Newsline - June 2004

Industry Newsline

AOCA '04/'05 BOARD

Veteran fast-lube owner Sue Ackley is the new president of the Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA). Ackley was elected to succeed Dr. Scotti Lee at the organization's board meeting in Orlando, FL. She and her husband, Gene, operate three Xpress Lube facilities in the St. Louis area.

The association's new vice president is Dave Jensen, owner of Pennzoil 10 Minute Oil Change Centre in Waterloo, Ontario. Larry Read, owner of the Pleasanton, CA-based Oil Changers, Inc. remains as secretary-treasurer.

Two new members were elected to three year terms on the board of directors: Steve Allison, of Shell Rapid Lube in Myrtle Beach, SC and Chris Tolsdorf of Tolsdorf Oil Lube Express in West Chester, PA.

Board members who continue to serve are Dr. Scotti Lee, Oil Change Express, New Castle, DE; Dan Mason, Oil Can, Inc., Easley, SC; and associate board members David Prange, The Heartland, Wheaton, IL; and Kevin Gibbons, Pacific Trend Automotive, Inc., Fairfield, CA.


Hanna Car Wash Systems International surprised six lucky winners with free airline certificates during the company's "Bag a Trip" promotion at the 2004 ICA Car Care World Expo held April 29-May 1 in Las Vegas. All day during the first two days of the Expo, Hanna randomly selected attendees spotted carrying Hanna bags as winners of six $250 American Airline gift certificates.

Hanna's CEO Jim Perris presented prizes to the following winners:

  • Charles Nathan Friends, Jr. of Flowery Branch, GA;
  • Marcos Torres of Power Center Car Wash & Lube in Lancaster, CA;
  • Mohamed Abubaker of Visalia, CA;
  • Jonathon Reed of Post Rock Car Wash in Mulvane, KS;
  • William A. Hillenbrand II of Batesville, IN;
  • Lisa Gasna of Miami, AZ.


Charlotte, NC-based Autobell Car Wash Inc., a privately held, family-owned car wash company, celebrated its 35th anniversary and 23 millionth car washed during May 2004.

Autobell is currently America's third largest full-service conveyor-operated car wash company with 39 units in 20 North Carolina and 4 Virginia cities. Three additional units are under construction and
slated to open by mid-year. The company employs over 1,000 people and will wash nearly 2 million cars this year. By the end of 2004, Autobell will have doubled the number of units it operated five years ago. Autobell has never closed a car wash.

Autobell and company president Chuck Howard have been the recipients of numerous recent conservation and environmental awards for their commitment to and protection of the environment. Autobell treats 100 percent of the water it uses and recycles up to 80 percent. Its charity car wash program, which discourages polluting parking-lot car wash fundraisers by offering half price Autobell certificates to charities to sell, has raised over $1 million for charities since its inception in 1998.


Customer Service Solutions, Inc. of Medford, NJ has introduced a new program for companies with multiple locations and designed specifically for their Area Supervisors.

In development since 2003 and launching in June 2004, Area Supervisor Development (ASD) is a program that places Area Supervisors in highly-interactive and intense learning sessions for two days, three times a year, in small peer groups. The program includes classroom-based workgroups, powerful team-building exercises, and physical and mental challenges that will inspire and motivate the highest levels of improvement.

According to Joseph Rosales, company president and founder, Area Supervisor Development was developed at the request of CSS's multi-location clients to improve the performance of their area supervisors. "The vast majority of area supervisors have never received formal training in the skills necessary to manage managers and grow the business through the efforts of others. This program, by design, provides them a powerful learning experience that will make a difference in their business approach, and develops skills and tools they can use immediately upon returning to their locations," he added.

"There has never been anything like this program available to the car care industry. We are very excited about the positive impact it will have on the participants," Rosales concluded.

For more information about the program, dates, fees, and registration, call (800) 268-9899.


CITGO Petroleum Corporation will move its corporate headquarters from Tulsa, OK to Houston, TX, the company recently announced. The relocation will begin this summer and will take approximately two years to complete.

This decision will strategically position CITGO as a major player in the industry, according to Luis Marín, the company's president and CEO. He expressed confidence that the relocation would propel the company to the next level of success.

As part of the move, CITGO will receive a $5-million grant from the Texas Enterprise Fund, and the cities of Houston and Corpus Christi, TX will sponsor $30 million in low-interest loans through the Texas Economic Development Bank and its bond program.

CITGO, in turn, has committed to invest over the next 10 years $828 million at the Corpus Christi refinery and to add 120 jobs, which will result in an increase in the volume of gasoline produced at that location.


Detail Plus president Bud Abraham conducted a seminar/demonstration titled "Paint Finishing Tools; Pads and Chemicals" at the recent 2004 Mobile Tech & Trim Expo in Orlando, FL.

More than 100 individuals attended to learn more about the latest technology in automotive paint finishing. Several attendees were given an opportunity for "hands-on" buffing.

Abraham will conduct a full-day detailing seminar a day before the Expo in 2005 for attendees wanting to gain more information about auto detailing and setting up an auto detailing business.

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