Industry Newsline - November 2007

Industry Newsline

MOTIONS AND PROMOTIONS

D & S Car Wash Equipment Co. of St. Louis, MO has hired Tim Sater as director of marketing and regional sales. Sater will oversee marketing, advertising, and branding initiatives for the D & S line of in-bay automatics, self-service equipment, and auto vacuums. He will also be responsible for sales and marketing in the St. Louis area and state of Missouri. Prior to joining D & S, Sater was a marketing communications manager for MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc., based in St. Peters, MO. Sater holds a BA in Media from Webster University and has over 20 years of marketing experience. Sater replaces Drew Dressler, who has moved into a sales and marketing role as west regional manager.

Elk Grove Village, IL-based Penray has named Chris Kouri and Associates as sales representatives of its automotive division in the Southwest, including California, Arizona, and Nevada. Chris Kouri and Associates was founded in 1987. In a separate statement, the company announced that Mark Fryar had been promoted to national field sales manager. In his new position, Fryar will manage the daily field sales activities of Matt Zahradka, recently appointed eastern region sales manager, Eddie Anderson, western region sales manager and Bill Wicker, installed products group manager. Fryar is a seasoned veteran with over 20 years of experience in the automotive aftermarket.

Michael Schoettmer has joined Scottsdale, AZ-based Regal Auto Wash as vice president of operations. Schoettmer is responsible for repositioning Regal Auto Wash as an integrated company committed to flex- and full-service and express-exterior wash models as well as lube operations. He has over 15 years of executive experience in specialty retail with national chains.

Mark VII Equipment Inc. of Arvada, CO, the US subsidiary of WashTec AG of Germany, has announced the appointment of Steve Jeffs as vice president of sales. He takes over from Sandy Bass, who is relocating to Dallas to be general manager of Mark VII’s new direct sales and service organization in Texas. Jeffs comes to Mark VII from WashTec’s UK subsidiary, where he spent the past three years as managing director. Prior to joining WashTec, Jeffs was with Jung Heinrich, a German materials handling company. He holds a degree in business management from the Manchester Business School in Manchester, England

NEW LOOK AUTOCAREFORUM

An updated version of Autocareforum (www.autocareforum.com), the leading car wash industry “chat” website, is now live, according to founder Bill Pitzer. The new look and features of the 11-year-old site were developed to make it more user-friendly. “We’ve been working on developing a better, more universal site for our visitors over the last year,” said Pitzer, adding that he believed the new site would be easier to navigate and more useful.

Some of the site’s new features include user profiles with photo options, and the ability to chat online with fellow operators in a “private” e-mail format. “If the user has posted his IM or Skype ‘handle’ another visitor can communicate with that person in this format,” said Pitzer.

The ability to add pictures to a post is now an option, and facilitates finding a part for a specific problem. Visitors will soon be able to have their own gallery where they can post pictures of their wash, cars, family, vacations, etc. The site also features the ability to check who else is online, how many people have looked at your post, or replied to it.

BELANGER OWNERSHIP

Northville, MI-based Belanger, Inc. has announced that Michael Belanger, CEO of the company, completed a successful initiative to purchase Jimmy Belanger’s shareholder stock in Belanger, Inc. The purchase leaves Michael Belanger as the majority shareholder of the company.

Belanger’s broad product lines include touchless and friction in-bay automatic wash systems, along with a full line of drive-through and conveyor tunnel wash systems, products, and components.

CCA GOLF CLASSIC

The Connecticut Carwash Association’s 10th Annual Golf Classic was held September 18, at Tunxis Plantation Country Club in Farmington, CT, and drew nearly 90 golfers to the course outside Hartford. Tony Setaro, CCA vice president, attributed much of the success of the event to chairperson Tom Mathes and his team of volunteers, including JJ Listro, Frank Gaglio, Jeff McIntyre, and Rick DiCiccio. “It’s such a team effort to pull all of this together,” Setaro said.

For the second year in a row, the team of Dione and Steve Docchio, Dave Grant, and Todd McIntyre from Mario’s Car Wash took home trophies for their first place effort. The second place winners hail from Waterworks Car Wash and include Steve Cromack, Jim Deforge, Kevin Krasiejko, and Adam Bardeck.

The association’s next event is its annual holiday gathering, December 5, at Carmine’s in New Haven. For more information, contact the CCA at (800) 287-6604 or log onto www.wewashctcars.com.

ANOTHER BOOMERANG

Drive Clean, LLC has announced the opening of its newest Boomerang Carwash in Oklahoma City at 12425 North Pennsylvania Avenue (122nd and Pennsylvania). This is the company’s sixth location in the OKC metro area.

Boomerang Carwash has already opened express tunnel car washes throughout Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Louisiana and is the nation’s largest operator of car washes of this kind. Its first facility was opened in OKC in January 2005 on NW Expressway.

The facilities use state-of-the-art, computer-monitored automated systems throughout the ‘ride-thru’ express tunnel during the three-minute cleaning process, while also providing free self-serve vacuums.

Boomerang has aggressive development plans for more facilities throughout the Midwestern United States over the next few years. To support this growth, Drive Clean, LLC will develop corporate-owned facilities while continuing to offer franchise ownership opportunities.

NYSCWA CASINO NIGHT

The New York State Car Wash Association’s (NYSCWA) Fall Casino Night took place September 12 at the Marriott on Wolf Road in Albany. Frank Lash of Car-Robics Auto Wash in Newport News, VA, the president of the International Carwash Association, presented the keynote address.

The event drew more than 80 visitors. Participants were able to play craps, roulette, black jack, or poker with the $1,000 in NYSCWA phony money they received upon arriving at the event. At the end of the evening, participants could also bid on prizes and gift certificates.

The association’s next general membership meeting will be held in the spring. Check the association’s web page for updates at www.nyscwa.com.

RIGHT TO REPAIR

Congressional support for the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act of 2007 (H.R. 2694) has reached 30 sponsors, according to Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA). “The momentum in support of this bill is incredible as evidenced by the rapidly growing co-sponsor list,” she said.

The Right to Repair Act would require automobile manufacturers to make the same service information and tool capabilities available to independent repair shops that they provide to their franchised dealer networks.

The AAIA points out that the United States lags behind Europe in this regard. Several auto companies, including General Motors and Toyota, have made a legally binding commitment with the European Commission to provide technical information to independent repair shops in the European Union. Yet these same companies resist similar arrangements in the U.S., a contradiction Schmatz terms “disappointing.”

MACE WASHES SOLD

Mace Security International has announced the sale of a full-service car wash in Bradenton, FL for $1.7 million. The proceeds will be used for working capital. The company, which is in the process of exiting the car wash business, now has five remaining car washes in Florida.

Mace has also agreed to sell two of its four car washes in San Antonio for a total of $2.96 million in cash. The company declined to identify the two separate buyers. The Super Bright wash at 6780 Bandera Road is being sold for $1.5 million, while the other location at 8935 Wurzbach Road is being sold for $1.46 million. The transactions are expected to close within the next 45 to 90 days.

The other two washes in San Antonio are also up for sale along with the company’s remaining 20 car washes in Florida and Texas.

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