Industry Newsline - February 2007

Industry Newsline

MOTIONS AND PROMOTIONS

Citgo Petroleum Corporation recently named Karl Schmidt as the new general manager of its lubricants division. Schmidt will be responsible for the division’s business operations, from base-oil manufacturing to finished-lubricant marketing. Additionally, he will oversee the development and implementation of a new organizational structure and go-to-market strategy. Schmidt joined Citgo in 1990, and most recently was general manager of the company’s Lake Charles lubricants and wax plant. Prior to that, he was a manager of capital projects and strategic planning. Schmidt holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Texas and a master’s degree in finance from the University of Houston.

Murray Kennedy has been appointed president and chief executive officer of Mark VII Equipment Inc., the US subsidiary of WashTec AG of Germany. He replaces Christian Bernert, who became CFO of WashTec AG effective January 1, 2007. Kennedy joins Mark VII from Richardson Electronics, Ltd., where during his 12-year tenure he held the position of executive vice president and general manager of the electron device group and of the industrial power group. His prior experience includes management positions with Litton Electron Devices Group and ITT Electron Devices Division.

TRAINING EXPANDED

CarWash College™ (www.carwashcollege.com) recently announced that it had doubled the number of maintenance- and repair-training programs on its schedule for 2007.

Demand for training prompted this large expansion. According to Steve Gaudreau, the college president, “People calling us were somewhat frustrated because we had been sold out all year, and it was at least a three-to-four-month wait to get into a class. We now have seats available in the new programs [that started] in January.”

Two-hundred-fifty-two people signed up for CarWash College in 2006. The college expects over 600 to graduate in 2007.

DETAILER IS CUSTOMER SERVICE CHAMP

In December 2006, the Richmond-Times Dispatch announced that its readers’ nominees for recognition as customer service champion for “above and beyond customer service” included detailer Gina M. Budhai, managing partner of Car Pool Detail, LLC in Richmond VA.

Budhai’s persistence in solving a leaky car problem for a customer helped earn her the nomination. Finding the leaks and fixing them turned out to be a frustrating process and took much longer than anyone had expected. Budhai’s customer reports that through it all Budhai kept her cool. Even though she may have been extremely frustrated with the situation, she never got angry and her intention was to please the customer and to do what was right and needed. Budhai at one point even rented the customer a car while the leaks were being worked on.

Budhai said she strives to provide each and every customer with the best work possible. “I wouldn’t have done my job if my customer wasn’t satisfied. My customers are my only referral,” she said.

DOSMATIC IN ARGENTINA

Dosmatic USA/International, Inc. has announced the opening of its Latin American office under the direction of Gustavo Padín, general manager. The decision to establish this new office resulted from the company’s wish to ensure a close presence in Latin America and to provide support to its vast distribution network.

Contact information for the Latin American office is as follows:

Dosmatic Latin America
Loria 398 Piso 4 Of. 16
Lomas de Zamora,
Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Tel. +54-11-4115- 235
E-mail: gpadin@dosmaticla.com.ar
Or info@dosmaticla.com.ar

BENDPAK CREATES NEW BRANDING

Bend-Pak, Inc. of Santa Paula, CA, a single-source provider of automotive service equipment for over four decades, has announced a new branding direction for its prominent brand of Bend-Pak and Ranger product lines.

A new logo with a stylized “BP” and BendPak — now without the hyphen —spelled out in a vibrant blue and a subtle shade of gray evokes the company’s resolve to stay efficient, focused and committed to achieve its goals. A simple mission statement — Providing Automotive Service Solutions — is displayed below.

Now, representative of this unified message, the company will be removing the hyphen from all internal and external company correspondence, ads, brochures, and other collateral branding materials to better associate the company spelling with the new logo. Both the “B” and “P” are capitalized, all other letters are lowercase.

JET PRO WINS AWARD

The Western Carwash Association recently named Jet Pro Auto Wash (www.jetproautowash.com) of Wenatchee, WA Rookie of the Year for 2006. The award was presented to Jet Pro
owners Ron and Connie Prynne on October 26, 2006 at the Association’s Annual Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas, NV.

The award is presented to an individual(s) selected by the Awards Committee for outstanding efforts as an operation/owner who is new to the car wash industry. The recipient must show dedication to execute the new business venture in an extraordinary way, with a keen sense of marketing and promotion, while preserving the professional image fostered by the association and furthering the goals of the car wash industry.

Jet Pro’s state-of-the-art equipment, custom signage and graphics, competitive pricing, customer loyalty cards, uniformed employees and professional landscaping sets a nearly insurmountable standard
for the competition. “We’ve done such a great job with our corporate identity that people often ask if we are a franchise,” said Ron Prynne.

ONE MILLION CAR CARE GUIDES

Nearly one million copies of the new Car Care Guide have been distributed to motorists, repair shops, retailers, groups, distributors, and manufacturers by the Car Care Council since its introduction earlier this year.

The guide has generated widespread publicity in the consumer media. “Clearly, interest in the guide from the media has exceeded our expectations, but the industry response has also been tremendous,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “We are planning a full-court press to urge all channels of the industry to order guides to give away during National Car Care Month in April.”
Bulk quantities and customization are available. Information about quantity discounts and ordering is on the council’s website at www.carcare.org.

WINDSHIELD REPAIR COMPETITION

The National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA) has announced its sponsorship and support of the 2007 Walt Gorman Memorial Windshield Repair Olympics — the international competition for the repair industry.

The inaugural Windshield Repair Olympics was held this past November 3-4, 2006 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. It plans to return to Las Vegas in the fall of 2007 for the 2nd annual event to continue the educational experience for those in and related to the repair industry.
NWRA is recognized nationally as a professional source of reliable information bout the windshield repair industry. Information regarding the NWRA is available online at www.nwrassn.org.

MARK VII FACTORY RENOVATION

Mark VII Equipment Inc., the US subsidiary of WashTec AG of Germany, has completed the first phase of its factory renovation project.

The company is applying best practices learned during its parent company’s factory renovation in Germany to achieve similar productivity improvements in the US. This includes the installation of a rail system and a series of automated lifting devices to simplify the assembly process, resulting in reduced production time and enhanced quality control. According to Christoph Kleu, executive vice president of Mark VII, the company is currently finalizing plans for additional enhancements to be made in the factory in 2007.

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