Around the Industry - June 2015 - Professional Carwashing & Detailing
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Around the Industry – June 2015

News from around the car care industry.


Facing historic drought, California governor issues statewide water restrictions

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Jerry Brown has issued an executive order in response to record drought conditions across the state, according to a press release.

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The actions will increase enforcement of saving water, streamline the state’s drought response and make the state more drought-resilient by investing in new technologies.

“Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow. This historic drought demands unprecedented action,” said Brown. “Therefore, I’m issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reductions across our state. As Californians we must pull together and save water in every way possible.”

Under the order, the State Water Resources Control Board will impose mandatory water reductions on cities and towns to reduce water usage by 25 percent.


Local water agencies will adjust rate structures to discourage water waste. Standards for toilets, faucets and residential communities’ outdoor landscaping will also be updated and enforced.

The decision-making process regarding water infrastructure projects will also be streamlined under the order.


Wawa Day celebrates company's 51st anniversary

WAWA, Penn. — Wawa Inc. will commemorate 51 years in business with various celebrations and charitable donations on April 16, according to a press release.

As part of the celebration, customers received free cups of any size coffee. Photo montages highlighted the relationships between Wawa employees and customers.

“Wawa Day gives us an opportunity to thank and connect with our customers while celebrating the day that forever chartered our company’s course, while creating new traditions that will mark the next 50 years of our company’s history,” says Chris Gheysens, Wawa’s president and CEO.


Wawa began its retail business in 1964. It launched The Wawa Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, in 2014 to mark its 50th anniversary. The foundation aims to donate $50 million to health, hunger and everyday hero-related causes by 2018.

During the event Wawa announced more than $1 million in funding from grant distribution from the first quarter of 2015.

“The Wawa Foundation has become one of the most important vehicles to enable us to live our values and fulfill lives every day by building stronger communities, and we are excited to use the significance of our founding day to spotlight the work of the foundation, while thanking our customers and associates for the millions of moments that have made the Wawa experience so unique and special,” Gheysens adds.



C-store receives 100th LEED certification

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — The U.S. Green Building Council has given Kum & Go its 100th Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, according to


The LEED system “focuses on energy and water efficiency, sustainable site development, material selection and indoor environment quality.”

Possible rankings include silver, gold and platinum. The newest store to receive the recognition earned a silver certification.

“This is a big milestone for us,” says Kyle Krause, CEO of Kum & Go. “Not only being recognized for achieving LEED status for the 100th time, but knowing the hard work that goes into becoming LEED-certified is the right choice for our business and how we can best serve our communities while being good stewards of sustainability.”


Kum & Go was the first c-store in the state to receive LEED certification. Twelve of the company’s locations have gold-level certification, 57 have silver and 31 others have also been certified.

The company uses 20 percent less water and 30 percent less energy than similar-sized facilities.


Region cracks down on carwash fundraisers

SAINT ALBANS, W.V. — Due to state restrictions regarding stormwater, the city will soon ban community carwashes popular with local causes, according to

Norman Clerc, stormwater director in the town, says the carwash fundraisers are not allowed in some places in the state.

Since stormwater isn’t treated in the city, it flows directly into the river. The regulation is designed to keep as much pollution out of the drains as possible.


Clerc acknowledged the rule will be unpopular. He shares in the article he probably will not enforce it until next year.

To make it easier to adapt, Clerc plans to build an environmentally friendly carwash with city-provided water and environmentally friendly soap. Charities must obtain permits to use the area, and more facilities may be built if the site is popular with residents.

Residents must also wash cars on lawns or other unpaved surfaces.


App delivers digital coupons for c-stores

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — Convenience stores can deliver digital coupons to consumers through GasBuddy’s digital coupon platform, according to


GasBuddy is a low gas price mobile app. It has been downloaded 47 million times by users. So far, nine retailers and four consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies have signed on to participate.

“Given GasBuddy's huge user base and exceptional product, being part of the Coupon Portal was a no-brainer," says Derek Gaskins, chief customer officer for Rutter's Farm Stores. "Thousands of customers fill up at our stations every day. With GasBuddy's new offering, the number of these customers coming into our stores to make additional purchases will only increase, greatly improving our bottom line.”


C-stores utilizing the app include Corner Stores, Nice N Easy, Common Cents, Wallis Oil’s On the Run, Bellstores, Food Mart, Fast Stop Market and Rutter’s. CPGs include Quaker Oats, Prestige Brands, ConAgra Foods and Twang Partners.

GasBuddy’s new app allows companies to control what is discounted and available to customers. Companies can also view analytics for marketing and fraud-reduction purposes.


NHTSA blames road treatments for corroded GM brake lines

WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports General Motors Co. (GM) is not to blame for possible corroded brake lines, according to


NHTSA investigated the issue for four years before clearing GM of recalling about two million sport utility vehicles (SUVs). The agency issued advisories about the issue for 1999-2003 truck models.

After the probe NHTSA declared these vehicles’ owners should prevent the corrosion of brake lines by washing their cars with undercarriage rinses. Vehicles investigated included Cadillac, GMC and Chevrolet models.

"GM has proactively suggested to consumers that they perform regular undercarriage cleaning and post-winter brake line inspections to check for wear," says Alan Adler, a General Motors spokesman, in an official email.

The brake line issue sparked 3,049 complaints. Those from cold-weather states numbered 2,702.

GM faced lawsuits, a criminal investigation and congressional hearings after faulty ignition switches were found in 2.59 million vehicles.


Owner claims credit card breach fixed

ROTTERDAM, N.Y. — The owner of Colonial Car Wash says the credit card breach that affected his business in March has been resolved, according to The breach affected the Rotterdam location only.


Owner Dave Fusco has updated his equipment and passwords, and he wants customers to know.

“People are not trusting us right now,” adds Fusco. “We had over 200 cancellations just in this one location.”

Rotterdam Police and the Secret Service investigated the incident. They say fake cards were made and used throughout the U.S. and Canada from information stolen from the wash when the routing system was hacked.

Fusco encourages other business owners to keep their virus and malware protection up to date. “A lot of it alluded to a lack of keeping up with our licensing with our actual router. Not our computer equipment but our actual router and network and bad passwords,” he explains.


“You really need a good IT company,” Fusco continues. “Especially if you’re handling credit cards as we do. We do thousands of credit card transactions here in a weekend.”


Workers on strike to get pay raise

NEW YORK — Vegas Auto Spa employees will sign a contract giving them a pay increase and other protections as well as a $1,500 bonus per person, according to the New York Daily News.

The immigrant “carwasheros” joined the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union in January. The contract was agreed upon by the wash’s owner, workers and union officials.


Under the agreement the employees will earn $9 an hour. The group was on strike for four months before returning to work.

“We are going to have vacations and bonuses on Christmas and New Year’s,” says employee Angel Rebolledo.

The workers brought a lawsuit against owner Marat Leshehinsky for alleged overtime and wage violations in October 2014.


Speedway to install third CNG location

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Speedway LLC is preparing to install compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling at one of its area locations, according to


The company will partner with IGS CNG Services to create its third CNG location overall and its first in Indiana.

The location will feature two lanes with CNG. IGS has six other locations in Ohio and three in West Virginia.

“We’re pleased to offer a cost-effective and domestic fueling option to fleets traveling the I-80/90 corridor,” says Mike Gatt, vice president of IGS.

Speedway’s other CNG fueling stations are located in Findlay, Ohio, and Monona, Wisconsin.

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