News from the industry
Auto Wax sold to international manufacturer
On September 30, 2005, Illinois Tool Works Inc. purchased the stock of Auto Wax Company, Inc., a manufacturer of professional automotive reconditioning and refinishing products, for an undisclosed amount.
Auto Wax Company is the maker of Auto Magic®, Clay Magic® and Body Magic® brands. Illinois Tool Works Inc., based in Glenview, IL, designs and produces an array of fasteners and components, equipment, and specialty products.
David Miller, former president of Auto Wax Company, sold 100 percent of his stockholdings to Illinois Tool Works and is no longer affiliated with Auto Wax.
A representative with Illinois Tool Works said the company will continue to defend Auto Wax Company's patents, which have been a source of controversy in the industry in the past, spurring lawsuits regarding their clay products.
D&S head earns winning bid for charity bike
John Tlapek, a private equity investor from St. Louis who is behind carwash supplier D&S Carwash Equipment, has earned the winning bid for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle featured on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”
Tlapek was handed the keys to the bike during a recent taping of the show after he paid $505,100, all of which is being donated to the Katrina Relief Fund, through an eBay online auction.
Signatures on the show’s Harley-Davidson tour motorcycle include such stars as Billy Crystal, Adam Sandler, Cameron Diaz and Mel Gibson, to name a few.
Heroic detailer nabs California bank robber
Professional detailer Robert DiMassa was able to help police catch a suspected bank robber after a brief chase in Venice, CA.
On Sept. 28, DiMassa was outside of the Pacific Western Bank during the time of a robbery attempt, when a bank employee who was chasing the robbery suspect informed DiMassa of the situation.
DiMassa chased the man in his truck for about two blocks, and eventually got out of his truck to continue the chase on foot.
While DiMassa has no law enforcement experience and was initially unsure of whether the suspect was armed, DiMassa said he continued to chase the man and later noticed that the shirtless suspect was in fact unarmed.
But when officers arrived and had the suspect virtually cornered, he turned his back toward DiMassa, who then used a “grappling” technique to take the suspect to the ground and held him until officers handcuffed the man.
DiMassa is a 16-year resident of Venice who owns Superior Car Care, an auto detail and auto body business with five local locations.
Report: Carwash business highly fragmented
European industrial research firm Research and Markets has released a report pointing to the overall makeup of North American carwashing.
The firm's carwash industry profile serves as an overview for investors highlighting the current state of carwashing from a business perspective.
According to the report, the industry is highly fragmented because the 50 largest chains hold just 15 percent of the market, and the chains are only local or regional.
The firm's profile focuses on today's carwashing business by saying:
- The profitability of individual firms depends on favorable location and efficient operations;
- Chains have advantages in advertising and customer recognition;
- Small firms can compete successfully with a good location; and
- The industry is still highly labor-intensive.
$10 bill to get facelift
Carwash owners and workers can expect to find a new look on $10 bills that change hands during business.
The newly redesigned $10 bill incorporates red, yellow and orange around the portrait of Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of the Treasury.
Some 800 million of the new sawbuck will be put into circulation starting early next year in the government's latest effort to stay ahead of tech-savvy counterfeiters.