News from the Industry
Commercial for waterless product slams carwashes
Only two months after Mothers Polish implied that automatic carwashes would damage vehicles in a print advertisement, Rejuvenate Auto has taken up a similar slam campaign in a TV commercial.
Spokesperson and former NASCAR driver Darrel Waltrip claims Rejuvenate, a waterless carwash and polish product, uses space-age technology to clean vehicles in 15 minutes and is the only product he trusts. “It’s why it’s got my picture on it,” he says in the two-minute commercial.
A voiceover on the commercial claims carwashes use “dirty water that blasts away the finish” of a vehicle. The Miramar, FL-based manufacturer does not cite research for its findings or offer an explanation for its attack.
Car Care World Expo date moved up by one day
The ICA has moved the date of Car Care World Expo™ 2010 up by one day after reviewing feedback from the 2009 Expo. The world’s largest convention and trade show for carwash professionals will now take place Tuesday, May 11 through Friday, May 14, 2010.
“Moving the Car Care World Expo 2010 schedule up by one day is a win-win situation everyone,” said Executive Director & CEO of the ICA, Eric Wulf.
“Attendees can attend the entire Expo while having time to return to their carwash operations during a busy spring weekend, and exhibitors can pack up their equipment and dismiss their booth personnel prior to the weekend resulting in significant travel and staffing cost savings.
CCWE 2010 is being held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. A full schedule of events will be released in the fall of 2009.
Autobell opens its 56th location
Autobell Car Wash Inc. has opened its 56th location in Acworth, GA. It is the company’s third location in Atlanta’s metro area.
Autobell President and CEO Chuck Howard said the newest installation in the Autobell chain includes the company’s fourth Aqua Bio 100 percent reclaim water treatment system.
"With this system, enzymes actually digest and recycle the waste water,” Howard explained. “We are exploring and expanding our use of this cutting-edge carwash technology, as it facilitates our progressive stance on conserving and protecting water resources."
Autobell now has 56 locations in 26 North Carolina, one South Carolina, three Georgia, and four Virginia cities and towns.
PC&D is now on Twitter
Along with a gaggle of celebrities, politicians and companies, Professional Carwashing & Detailing is now on Twitter, a service that allows messages to be sent across the globe over your computer, and phone.
According to Editor Kate Carr, the new Internet service will further enhance readers’ online experience of PC&D. “We will be posting links to our top news stories; providing updates to late-breaking news; posting TwitPic photos and blog about our travels to conventions and carwashes across the globe; and we will relay news from carwash conventions or showroom floors.”
The Twitter address is http://twitter.com/CarwashMagazine and you do not have to have a Twitter account in order to follow updates.
The new networking service will also serve as a way to keep in touch with other carwash and detail shop owner and operators, and to tweet about challenges in the marketplace and discuss best practices.
States take action on at-home, charity carwashing
State officials in Washington and Nebraska want residents to either take their cars to commercial carwashes or wash their cars over gravel or grass, and they are prepared to take action now that the state has adopted new storm drain ordinances.
Officials are trying to keep soapy runoff from entering the rivers and streams and will ask cities to make sure only clean stormwater runoff goes down the storm drains.
Doug Navetski, with the water quality division of King County, WA, said officials will use public education to try and make people aware of the effects of pollutants and at-home washing.
Bruce Beauchene, a utility services director in Kennewick, WA, said the biggest concern for his division will be with the charity carwashes. He said the new restrictions may force a business to no longer allow charities to use their driveways.
Compuwash is renamed
Compuwash, a manufacturer of tunnel control and point-of-sale technologies whose stock was recently purchased by SONNY’S, is now known as Auto Pilot Carwash Control Systems.
The NY-based Compuwash personnel were relocated to SONNY’S headquarters in Florida during the first quarter of 2009. Professional Carwashing & Detailing previously reported that Compuwash and SONNY’S had formed a partnership in early 2008.
The company’s new name reflects their selling of Pilot-brand products which include the Wash Pilot Carwash Controller and the Profit Pilot point-of-sale system.
Top 50 carwash to pay $3.4M in back wages
Lage Management Corporation, which is among the 50 largest conveyor carwash chains in the nation, will pay $3.4 million in back wages and liquidated damages to former employees in order to resolve part of a lawsuit brought by the United States Department of Labor in August 2005.
The corporation operates under several names, including Atlantic Auto Care Center of Brooklyn; the 109th and First Avenue Corporation of Manhattan; 3808 Boston Road Car Wash, the 2434 CW Corporation, and Boulevard Car Wash of N.Y., all of the Bronx; Michael’s Car Wash and the Howard Beach Car Wash Corporation, both of Queens; and the 613 Car Wash Corporation of New Rochelle.
An earlier investigation found the chain was not paying employees minimum wage or overtime and not keeping adequate employment records. Three previous settlements in the case have already awarded more than $1.3 million in back wages and damages to more than 200 employees.