Industry Newsline - January 2008

Industry Newsline

MOTIONS AND PROMOTIONS

Arvada, CO-based Mark VII Equipment Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of WashTec AG of Germany, has announced the appointment of Johnna Boyd to the role of strategic product manager.

Boyd was most recently the owner and CEO of Aqua-Pro Car Wash Systems, Mark VII’s distributor in Texas, which was acquired by Mark VII last year. Prior to entering the car wash business, Boyd spent 17 years in the accounting field, both at a CPA firm and operating her own bookkeeping and tax service in the Dallas area.

LARGEST WASH EVER

Michigan-based InterClean Equipment, a specialty vehicle wash equipment manufacturer, has recently started construction of the first of several planned mega-sized vehicle wash facilities.

The new facility — Trans Canada Truck Wash — features both conveyorized car wash and drive through truck wash systems, side by side. The facility will handle mostly traffic coming from the Alberta oil and gas fields and is located in Lloydminster, Alberta.

Both the car wash and the truck wash systems are breaking several records in their designed features. Combined total high-pressure flow between the two systems is nearly 10,000 gpm of recycled water. The conveyor car wash has high-pressure flow of approximately 2,000 gpm. The size of the settling pit likely sets an all-time record for any car wash with its 200,000-gallon capacity.

Every 2,500 cars/trucks washed will bring approximately 100,000 gallons of mud into the system (the equivalent of nearly 2-million pounds of mud), at which point the system requires pit cleaning.

The facility will be totally automated and will have no manual detailing option available. The estimated capacity is 60 extremely muddy pick-ups and 20 large muddy oilfield trucks per hour.

The car wash conveyor will be based on a standard 130-foot conveyor with 90-hp blowers. The standard InterClean ultra-high-volume blasters and applicators are used for the cleaning and rinsing in lieu of typical soft-cloth brushes or touchless cleaning equipment.

The facility is expected to have a grand opening in early 2008. InterClean is already planning several other mega-sized harsh-environment wash facilities for Western Canada.

MISTER CAR WASH EXPANDS

Tucson, AZ-based Mister Car Wash announced that it has acquired the Waterworks car wash chain in Rochester, MN, which includes two car washes, three lube shops and one detail center. The latest acquisition gives Mister Car Wash 42 car washes, 14 lube shops and three convenience stores across five states. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Expanding into Rochester makes a lot of sense to us,” said Ron Peterson, CEO of Mister Car Wash. “We really like the dynamics of the area — it’s the third largest city in Minnesota and the world renowned Mayo Clinic and IBM are within miles from the stores. It’s going to be fun bringing a new car wash experience to the Rochester market.”

Mr. Car Wash sees this as the next phase of its accelerated growth. According to Larry Minich, the company’s CFO, Oncap, a private equity firm and Mr. Car Wash’s new equity partner, has tremendous resources which allows the company to pursue new acquisition opportunities aggressively.

CITGO’S TRANSAFRICA AWARD

CITGO Petroleum Corporation received the TransAfrica Forum’s Corporate Social Responsibility Award for its Discounted Heating Oil Program and other corporate social responsibility initiatives. The award was presented recently in Washington, D.C. during a gala celebrating the organization’s 30th anniversary and its contributions to promoting cultural and political relations between African-Americans, and people of African descent in other countries.

Actor Danny Glover, who is also chairman of the board of directors of TransAfrica Forum, presented the award to Alejandro Granado, CITGO chairman, president, and CEO. Last winter, CITGO’s Discounted Oil Program distributed 100 million gallons of heating oil at a 40 percent discount to help approximately 1.2 million people in 19 states stay warm as temperatures dropped.

DANNY’S PLANS EXPANSION

The Phoenix Business Journal reports that Rowland Cos., a general contractor with offices in Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth, has agreed to a 10-unit construction deal with local car wash chain, Danny’s Family Carwash.

The first of these units recently opened in the San Tan Marketplace Shopping Center in Gilbert, just east of Phoenix proper. Located on nearly 5 acres, the facility measures 10,500 square feet and includes a c-store and room for a fast-lube shop and detailing services. Rowland Cos. will build nine more Danny’s facilities throughout Arizona.

