Droughts are serious business and when Level III Droughts hit regions in the US, big water users like car washes are required to shut down. During Level II Drought conditions they are allowed to operate, but if they have water recycling methods, but since they still use some water, they must cut back like any other business.
Having retired from the car washing industry, I have been particularly intrigued by our competitors over the years who offered dry washing products for car washing. Personally, I have never liked them much, but that’s probably because they competed with our methods in the mobile car washing and auto detailing sector. In countries like Australia which is having the worst drought in some 200-years, they are big hits with the government and the people.
Yes, Indeed, these types of companies are of interest, and there is a franchise company from Australia that has a concept, which is rather innovative. I have seen these “dry-wash” type products (been around for years, each one attempts to be different). This franchise in Australia has done well in setting themselves apart and differentiation. Amazingly enough, there have been attempts to come into a few US markets with a full-fledged franchise system using this type of product.
Their employees and marketers constantly call me fishing for information pretending to be customers. In Australia, they are dealing with the 500-year drought and it’s really serious, in the future these businesses will be more impressive due to water shortages projected in 23-states by 2012, simply due to growth, and current supply regardless of any “Black Swan Event” that shows up.
There is a Venture Capitalist in the Silicon Valley area who has funded such a business and they have an array of products, wish to tap into mobile services, G-phone GPS online instant ordering etc. But, like MyLacky.com (blew through some 13 million in VC money in 18-months) and the unbelievable disaster of WebVan that squandered a billion dollars and drove off a cliff; these folks will not be able to pull it off without my experience, because no one quite understands the business like I do. Too arrogant for you, sure, self-confidence is part of the entrepreneurial mind, still, in this case it’s hardly arrogant, it just is.
There are a couple of companies around the globe copying each other, the attached from Brazil. It’s their latest rendition, used in the Houston Galleria Mall. This would work very well in Mexico City, which has severe water issues. The little units we built are in-expensive to make. A company out of China builds units that use Steam to clean the car, thus only about half a gallon of water. Still, our units actually clean the car using 2.3 gallons and a real car wash.
The car wash industry has been somewhat underwhelming in my opinion over the years. Carwashes use huge amounts of water to clean cars and they mislead the public, I was very outspoken about this, but, they were lying everyone from the Industry down to bottom feeder carwash owner keeping two-sets of books. Is the dry wash product car wash the future? Well, if these long-term droughts continue, it appears to be the way of things. Think on this.