The State of the Car Wash Industry in 2018

car wash industry

Did you attend The Car Wash Show 2018 in Vegas? If not, we’ve got the lowdown on what you need to know about the state of the car wash industry. And the news is stellar, Wash Stars, so keep reading!

Why all the Excitement?

Car wash experts aren’t always the most enthusiastic people out there. But when discussing the state of the industry at April’s event, they used words like “overwhelmingly positive” and “exuberant” to describe the mood of the professional car wash industry in America.

Why all the excitement? Many car wash owners, manufacturers, and distributors are seeing record sales. In fact, 66 percent of survey respondents said that their car wash revenues in 2017 measured “greater” or “much greater” than their revenues in 2016.

Hopes Running High

With responses like that, it’s easy to see why the mood’s so positive these days. According to Paul Fazio, CEO of Sonny’s The CarWash Factory, “As far as the overall mood of the industry—and it was certainly supported at The Car Wash Show 2018—to say it is extremely upbeat I think would be an understatement. Operators are doing very well right now, and they’re making great returns on their investments.”

What’s more, car wash owners don’t see their newfound success slowing down any time soon. According to the Professional Carwashing Industry Report, 70 percent of owners and operators predict their 2018 ROI will outperform 2017.

And if you’re on the tunnel side of things, be ready for crowds. According to Fazio, tunnels are enjoying a huge moment. In fact, from 2013 to 2017, Sonny’s tunnel market grew from $97 million annually to $203 million.

A Sense of Urgency

Besides the tunnel trend, the days of the single car wash owner are disappearing. Instead, car wash owners have either expanded into multiple locations or are aggressively researching expansion. As Fazio notes, “the sense of urgency is like I’ve never seen before. No one builds just one car wash anymore; those guys are gone.”

Why all the urgency? One reason is increased car counts. Fewer people are driveway washing vehicles, which is not only great for the environment but awesome for the wash industry. The American economy’s considerable growth has much to do with it, too. People have more to spend on vehicles and upkeep. Finally, car wash owners have gotten better at creating express and loyalty club-powered car wash models.

Get Your Piece of the Car Wash Industry Pie

So how do you get your piece of this exuberant market growth pie? Because of increased traffic, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your equipment is cutting-edge and efficient.

It’s also imperative that you have some type of customer loyalty program or membership in place. After all, operators who don’t have at least 5,000 members per location are at a huge disadvantage. Make sure you’ve got incentives in place to earn repeat clientele.

Like what you read? Interested in learning more about the car wash industry? Check out our blog for the tips you need to make your wash shine.

Or, contact us today for a complimentary walk-through and evaluation. White Water Solutions is here to put your wash on the road to maximum ROI.

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