A novelty promotional vehicle created by Texas car wash owner/operator Bill Lawrence has completed its 200th appearance in the Houston area. Known as “The Bubble-ator,” the vehicle is a bubble-spewing Hummer H-3 equipped with external audio speakers and adorned with a colorful vinyl wrap. Since its unveiling in 2007, it has made frequent appearances at parades, festivals and other special events as well as regular stops at Bubbles Car Wash locations.
“I’ve found that traditional advertising will only take you so far,” said Lawrence whose marketing mix includes radio and a sponsorship with MLB’s Houston Astros. “It’s harder than ever to get the public’s attention and I wanted something that would stop them in their tracks and make them say, ‘Wow! Look at that!’ Kids love it, parents love it, and every time they see it, they think of Bubbles Car Wash.”
Charlotte, NC-based Autobell Car Wash Inc. recently awarded 86 employees its 2009 academic scholarships toward the college or university of their choice. The value of this year’s scholarships totaled $73,200. Since its inception, the Autobell Scholarship Program has awarded over $240,000 in academic funds to employees.
The annual program is open to current Autobell employees of at least one year standing. Employees who are graduating high school seniors or have received a high school diploma within the past three years can complete and submit the short application, along with references, an acceptance letter from an accredited college or university, and a 500-word essay. The Autobell Selection Committee reviews all applications and chooses the scholarship recipients.
LUSTRA AD AWARD
Cleaning Systems Inc. of De Pere, WI has announced that Graphic Design USA has presented it with an In-House Design Award for the Lustra™ Professional Car Care Products’ consumer experience print advertisement. Kelly Anderson, CSI’s graphic designer, designed the January 2009 ad.
CSI’s marketing group designs most of its advertising and point-of-sale marketing materials offered to car washes that use Lustra products.
CAR CARE FAIR AT AAPEX
The Car Care Council will be showcasing the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign at the first-ever Car Care Fair exhibit at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas, NV November 3 - 5, 2009. The exhibit will showcase the U.S. and Canadian campaigns, as well as provide booth space within the exhibit for groups who are involved in educating consumers about vehicle maintenance on behalf of the industry through their own programs.
The Car Care Fair exhibit will occupy space located on the upper floor of the Sands Expo Center, booth #3067. Staff will be on hand to explain the benefits for companies doing business throughout the distribution channel. Visitors will get one-on-one demonstrations of how to plan and host Community Car Care Events and free consumer vehicle check-ups during National Car Care Month and throughout the year.
DETAIL PLUS SAUDI DISTRIBUTOR
Detail Plus Car Appearance Systems Inc. of Portland, OR recently announced the appointment of Bandar Al Aamer as its authorized distributor for the entire Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Al Aamer has a location in Jeddah in the Western Province of the country, is opening a second location in the capital city of Riyadh in the Central Province, and has plans for a third location in Dammam in the Easter Province.
“The detail market in Saudi Arabia is opening up again,” said R. L. (Bud) Abraham, president of Detail Plus. “In the late ‘80s another company formed Detail Plus of Saudi Arabia and built over 20 centers throughout the country, but the Gulf War slowed the market and our distributor sold the stores and got into another business.”
MARK VII: DIRECT IN OK
Mark VII Equipment Inc., the Arvada, CO-based U.S. subsidiary of WashTec AG of Germany, has launched direct sales and service operations in Oklahoma.
Mark VII’s Oklahoma-based service technicians report to Doug Urban, regional service manager, and are supported by Mark VII’s Allen, TX regional office and warehouse. Effective immediately, Oklahoma customers can call (877) 227-1155 for service. Ryan Beaty, vice president of sales for the Western Region, will direct sales operations in Oklahoma and can be reached at (503) 358-5294.
De Pere, WI-based Cleaning Systems Inc. has announced the addition of Midwest Carwash Supply as the provider of Lustra™ Professional Car Care Products throughout Eastern Missouri and Southwestern Illinois.
Midwest Carwash Supply is headquartered in St. Peters, MO and provides complete car wash chemical sales, service, and equipment programs to all segments of the professional car wash industry. Jeff Adams, the owner of the company, has been in the car wash industry for more than 14 years and has been involved in over 100 car wash start-ups as equipment and chemical installer.
STANDARD CHANGE: SERVICE SUPPORT MOVES
Indianapolis-based Standard Change-Makers Inc. has announced that its regional service support centers will be closing. In the United States, effective August 28, 2009, the regional service centers located in Aston, PA (Philadelphia) and Santa Fe Springs, CA (Los Angeles) will be closed. In Canada, the service center in St. Laurent, QC (Montreal) will be closed effective September 18, 2009.
The Indianapolis, IN facility will be handling all U.S. service phone support, as well as parts orders and repairs. The Indianapolis service department is expanding in size to accommodate the increased traffic. Customers will be able to speak with a service technician during expanded service hours — 8:00 a.m. (Eastern) to 4:30 p.m. (Pacific).
Service support for Canadian customers will be handled through several authorized Canadian distributors that have qualified service capabilities. Customers should contact the Canadian regional sales manager, Paul Thompson, at (514) 502-0124 for a recommended service distributor close to their area.
Effectively immediately, all U.S. service-related shipments should be directed to the Indianapolis facility located at 3130 N. Mitthoeffer Road, Indianapolis, IN 46235. (317) 899-6966. Toll free: (800) 968-695. Fax: (317) 899-6977.
The regional sales managers serving the United States and Canada will remain the same, and will continue to operate within the territories via virtual offices. Their new contact information will be released as soon as it is confirmed, and will also be posted on the contact page of the company website (www.standardchange.com/contact).