HYDROSPRAY ACQUIRED

Hydrospray International was acquired in April last year by Cliff Read and Matt Norris, partners in a firm that has been distributing car wash equipment for more than 10 years. Hydrospray has been part of their product lineup for approximately seven years.

The company, now known as Hydrospray Wash Systems Inc., has moved into a 25,000-square-foot manufacturing complex in Pennsylvania. Contact information for the company is as follows:

Hydrospray Wash Systems Inc.
511 Spruce Street, Suite 4
Clearfield, PA 16830
(800) 528-5733
(814) 765-9097
Fax: (888) 223-4835
www.hydrospray.com

ABB ROADSHOW

The Gaylord Opryland Convention Center and Resort in Nashville, TN played host to the final 2007 tour stop of the ABB Low-Voltage Products Roadshow.

The nearly 200 customers and prospects crowded the exhibits and technical workshops held throughout the day. Workshops offered “must-know” expertise on a host of automation-related information, including UL and NEC standards, harmonic mitigation in industrial environments, sizing motors correctly to drives, a profile of motor types, PLC installations, and efficient energy saving control-panel designs.

The show offered visitors a close-up look at a wide range of low-voltage products (drives, controls, and motors), automation, power, robotics, and instrumentation solutions, and the chance to talk with the product experts on all the lines. The Roadshow resumes its tour in 2008. The schedule of venues and dates will be available at www.abb-events.com.

PDA REVIVED

A Committee to Reorganize the Professional Detailing Association has been established by a number of suppliers to the detail industry. Several of the suppliers were part of the original founding of the PDA in 1989.

The purpose of the committee is to reorganize and resurrect the once flourishing detail association that had over 500 members before merging with the International Carwash Association.

The committee believes that the detail industry is far more advanced than it was in the early ‘90s, that many more business people in the industry understand what an association can do for the industry, its members, and their businesses.

Anyone interested in joining the effort to reorganize the PDA should contact the committee at P.O. Box 20755, Portland, OR 97294, (503) 251-2668, or thepda2007@yahoo.com.

NO-MATCH REGS ON ICE

A United States District Court judge in California granted a motion for a preliminary injunction that temporarily halts the implementation of the new “no-match” regulations, i.e., regulations related to instances where an employee’s name does not correspond with the social security number provided to an employer. According to Monty Partners, a California law firm, this nationwide injunction prevents the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from enforcing the new no-match regulations, and also the mailing of approximately 140,000 no-match letters by the Social Security Administration (SSA), covering up to approximately 8 million employees. These letters would give employers 93 days to resolve any discrepancy based on a worker’s Social Security number or else face potential civil and criminal violations.

The no-match regulations were scheduled to go into effect on September 14, 2007, but as a result of the ruling, the nationwide injunction will remain in effect until either a higher court intervenes or the lawsuit filed goes through trial.

However, in a motion filed on November 23, the federal government asked the judge to suspend the case so the Department of Homeland Security could rewrite the rule and conduct a small-business survey, which it expects to do by March 24. The government said that it was confident the amended rule would fully address the court’s concerns.

The New York Times reports that some businesses welcomed the rule because it clarified what they had to do to avoid immigration raids. Labor unions, the newspaper says, cited a report from the inspector general of the Social Security Administration finding that 12.7 million of the records of United States citizens in the agency’s database contained errors that could lead to them being fired.

Monty Partners believes that some version of the no-match regulations will eventually go into effect. It suggests that all employers use this time wisely to audit their I-9s internally before Immigration and Customs Enforcement does it for them.

CARWASH COLLEGE EXPANDS PROGRAM

CarWash College™ of Fort Lauderdale, FL has announced that it will be offering an expanded course schedule in 2008. A 107 percent increase in 2007 student registrations over the previous year prompted college officials to schedule additional preventive maintenance courses for their 2008 program.

According to Steve Gaudreau, the college president, preventive maintenance is overwhelmingly the most popular course offered — people make money when implementing an effective preventive maintenance program at their business.

For more information about courses and a schedule of class sessions visit the college website at www.carwashcollege.com. To register for upcoming certification programs, please call the college registrar, Mike, at (866) 492-7422.

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