Industry Newsline - April 2007

Industry Newsline

MOTIONS AND PROMOTIONS

De Pere, WI-based Lustra™ Professional Car Care Products has announced the appointment of Ryan Cook as western regional sales manager. Cook joined the Lustra team in 2002 and has been serving as a territory manager based in Texas. He will be relocating to the Denver market and will be responsible for the development of distributors and key accounts in the western third of the US.

Carol Hurley, former car wash category manager and car care specialist with both equipment distributor PWI Incorporated and ExxonMobil fuels marketing, has joined national lender Butler Capital as head of the company’s car care and convenience-and-gasoline financing units. An alumna of Cabrini College (Wayne, PA) Hurley earned a master’s degree in education from the same institution.

AUTOBELL OPENS #46

Autobell Car Wash Inc., the family-owned, privately-held car wash company based in Charlotte, NC, has opened its 5th car wash in North Carolina’s Triangle region and its 46th unit overall. The newest car wash is at 8113 Fayetteville Road (Hwy. 401) in the McCullers Crossroads community in Fuquay-Varina. Joseph Noel is the manager.

Autobell’s other local car washes are on Millbrook Road and Godley Lane in Raleigh, and in the towns of Garner and Knightdale.

BE CAR CARE AWARE KITS

The Car Care Council has redesigned its “Be Car Care Aware” point-of-sale (POS) starter kit in time for National Car Care Month in April. Kits can be easily ordered through www.carcare.org and turned around the same day.

The kit includes consumer education brochures, posters, bay banners, mirror hangers, additional vehicle inspection forms, an English/Spanish counter mat, and the popular new Car Care Guide. Improvements include a simplified planning-guide CD and updated how-to DVD.

CWONJ TRIP

The Car Wash Operators of New Jersey (CWONJ) visited Ray Catena Motors in Union, NJ for a tour of its state-of-the-art facility. The impressive, award-winning Mercedes dealership rolled out the red carpet for more than 50 association members.

The membership enjoyed a catered buffet dinner and tour of the new facility and got to see how “this operation does things right.” From valet parking, to shoe shines and manicures on site, to a golf driving range, it was evident that the customer truly comes first at Ray Catena.

The group’s next meeting is April 17 at the Crowne Plaza in Cranford, NJ. The meeting will focus on immigration law. For registration information, call the association office at (800) 287-6604 or (518) 280-4767. You can also visit www.cwonj.com.

NEW CREEDMOOR, NC WASH

After more than two years of planning, Creedmoor Commons Car Wash is finally open. Car Wash Concepts, Inc. of Thomasville, NC provided a turnkey solution to owners Jeff Cawley and Craig Brogden, starting from the concept and architectural drawings to complete construction of the facility. The site features four self-service bays that offer all modern functions including the Unitec Washpay credit card system housed in custom boxes from Specialty Equipment Company and a Foamy Tire Brush System. The site also includes four Fragramatics Select-A-Vac three-motor vacuums and one shampoo/vacuum combo and one fragrance/vacuum combo from the same manufacturer.

The wash has two Futura Revolution in-bay automatics with on-board dryers. A Catec reclaim system was installed as well as monitoring and video systems by Imagine Innovations.

SPLASH OPENS #22

Stamford, CT-based Splash Car Wash has opened its 22nd location in Brewster, NY. Known as Route 22 Car Wash, Splash plans to renovate the site, converting it to a full-service hand wash with express detailing. This will be Splash’s 13th hand wash. Splash has added four locations in the past five months. In a growing trend for the company, Splash manages two of its four new locations for outside investors, as a number of car wash owners have contacted Splash to manage their facilities and re-brand their sites with the Splash name.

Splash’s Connecticut car washes are located in Bridgeport, Cheshire, Cos Cob, Darien, Fairfield (two), Greenwich, Hamden, Milford, New Haven (two), New Milford, Norwalk, Shelton, Stamford, Stratford and Wilton. The company operates five car washes in New York — in Bedford Hills, Brewster, Carmel, Mahopac and White Plains.

LOBBY WORKS ACQUIRED

The Lobby Works division of the Ron Levy Company, based in Atlanta, GA, has been acquired by Superior Auto Extras of Sylmar, CA. The effective date was January 17, 2007.

Superior Auto Extras is a leading distributor of auto accessories, air fresheners, and novelties nationwide with full service warehouses in both Memphis, TN and Sylmar, CA. The company carries 2,500 different products and has 35 sales people who travel throughout the US, giving full service to customers.

NEW NECA PRESIDENT

Paul Vercollone

Paul Vercollone, vice-president of VERC Enterprises, has been named president of the New England Carwash Association, a 150-member organization comprised of independent car wash owners throughout the New England states.

Vercollone has been a member of the organization for 32 years, and has served on the organization’s board of directors in the past. He said that one of his priorities during this two-year term as president will be to work on environmental issues and awareness. VERC Enterprises began operations in 1974, operating a single car wash in Marshfield, MA. The company has grown to 22 locations throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire. These include a series of convenience stores/gasoline stations and three car wash facilities. The car wash operations are in Marshfield, Norwell, and Plymouth, MA.

MACE SELLS FOUR IN NORTHEAST

Mount Laurel, NJ-based Mace Security International Inc. recently announced that it had sold — in two separate transactions — three car washes in Pennsylvania and one car wash in New Jersey for a total of approximately $7.7 million in cash. These four locations represent all of Mace’s full service car washes in the Northeast. They are located in Bryn Mawr, Norristown, and Flourtown, PA and Cherry Hill, NJ.

Mace continues to own and operate exterior-only car washes in the Northeast, all of which are for sale. Parties interested in purchasing any of Mace’s remaining car washes should contact Mace directly at its corporate headquarters at (856) 778-2300.

DRIVE CLEAN ACQUIRES ACS

ACS, Inc., a major car wash developer in the south central region, has been acquired by an investment group located in Northwest Arkansas and led by Mike Bennett, Scott McLain, and Mitchell Massey. As president and CEO, Mike Bennett will assume the key leadership role in the company, which will operate under the name Drive Clean.

ACS was founded in 1995 and is recognized in the industry for the development of self-serve car wash facilities, the distribution of chemicals and equipment, and the creation of the Boomerang brand. Since 2005, the company focus has been the growth of Boomerang Carwash®, which today consists of 16 facilities in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Louisiana, with additional sites currently under development.

Boomerang Carwash has reached several industry milestones, surpassing its 1,000,000th car washed in late 2006. Additionally, over $70,000 has been contributed to local charities. Community involvement will remain an emphasis.

NEW WASH PLANNED

Kenneth Klefenz — a successful executive in the banking industry for 14 years, and more recently general manager for 14 years of logistics/purchasing and facilities with Weight Watchers® — is developing a new car wash in Bradenton, FL.

Called Clear Sunset Car Wash™, the facility will be located at 6413 State Road 64 and is scheduled to open in late winter, 2007. The wash will reportedly be arranged so kids and adults alike may come and relax while their car receives topnotch care and attention.

AUTO LAUNDRY NEWS is published by EW Williams Publications Company
2125 Center Avenue, Suite 305, Fort Lee, NJ 07024-5898, USA Phone: 1-201- 592-7007 Fax: 1-201-592-7171