, NC, Autobell location features an Aqua Bio 100 percent reclaim water treatment system, designed to reduce water consumption and minimize the impact on the environment.
The opening marks the family-owned and operated chain’s second location in Mooresville, and the company now has 62 carwashes in four states, according to a press release.
The carwash is located in the Morrison Plantation development and Devin Hepburn will serve as store manager.
Young detailer named Entrepreneur of the Year
Detailer Ross Timyan, 22, was awarded the 2011 Young Entrepreneur of the Year award by the Grand Rapids, MI, Chamber of Commerce.
Timyan, owner of Crystal Clean Auto Detailing, was given the award on May 18 as part of the EPIC Awards. These awards recognize businesses and individuals that support the community, demonstrate growth, are innovative, and have worked with others as mentors and collaborators.
Last year, Timyan was selected by the Grand Rapids Business Journal as the youngest member of its 40 Under 40 Business Leaders group, and Crystal Clean was named a winner of the Innovation Michigan Award for its unique vehicle photography studio and its airport valet service.
Crystal Clean currently employs 40 people and had revenue of over $900,000 in 2010.
Woman caught filing false carwash claim
A woman in New Holland, PA, was caught lying about damage that was done to her car by a carwash machine at Yoder’s Fuel Island. Lisa Benner claimed on April 24 that her 2003 Ford Windstar was damaged and called the police and filed a police report. In the report, Benner also claimed that the carwash acknowledged that it was responsible for the damage.
However, video surveillance showed otherwise. Footage shows Benner hitting a payment box prior to entering the carwash bay. Now, charges of False Reports to Law Enforcement Authorities have been filed against Benner.
Group kicks off carwash water campaign
Carwash owners learned about the new Wash Away Thirst campaign in two informational sessions, Gary Dennis, president of the Georgia Car Wash Association, told PC&D. The Wash Away Thirst campaign, which will run from June 1 to Dec. 31, seeks to bring carwash owners in the Atlanta area together to send a positive message to customers about the ways carwashes are environmentally responsible.
“As an industry, we are very focused on water related issues and are on the forefront of water conservation practices such as recycling,” Dennis said. “This is an opportunity for independent carwash operators to educate our customers of this critical issue and join together to bring clean drinking water to developing countries.”
Clean drinking water can be provided to someone in need for as little as 1 cent per day. Thus, the Wash Away Thirst campaign has a message of “1-for-1-for-1” — One Wash, One Day of Water, One Person. Each carwash that joins will make a commitment to give at least one penny for every car washed during the campaign. Participating carwashes must also meet the conservation requirements of the Water Savers program administered by the International Carwash Association.
Court convicts detailer of health insurance fraud
Detail shop owner Grant Adam Lemeur, 32, of Sacramento, CA, pleaded no contest to three misdemeanor charges for health insurance fraud, failure to have workers’ compensation insurance and failure to properly account for payroll taxes.
Lemeur was ordered to pay a $10,808 fine, to reimburse the employee’s health plan for medical care and to reimburse the Employment Development Department for back taxes.
When an employee broke a thumb at work in April of 2010, Lemeur pressured him to use his medical insurance and not file for workers’ compensation. The Yolo County District Attorney’s office said it’s not uncommon for employers trying to avoid paying an increase in insurance premiums.
Carwash/quick lube chain reaches major milestones
Kerner’s Car Wash and Quick Lube Centers, which has four locations in the Manchester, NH, area, has announced two major milestones. It recently celebrated after washing its 2-millionth car and after changing 1 million quarts of motor oil.
Owners Dave and Lorraine Koerner said hitting the 2-millionth mark took 38 years, and, “more 60 and 70 hour work weeks than we sometimes want to remember,” according to Dave. The family-owned business includes three quick lube centers, 16 self-serve bays, four touch-free in-bay automatics and an exterior tunnel carwash.
Dave, who started in the business as a part-time attendant at a tunnel carwash and gas station, said, “I always loved cars and trucks, so working at a carwash appealed to me in a lot of ways. It gave me a chance to work around and see some fascinating vehicles. Also, because of the mechanics of operating a self-serve carwash, I learned electrical, plumbing and welding which I have always enjoyed, even to this day.”
The Koerner’s son Shawn is also a part of the business. “Lorraine and I both knew Shawn would be in the business someday,” Dave said. “Since he was a toddler he has been around it, working part-time at the carwash and quick lubes all during school.” Dave credits his business’ success with good customer service and good staffing. Our customers are not just numbers, he said, “we consider and treat them as the heart of the business, because they are.”