Auto Laundry News - May 2011

Indusrty Newsline


Steven A. L’Heureux has been appointed chief executive officer of Ryko Manufacturing Company ( of Grimes, IA, a manufacturer and servicer of automated car wash systems. He succeeds Tom Carleton who will remain with the company during the transition period.

L’Heureux joins Ryko from Noritsu America Corporation where he was chief operating officer, leading the company through a transition from a hardware-centric manufacturer to a customer-centric, services-oriented organization. Prior to Noritsu, L’Heureux had been involved for more than 15 years in the executive leadership of several manufacturing and service companies.


De Pere, WI-based Washworld ( has announced Enrico Mariotto as its distributor in Italy. The company, located in Torino, is well known in the car wash industry and owns several wash sites throughout the country operated under the Starwash brand.

Originally a distributor of self-serve equipment, owner Mariotto became involved specifically with touch-free in-bay automatic systems in 2003 and played an instrumental role in developing the European market for high-pressure equipment. His company now operates one of the largest multilane wash sites in Italy.
The first of the Washworld systems is being installed in
Sardinia with a second to follow in Bologna.


MacNeil Wash Systems ( of Barrie, Ontario has announced the expansion of its highly successful “Colors that Clean” program to include its full line of equipment. MacNeil’s “Pro-Coat Finish” is now available in a variety of colors, allowing operators more choice when designing and re-imaging their tunnels. Pro-Coat is a 3M process of powder coating that is durable, attractive, and easy to clean and maintain.

The Colors That Clean program was launched in mid 2010 to give operators a wider choice of foam colors. Combined with the newly available Pro-Coat finish, the program creates the ultimate car wash experience. Colors That Clean will be available for viewing in the MacNeil booth (#1425) at Car Care World Expo in Las Vegas, May 2-4.


Coin Acceptors Inc. (Coinco) has acquired a controlling interest in Baltimore, MD-based InOne Technology. InOne brings to Coinco a range of products including traditional DEX and audit capabilities, retrofit controllers, credit card payment options, and the best telemetry in the industry.

“Our mission has always been to be the leading global provider of payment solutions in automated point-of-sales industries. The acquisition of InOne is a natural fit that allows Coinco customers the unique opportunity to fulfill all of their coin, bill, credit card, and telemetry requirements from a single company,” said Parker Condie Jr., Coinco president.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued final approval for a new refrigerant for use in motor vehicle air conditioning systems that does not deplete the ozone layer, which helps protect the environment and people’s health.

The new chemical, HFO-1234yf, may now be used in air conditioning for new cars and light trucks. When used appropriately, this chemical can reduce the environmental impact of motor vehicle air conditioners and has a global warming potential that is 99.7 percent less than the current chemical (HFC-134a) used in most car air conditioners.

Prior to HFC-134a, car air conditioners generally used CFC-12, a potent greenhouse gas and ozone-depleting substance. Depleting the stratospheric ozone layer leads to higher levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation reaching the Earth’s surface. UV radiation has several harmful effects, including skin cancer, cataracts, immune system suppression, and premature aging and wrinkling of the skin. For more information, visit


When Bill Lawrence first came to Houston, he spotted an opportunity. He relocated from New York to open his first Bubbles Hand Car Wash in 1991, near the Galleria. Twenty years later, Bubbles is going strong and preparing to wash its 4 millionth car.

The introduction of a luxury, full-service car wash in the Houston market was the result of both a personal desire and a perceived need. “We introduced complete restoration detailing to the masses,” Lawrence explains. The first Bubbles Hand Car Wash, which is still in operation at 5735 Westheimer, was an immediate success, and Lawrence began scouting Houston for homes for additional locations. Today, Lawrence and his partners, Clayton Clark and Bill DeArman, operate a total of five Bubbles Hand Car Washes and seven Bubbles Express Washes throughout the Houston area.

For more information, visit or


Grace For Vets Founder, Mike Mountz of Cloister Car Wash in Ephrata, PA, was the featured speaker at The Car Wash Operators of New Jersey’s (CWONJ) February 8 membership meeting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Clark, NJ. Mountz, a veteran and industry icon, shared his car wash philosophy and love and respect for those who have served their country.

The Grace For Vets program honors Veterans with a free wash on Veterans Day. The 2010 event saw participation by 1,253 locations and a total of 101,537 free washes. In addition to Mountz’ presentation, attendees also heard from association lobbyist Patrick Stewart of Public Strategies Impact in Trenton. Stewart serves as the association’s eyes and ears at the state capitol.

Also presenting that evening was Larry Katz of Energy Management Advisors (EMA). Katz rolled out an energy savings program where members can receive discounted gas/electric service through Katz’ purchasing power. The EMA program has been tested by some board members and is proving to save a significant amount of money for participants. For more information about the program, please contact the association at (800) 287-6604.


Experience SCWA, the 2011 Southwest Car Wash Association Convention & Expo, took place at the Arlington Convention Center in Arlington, TX March 6-8. It’s the first big car wash show of the year.

The convention started with the much-anticipated CEO Forum. Gary Patterson, TCU head football coach, led with a motivational talk on how to be consistent and successful. Bill Martin of Metro Express Car Wash followed, highlighting his perspective on challenges and opportunities car wash owners may expect in the coming year. Congressman Joe Barton (R, TX) provided the keynote address. Shane Weiss, owner of Astromatic Car Wash in Alice, TX was installed as the 2011-2012 SCWA president.

Several awards were presented at the event: Panther Car Wash in Midlothian, TX for 2011 Self-Serve/Automatic Car Wash of the Year; Speedy Bee Express in Flower Mound, TX for 2010 Conveyor/Exterior of the Year; David Swenson of Arbor Car Wash & Lube in Austin, TX won the 2010 SCWA Community Service Award; Bobby Benoit of Soapy King Car Wash in Henderson, TX was named 2011 Car Wash Manager of the Year; and Daniel Peeples of Auto Splash Car Wash & Oil Change in Frisco, TX won the 2011 Lube Center Manager of the Year Award.

The SCWA 2012 Convention & Expo will take place March 4-6 in Arlington.


The Southeastern Car Wash Association’s first Road Show of 2011 was held in Atlanta, GA, February 27-28. The day and a half Road Show was the most successful one to date with over 268 attendees — including car wash owners, investors, and suppliers.

The first day included an overview of the upcoming meeting by SECWA president Marcus Kittrell and a presentation on the International Carwash Association’s WaterSavers Program by ICA executive director Eric Wulf. This was followed by round table discussions cover-ing 10 separate issues: Energy Saving, Gated Self Serve/Increasing Revenue, PCI Compliance, Manager Training, Customer Loyalty/Marketing, SBA Loans, Maximizing Small Places/Converting In-Bays, OSHA/How To Head off Trouble, Safety, and Creating Flex Serve/Is It Right for You?
Day two featured a seven-site car wash tour that covered all the wash formats — full-service, express, flex-serve, self-serve, and in-bay automatics.

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