Industry Newsline - April 2009

Industry Newsline


Arvada, CO-based Mark VII Equipment Inc., the US subsidiary of WashTec AG of Germany, has announced the appointment of Jeff Sturges to the newly created position of director of North American sales for its tunnel division. Sturges has over 25 years of car wash industry experience. He joins Mark VII from Ecolab, a manufacturer of car wash and other chemicals, where he managed corporate accounts that included ExxonMobil, Home Depot, and Sam’s Club. He previously served as regional business manager for Belanger Inc. Sturges has also owned and operated a car wash chemical distribution company and managed a multi-unit car wash chain. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Marketing, an MBA in Global Management from the University of Phoenix, and has served in the United States Marines.


Agile Pursuits, a subsidiary of Proctor & Gamble, has acquired the assets of Carnett’s, an Atlanta-based car wash chain with 16 locations, nine franchised units, and approval to franchise in 50 states. The acquisition is part of P&G’s expansion of its Mr. Clean Car Wash operation.

Bruce Arnett Sr. and his son, Bruce Arnett Jr., founded Carnett’s in 1987. The father-and-son team will now lead Agile Pursuits as CEO and COO, respectively.

Agile is reportedly accepting franchise applications nationwide, with the initial franchise fee expected to be around $35,000.


In a story about successful state-funded economic development that ran in the February 9, 2009 issue of Business Week, Innovative Control Systems (ICS) of Wind Gap, PA is cited as an example. ICS, a manufacturer of computer control systems for the car-care industry, received a total investment of $236,000 from Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania between 1989 and 1996. Today, ICS employs nearly 100, posted 2008 sales of $16 million, and has its systems in operation at more than 2,000 car washes.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania is part of a four-center, state-funded economic development initiative that links companies with business and technical experts, universities, funding, and other resources to help them prosper through innovation.


InterClean Equipment Inc. of Ypsilanti, MI recently completed the installation and start-up of the world’s largest vehicle wash system in one of the most remote locations for any size car wash —the Kalahari Desert in South Africa near the Botswana border.

This monster truck wash was installed at the new Khumani Mine owned by Assmang Ltd. Previously, the 200- and 400-ton haul trucks that carry iron ore from the open pit mine to the processing facility were washed by manual labor, requiring hours and even days to complete a single wash.

In the InterClean wash system, trucks drive through the high-volume, high-pressure wash in three to 10 minutes. The facility has a pumping and recycling capacity of nearly 10,000 gallons per minute. The largest car wash facility barely reaches 300 GPM and the over-the-road truck wash about 1,200 gallons per minute.

Every truck wash brings an average of 1,000 gallons of dirt into the wash bay. It takes only 250 washes before the sand/water-separator settling tank (500,000-gallon capacity) is half-full and needs to be emptied. Cleaning the pit of 250,000 gallons of dirt takes only a couple of hours and is done by front-end loaders with 13-cubic-yard buckets.

MARKETING TRAINING, a company formed to educate car wash operators about outside-the-box marketing strategies, recently launched a web-based six-month interactive training program.

Set to be formally unveiled at Car Care World Expo, the program plans on utilizing the next seven to eight months to work with the opening round of students to gather and build success stories and testimonials prior to relaunching the program in the fall of 2009. After each course is completed, former students will have ongoing access to the lessons, updates, and a member forum.

Registration is currently open to only the first 100 students. Registration will expand to 500 students for the second round in the fall.

Travis Walker, founder and managing partner of, is a marketing consultant and a former car wash owner.

For more information, please visit

SCWA 2009

More than 1,200 car wash owners and exhibitors attended the Southwest Car Wash Association 2009 Convention & Exhibition held at the Arlington Convention Center in Arlington, TX February 15-17.

The convention started with the much-anticipated CEO Forum. Russell Coleman, CEO of Jim Coleman Company/Hanna; Ron Peterson, CEO of Mister Car Wash; and Buddy Roemer, CEO of Business Bank First were the panelists. The discussion focused on the economy.

Charlie Gates of Octopus Car Washes based in Albuquerque, NM was installed as the 2009-2010 SCWA president.

The Annual Awards Banquet honored 2009 Self-Serve/Automatic Car Wash of the Year, Progressive Car Wash of Corpus Christi, TX; 2009 Conveyor/Exterior of the Year, CARisma Car Wash in Houston, TX; and Conveyor Car Wash Manager of the Year, Don Jacobs of QwikWash America!,

McKinney, TX. The 2009 SCWA Community Service Award went to Phillip Taylor and the Texas Fallen Soldier Project.

Experience SCWA 2010 will be held February 21-23, in Arlington, TX.


Arvada, CO-based Mark VII Equipment Inc., the US subsidiary of WashTec AG of Germany, has purchased the Michigan assets of PDQ distributor Washing Equipment Technologies. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Mark VII will service former Washing Equipment Technologies customers via its existing direct service operation in Michigan, which has added several PDQ-trained technicians to its staff. Effective immediately, customers needing service can call Mark VII Michigan toll-free at (877) 665-7414.


Unitec has released the POS4000 remote code option for Wash Select II. Owners can now sell car wash codes at multiple locations. This flexible option can connect up to four sites without an Internet connection, cables, or antennas. Nearby locations such as gas stations or lube shops can be car wash sale sites, increasing opportunities for added revenue at the car wash.

This option can be installed on new orders or as a field retrofit. There are no distance restrictions, and multi-bay applications can be used with the multi-link fleet option in Wash Select II.


Waterway Gas & Wash® opened its first location in northeast Ohio in December 2008. It’s the company’s 18th site overall, and is located on an outparcel at Shops at Marketplace, a shopping center anchored by Home Depot and Target on Aurora Road in Bainbridge Township.

The $4.5-million facility occupies a site of approximately 55,000 square feet, and features brick, stone, steel, and glass to merge traditional and contemporary forms of architecture.

Waterway’s 2007 sales were $95 million. The company anticipates approximately $5 million in sales in 2009 at the Bainbridge Township location. Waterway provides a wide range of car wash services and offers BP gasoline and traditional and high-end convenience store items.


Representatives of TokensDirect, a division of Osborne Coinage Co., will discuss and detail the many marketing opportunities inherent with the use of car wash tokens in booth #2828 at Car Care World Expo in Las Vegas, NV April 1-4, 2009. Car wash tokens can be minted with company name, address, logo, and other marketing messages, which is why some operators call them “mini billboards.”

Also on display will be the Time Saver™ $1 tokens that are made from a security alloy with an electronic signature that differs from arcade tokens, causing coin mechanisms to reject the arcade tokens. Special car wash tokens, sizes, and metals — as well as car wash specific information can be seen at


PDQ Manufacturing Inc. of De Pere, WI has appointed Woltco Incorporated as its only distributor serving the lower peninsula of Michigan.

Woltco has been supplying and servicing car wash operators for the past 15 years. The company’s highly trained staff has a combined experience of more than 100 years. Woltco Inc. can be reached at (877) 992-7427.

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