Home' Convenience and Impulse Retailing : November December 2009 Contents December 2009 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au
High growth industry
with high returns
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• Coin operated
• Self serve
• Easy to use
• Dog Secure
• Easy wash selections
• Warm water
• Turbo blow dryer
Equipped for success
Improvements in chemical formulations
have been paralleled by improvements in
"CK has just introduced a new
'combination' machine, XT-Combi, which
is a touch-free and brush machine in one,"
said CK Group's David Crampton. "The new
system offers both types of wash formats
to consumers without the need for two
"Touch-free equipment has improved; it is
more consistent. By more closely following
the contours of the vehicle and using
better pressure and chemicals, touch-free
machines can now deliver a quality wash.
Similarly, better technology in materials
such as our SofTecs, provides a buffing
effect that actually enhances shine. People
are becoming much more comfortable with
friction car washes."
PDQ Manufacturing's hybrid unit
combines friction and touch-free technology,
and its recently-released new touch-free
machine incorporates new technologies for
faster washing and lower maintenance.
"With the new machine, the spray arch
is very forgiving," said Rob Lewis. "That
means it can handle all kinds of shapes,
including the likes of long trailer hitches
that the ultrasonic sensors can't see.
The arch responds to it by backing away
(and remembering where it is) and keeps
All PDQ car wash units are mounted
overhead in open bays that are easy to
drive into. The ultrasonic sensors locate the
vehicle and the wash follows its contours.
"Our service station customers tell us
that the open-bay design attracts higher
traffic," said Mr Lewis. "PDQ equipment also
operates on Windows CE-based software,
so that all aspects of the car wash operation
can be managed through the internet."
As well as remote monitoring (systems
are getting better all the time) auxiliary
equipment should be considered. "It goes
without saying that you include vacuum
units," said David Crampton.
people clean their cars, they want to clean
the inside. They may also want to add
fragrance, and combination vacuum and
fragrance machines are the most successful.
Consumable costs (some fragrance and
electricity) are low, and a unit can pay for
itself in less than six months."
"The trend is towards quieter units,"
added Autowash's Adam Pisk. "Particularly
for service stations near residential areas."
The other piece of equipment that will pay
for itself in months is the vending machine.
The latest development is the 'multipaper'
unit that delivers a dose of chemical on a
"The unit is less susceptible to theft
and the margins are higher," said Mr Pisk.
"Customers are just as happy with a single
application that does all they need to do,
and the cost for the retailer is only a few
cents compared to around $1.50 for a small
Either way, they need to be stocked with
the right type of product. Number one is
Armorall, followed by a glass cleaner.
Market, maintain and manage
Although more people are using a
commercial car wash, there are also more
car wash options for them to choose from.
There was a time when you could 'build
and they would come', but that time is long
past. Now the car wash has to be managed
and marketed effectively to maintain and
grow its customer base.
"That means always delivering a top-
quality wash from equipment that is
regularly serviced and uses good chemicals;
and pricing to give value for money," said
Autowash Sales Director Adam Pisk. "Value
for money is critical. That means the likes of
loyalty schemes integrated with other parts
of the business; for example, discounts on
car wash based on fuel sales."
"Giving four cents per litre off fuel
purchases when the customer buys a car
wash is excellent value," added David
“The car wash has to be managed and marketed effectively to maintain and grow its customer
base - and this means delivering a top-quality wash from equipment that is regularly serviced
and uses good chemicals and pricing to give value for money,” says AutoWash.
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