Car Wash - Summer 2015 - (Page 68)
f r o m
t h e
We occasionally provide excerpts
from The Great American Car Wash
Story. Former ICA Executive Director
Gus Trantham and veteran commercial
writer John Beck wrote this book in
1994. It represents the most complete
history we have found of the industry in
North America. Enjoy.
the big boYs
DiP in their toes
Independent car wash operators who
took their work seriously as professionals
might have been both startled and disturbed back in 1972 if they had been able
to read the following words contained in
a confidential report being circulated by
one of the major petroleum corporations:
"Until now, virtually all car washes have
been owned and operated by individual
entrepreneurs. This has resulted in as many
varieties of car wash quality and service
'image' as there have been car washes.
"By launching car washes as a salaried
operation with rigid standards of quality
backed up by a respected national name,
we are breaking with this precedent. People
can now, confidently depend upon the
same quality of service over and over again,
backed up by a national corporation.
"Car washes that have incorporated gasoline sales in the past have usually closed
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down during inclement weather. This has
been because their chief interest has been
in selling the car wash, not the gasoline.
"Our concept is based upon the reverse
philosophy, and units will remain open
regardless of weather. It is desirable to
develop this concept under direct company
management so as to ensure that this full
time service be thoroughly proven.
"One thorn in the side of independent
car washes has been the quality of the
help attracted by such 'now-open, nowclosed' operations. By establishing a full
time operation, this thorn can be blunted
and dependable, controllable employees
attracted. This results in a quality of service
appreciated by customers."
There would have been quite a few horrified gasps heard around the car wash world
if these words had been read and weighed
against the power of the source: big oil!
Was the age of the independent car wash
operator about to come to a crashing end?
Actually, there was a true revolution
changing the face of gasoline marketing.
There was a time that service stations lived
up to their names; they really were centers
of all kinds of automobile service, repairs
and accessory sales. But this was changing.
Extensive new car warranties and improved
operating efficiency were resulting in fewer
calls to these "service " stations, and the
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Car Wash - Summer 2015
Letter From the Ica
By the Numbers
Chip and Pi N Confusion?
New Techniques for Reducing the Ever-Increasing Costs of Health Care
The Car Wash Show 2015
Planning for Disaster
What’s It Really Worth?
Wearing Too Many Hats?
Take a Tour
The Orgin of the Exterior Car Wash
Blast From the Past
Index of Advertisers
Focus on the Member
Car Wash - Summer 2015