Auto Laundry News - February 2012

Industry Newsline

MOTIONS AND PROMOTIONS

The Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA) has announced the appointment of a new associate director to its board. Steve Hurt has stepped in to fill the vacancy following David Prange’s resignation. Hurt is no stranger to the organization, having been a founding member of the National Association of Independent Lubes (NAIL), an organization that eventually became AOCA. Hurt is also one of only a handful of lube industry veterans to be named a lifetime member of the association.

Pyramid Technologies Inc. (PTI), a Mesa, AZ-based manufacturer of bill acceptors and other vending industry products, has announced the appointment of Dairon Hawkins as a sales representative serving the country of Columbia. Hawkins has over two decades of technology sales and management experience, as well as local knowledge.

WASHWORLD ADDS PORTUGAL AND AFRICA

Washworld Inc. of De Pere, WI continues to expand its international distributor network with the addition of HVC S.A. located in Lisbon, Portugal. HVC will distribute Washworld products in Portugal as well as Angola, Mozambique, and Cape Verde.

A car wash owner itself, HVC has been a part of the industry since 1972 as a distributor for several European manufacturers of car wash equipment, water-treatment systems, and products for auto repair shops. HVC will also be representing CSI chemicals in the same distribution areas.

CAR WASH LENDING UPDATE

Coast Commercial Credit reports that, according to the Small Business Administration, a record sum of $19.6 billion in SBA 7(a)-backed loans was issued in the fiscal year ending September 2011. Car wash operators use SBA-backed loans to build new locations, buy existing facilities, acquire equipment, expand, and refinance debt.

A number of factors played a role in the increase in SBA lending. First, the SBA expanded the scope of the 7(a) loan program, which allowed a larger number of small businesses to be eligible. Second, the maximum loan amount increased from $2 million to $5 million. Finally, U.S. banks have become more conservative in writing conventional loans. Therefore, banks are moving towards the security of the government-backed SBA loan programs.

Car Wash Operators sometimes look outside of the car wash industry for indicators to plan for the future. One of the key indicators for business growth is machine-tool sales. Machine tools are used in the production of virtually every type of manufactured product on the market today, including car wash components. According to the American Machine Tool Distributors Association, machine tool orders were up 73.9 percent in 2011 compared with 2010.

During the most recent downturn in the economy, most equipment financing/leasing companies reduced or eliminated the “app-only” programs that were common in the car wash industry. We now see more app-only programs available to car wash operators. The new app-only programs are looking for established operators with good credit, good bank balances, and low revolving debt. Even those who don’t qualify for the app-only programs are finding the equipment finance options more attractive over what was available just a year ago.

UNITEC DESIGNATES CHARITY BENEFICIARY

Every year, the employees of Elkridge, MD-based Unitec Electronics designate a charitable organization to support with events and activities held throughout the calendar year to engage staff and raise funds. The company has announced that its charity of choice for 2012 is “Share Our Strength,” a not-for-profit organization that is leading the United States in the fight to end hunger for citizens coast to coast.

Unitec Electronics’ Charity Committee is in the process of planning events for employees to take part in, beginning with a Mardi Gras-themed luncheon celebration in February. Bake sales, luncheons, holiday-themed events, and raffles will continue throughout the year, with donations and dollars generated from each event contributing to Unitec’s total annual contribution, which will be presented to Share Our Strength in early 2013.

2012 marks Unitec’s sixth consecutive year of charitable giving, with previously supported organizations including Smile Train, St. Jude’s Hospital for Children and, most recently, the Fisher House Foundation, which received a donation of $1,017 as a result of Unitec’s fundraising efforts in 2011. Charities are selected each year based on a company-wide nomination and voting system.

PDQ DISTRIBUTOR IN TN

PDQ Manufacturing Inc. of De Pere, WI has announced the appointment of Advanced Car Wash Systems as a new distributor serving the Tennessee market. Advanced is expanding into the Tennessee market after more than 25 years of successfully providing car wash sales and service in the Georgia and Alabama markets. Headquartered in Marietta, GA, Advanced Car Wash Systems will distribute and service PDQ’s full line of systems and peripheral equipment throughout Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama.

Advanced Car Wash Systems is one of the largest providers to the car wash industry in the Southeast. For over 25 years they have been providing car wash equipment and services, including installation, business consulting, design and development, custom marketing programs, tailored chemical solutions, and a broad range of training programs. Advanced Car Wash Systems can be reached at (866) 403-9274 or by visiting www.theadvancedgroupinc.com.

WASH AWAY CYSTIC FIBROSIS

Wash Away CF is a cause-related program that offers the opportunity to promote your car wash business locally. Partnering with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation boosts your visibility in your community, increases traffic to your car wash, and generates excitement with your employees. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic, life-threatening disease that is currently without a cure.

The program allows the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to create awareness of the disease, creates the opportunity for customers to donate $1 with the CF wash and/or purchase the 65 Roses Car Fragrance, which benefits the CF Foundation. Car washes benefit by finding new customers through being promoted via the foundation’s database of local CF supporters, by being licensed to sell 65 Roses Air Freshener at a 40 percent markup, and through exposure in the media.

To become a Wash Away CF car wash, contact George Shinsky at (702) 518-2012, Fritz Seewald at (832) 661-9959, or visit www.washawaycf.com.

FREE INFO: OPTIMIZE SPRAY OPERATIONS

A new white paper series, published by Spraying Systems Co. of Wheaton, IL, focuses on ways to increase efficiency and quality while dramatically reducing costs in cooling, cleaning, coating, moisturizing, and other spray operations. The series details how to make changes that provide a fast return on investment. There are five white papers in the series:

  • Change the Way You Spray to Minimize Clogging.
  • How to Reduce Compressed Air Consumption in Drying and Blow-Off Applications.
  • How to Reduce Water Consumption in Cleaning, Cooling, and Moisturizing Operations.
  • How to Pre-Empt a Significant Profit Drain: Nozzle Wear.
  • Change the Way You Spray: Seven Changes You Can Make that Will Reduce Costs Immediately.

The free white paper series is avail-able for download at www.spray.com/whitepapers.

UPDATED INDUSTRY PUBLICATIONS

The Motorist Assurance Program (MAP) has redesigned and updated its popular line of consumer and industry publications and all are currently available on the MAP website at www.motorist.org.

The publications, formerly provided as three-fold brochures, have been redesigned into convenient one- or two-sided information sheets.

Each consumer publication provides information relating to common questions regarding the various systems of a vehicle, in addition to what information various dashboard communication sensors provide. There also are publications advising consumers on how to pick an auto repair shop and how to talk to a technician. Several of these publications are also available in Spanish.

OBITUARY: ROBERT SCHLEETER

Robert Schleeter, founder of Broadway Equipment Company and Auto Butler, died December 11, 2011 in Minneapolis, MN. He was 74.

Robert Schleeter bought his first retail car wash in 1962 and owned seven retail car wash sites over the next 50 years. In 1987 he founded Broadway Equipment Company, which grew to become the largest provider of car wash systems to car dealers nationwide. He also began a paint protection company called Auto Butler, which became his life’s passion until his death. He sold his companies to his sons in 2009.

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