Newsline - November 2003

Industry Newsline


Ryko Manufacturing Company of Grimes, IA has announced the appointment of Mark Stauffer as the company's new direct area manager in the Northeast. Stauffer's areas of responsibility include Eastern New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Stauffer, an Ohio State University graduate, has an extensive track record in sales and service throughout the Midwestern and Northeastern sections of the United States. He began his employment with Ryko in July and is currently hard at work in Ryko's New England sales and service office. You can visit the company's web site at for a complete directory of sales and service areas.


Jim Perris, who took over as president and CEO of Portland, OR-based Hanna Car Wash Systems in mid-2002, visited Autobell Car Wash in Charlotte, NC this past October to gain more real-world knowledge of the inner workings of a full-service car wash. Perris, who rolled up his sleeves and worked at one of Autobell's 37 facilities, explained that this type of hands-on approach helped him and his company understand the needs of car wash operators.

"It's harder than it looks," Perris said. "It's important to get everything right. Washing cars is like manufacturing, in that efficiency is gained by doing things right the first time so you don't need to repeat any part of the process. I came here to learn from an operator's perspective about what is going on in the field," he continued. "I am especially surprised at how efficient, well-crafted, and thoroughly planned Autobell's approach is to washing cars. They have an amazingly uniform approach to every aspect of car washing, and I'm honored to have spent several days with employees at every level."

In a separate development, Autobell announced that it had opened the first of at least four full-service car washes in the Virginia Tidewater area. The first Virginia Autobell opened in September at 10710 Warwick Blvd. in Newport News. The other Tidewater-area Autobells were slated to be opened in October. They are located at 1413 North Armistead Avenue in Hampton; 528 First Colonial Road in Virginia Beach; and 4010 Portsmouth Boulevard in Chesapeake. The Virginia Beach and Chesapeake Autobells are conversions from Beach Car Wash, and Buggy Bathe Express Car Wash and Detailing, respectively.


NASCAR veteran Ward Burton posed for photographs with event attendees and signed autographs in PDQ Manufacturing's booth at the 2003 NACS Convention & Exposition, held October 12-14 at McCormick Place, in Chicago.

The conference, sponsored by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), is one of the 100 largest annual trade shows in the country. There are nearly 125,000 convenience stores nationwide, employing more than one million workers. In 2001, the industry reported sales of $281 billion.
Also in the PDQ booth was the #22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid. Burton, who won the 2002 Daytona 500 in the #22 Caterpillar, will drive the Caterpillar Dodge for the last time at the October 19th race at Martinsville Speedway. Beginning with the October 26th race in Atlanta GA, Ward Burton will drive the #0 NetZero HiSpeed Pontiac Grand Prix.

Burton partnered with PDQ Manufacturing in February of this year and promotes the company's full line of vehicle wash systems. He also plans to open two car washes in Virginia featuring PDQ's LaserWash(r) equipment.


The Ryko jumbo lighted menu sign provides an excellent way to display services to customers, while providing a car wash facility with maximum exposure. A professionally designed, well-placed sign is one of the most effective advertising investments a car wash owner will make. The right sign can help customers locate the facility, purchase services, and remember the car wash name next time they need to clean their car. A menu sign's return-on-investment is easily one of the best in the business.

Ryko's 3-foot-by-6-foot full-graphic menu sign features a lighted cabinet made out of durable aluminum and high-impact plastic. Available with the operator's choice of menus, colors, layouts, and logos. The cabinet sits high off the ground giving customers the perfect opportunity to view wash selections, options, and upgrades. The fully lit graphics menu will get noticed night or day. For more information, visit the company's web site at


Portland, OR-based Integrated Services Inc. (ISI) has released the new Estimating Module in the latest update to its widely-used fast-lube point-of-sale system. All LubeSoft customers will receive the new update.

The Estimating Module includes the ability to create, modify, print, and retain estimates for repair services, fully integrated with the current LubeSoft functionality. This will assist users in satisfying some of the legal requirements for certain states. Customers will also be able to review and approve a written estimate of work before it is performed.

In addition to the Estimating Module, this release includes the following innovative improvements:

• Employee Tracking by Line Item - enhanced tracking of employee sales by invoice line item

• Activity by Vehicle Report - evaluate store productivity through make-specific activity information

• New Cabin Air Filter TSBs -recommends Cabin Air Filter replacement by notifying
technicians which filters are easy, moderate or difficult to replace

• New Serpentine Belt TSBs - provides technicians with information for Serpentine Belt replacement.


Valvoline Instant Oil Change (VIOC), a chain of automotive service providers, has announced that it had signed agreements with several national and large regional companies to provide automotive fluid maintenance and related services. The companies include ULTEA Leasing, Madison, WI, a fleet leasing, management, and consulting organisation; UHL Companies, Osseo, MN, an HVAC solutions, repair, and maintenance company; Lakes and Plains Regional Council of Carpenters and Joiners, St. Paul, MN, a union of some 13,000 building tradesmen and women covering Minnesota, North and South Dakota and western Wisconsin; and Comcast Cable of Flint, Flint, MI, which operates some 100 service vehicles.

"We're seeing a trend among regional companies toward outsourcing their fleet maintenance," said Doug Hurd, Valvoline's manager of fleet service. "They're realizing they can more cost-effectively handle this process by sending their drivers to professional third-party providers than by maintaining the staff, space, and equipment on-premise and doing it themselves."


PDQ Manufacturing Inc. has announced that it has entered into a two-year agreement
with Valero Energy Corporation as that company's exclusive provider of car wash equipment. Valero will be installing PDQ's LaserWash(r) 4000 and new G5(tm) S-Series vehicle wash systems in its retail sites.

Valero has approximately 4,100 retail sites in the United States and Canada operating under various brand names, including Diamond Shamrock, Ultramar, Valero, Beacon, and Total. For more information, visit Valero's web site at

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