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It was damp in New York, but dry in Oregon when Professional Carwashing & Detailing® got the owner of Kaady Car Wash, Chuck Kaady, on the phone.
PC&D® asked the operator of the 14-site conveyorized carwashing chain and chemical line about rainy days, rising gas prices and the company’s plans for the coming years.
PC&D: What sort of growth is Kaady Car Wash expecting in the coming years?
Chuck Kaady: We’re working on a couple of new sites right now. We don’t have security yet, but we’re in the expansion mode.
PC&D: Are there plans to go national?
CK: I think we’re just trying to build regionally. We operate in Washington, Oregon and California and we’re looking to expand in all of those markets.
PC&D: Tell me more about your plans for the Kaady Chemical line?
CK: Our plan is to continue coming up with new products and continue to improve the performance of all our product line. That’s a major effort and focus for us — to improve our product line.
PC&D: Operating carwashes can be tricky when you’re holding an umbrella most of the time. How does Kaady Car Wash work to combat all of those rainy days on the West Coast?
CK: I can give you a quick statistic: if you go back to October 1st of 2005 through April of 2006, 73 percent of the days were rain.
The way we try to combat that — and you don’t have a lot of control over it other than keeping a good value exchange — we try not to be priced too low or too high, but a good value for the customer.
So when we get some drying periods during the day, we get active. You know, we stay open in case we get active. We don’t close if it’s raining. And that’s the way we try to combat that. And to make sure that we’re processing as fast as possible all the time.
PC&D: What about fluctuating gas prices, have those been influencing operations?
CK: That’s pretty early to tell right now. It’s hard to say whether it’s the weather or the fuel prices. I don’t think that right now the fuel prices will affect us. I think maybe if there’s a shortage that will affect us.
PC&D: Chuck, tell me more about the direct mail ad campaign that Kaady Car Wash rolled out a few years ago.
CK: We broke the pie up into a few pieces, one is the environment, and one is safety. Then there are two other smaller pieces: taking care of your car — which kind of ties into the safety, but at the same time you have to assure them that the process is approved, that it works well and that it’s not just safe but that it will enhance the finish. And then the other part was making sure we attract the female audience because they’re more sensitive to all of those issues, I think. You know, we want them to be comfortable.
And so we just continue in those fronts on an active basis. Different times of year we send out a different message.
PC&D: What’s the response from the public been like?
CK: Oh, it’s very strong, very strong. Our car counts are up this year over last year even though we’ve had more rain.