After a year away from the market, I’ve been happy to discover that the professional car care industry is still firing on all cylinders. The new editorial team has been working every day to get up to speed, and this includes the creation of our daily eNews and online exclusives for www.carwash.com as well as the monthly magazine. After two solid months of carwashing and detailing news stories, press releases and expert interviews, there are two prominent trends that have emerged:

  • Daily reports of new carwash construction.
  • New information on improving and evolving technology for carwashes.

First, the parade of new carwash and detail shop locations shows that current carwash owners feel now is the time for business expansion, and new investors are able to secure the financing to enter the car care market.

Next, the new technology information showcases how all carwash models can benefit — and are benefiting — from updated processes and equipment. One huge step for self-serve washes was the ability to accept credit card payment. Further, equipment updates for self-serve washes have added foam treatments as well as service options for wheels, tires, mats, etc. Today’s in-bay automatic systems now offer shorter wash times, improved results and the addition of friction wash options and dryers. Finally, tunnel washes can pack more services into the available space than ever before.

But new locations and technology are only part of the equation. Another potential boost for carwash businesses might be the next generation of drivers. Buying trends in other markets show the newest generation of drivers may be more likely to depend on professional carwashes to keep their vehicles clean. Overall spending habits seem to indicate a shift away from “do it yourself” and a proclivity to invest in professional services instead. Added influencers for this group would be increased environmental education that may include information on the dangers of driveway washing and further reportage on water shortages, pollution concerns and continued weather anomalies. Successful online marketing highlighting the convenience and environmental responsibility of using a carwash is poised to have a huge impact on the next generation of car care spending.

Each month, Professional Carwashing & Detailing readers have a front row seat to the changing market trends and technology that are driving this evolution and growth. In this month’s issue, we cover the themed carwashes of California (page 30), steps to develop brand loyalty (page 58) and the widespread adoption of water reclaim (page 38).

As always, please feel free to contact me with any feedback or questions.

Thank you for reading,