Last month, Magic Wand, manufacturer of self-serve, in-bay and now tunnel carwash equipment, announced it had been acquired by Key Bridge Partners, LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based private investment firm. This month, Professional Carwashing & Detailing® got in touch with Bill Daugherty, president of Magic Wand, to discuss the 46-year-old company’s recent acquisition and also its plans for 2008.
Professional Carwashing & Detailing: How did the acquisition come about?
BD: I have been with Magic Wand since the 1970s and wanted to be sure that the company had a secure future, with a committed, long-term owner. Key Bridge Partners provides exactly that. Plus, Key Bridge is made up of operating executives who are available to assist us in a variety of business areas — making Magic Wand a stronger company.
PC&D: How will this acquisition affect customers of Magic Wand?
BD: The primary focus on the company right now is ensuring that we have the best distributors in every part of every state. Dedicated, proactive distributors are one of the keys to Magic Wand’s 46 years of success.
The acquisition has also prompted us to evaluate our distributor support — and we are busy developing new and unique sales tools and programs, which will fuel the success of our distributors.
PC&D: How will the acquisition affect future plans of Magic Wand?
BD: The only difference to our future plans is speed. Key Bridge Partners and Magic Wand together are interested in growing and ensuring sustainable success — as quickly as possible. So don’t be surprised when you start seeing a lot of very innovative products and programs coming out very soon.
PC&D: Will Magic Wand staff be affected by the acquisition?
BD: Magic Wand’s management team and operations are all very strong. In addition to a skilled and dedicated workforce, we’re very fortunate to have a team led by Jessie Honeycutt, vice president, and Mike Stinnett, fabrication manager. These guys are true carwash equipment experts, not only in terms of design and fabrication, but also in terms of customer satisfaction. The acquisition will mean continued stability and advancement opportunities for everyone.
PC&D: What are Magic Wand’s plans for 2008?
BD: We have a significant number of new product introductions planned...ranging from a new rollover unit, to a touchless automatic for trucks and RVs. Plus, we just introduced an express tunnel during 2007, which has received a tremendously positive response. So we are busy!
PC&D: How does Magic Wand see the carwash industry adapting, changing, and growing in 2008?
BD: First, the increasing costs to run a carwash are driving the need for efficiency in every aspect — minimizing the use of electricity, water, soap and time. Second, the high cost of oil is causing carwashes to compete with gasoline for the car owner’s dollars. The combination of these two factors means that the most cost-effective, most reliable equipment is a pure necessity…and only the best will survive. PC&D