Companies in this industry provide cleaning, washing, and waxing services for cars, trucks, vans, and trailers. Major US companies include Autobell Car Wash, Mister Car Wash, and Zips Car Wash (all based in the US), along with International Car Wash Group (based in the US but operating under the IMO Car Wash banner in Europe and Asia/Pacific), as well as Mr Wash Autoservice (based in Germany) and Uhoda (Belgium).
There are approximately 80,000 professional car wash locations in North America, and nearly the same number in Europe, according to estimates from the International Carwash Association. Germany is home to a particularly high number of commercial car washes. Global sales of new cars are a key industry growth driver. China, the US, Japan, India, and Germany are the top markets for new car sales by volume, according to the OICS (International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers).
The US car wash industry includes about 16,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $9 billion. The industry includes full- and self-service car wash facilities, as well as truck and bus washes and vehicle detailing services.
Demand is driven by new car sales and growth in consumer income. The profitability of individual firms depends on favorable location and efficient operations. There are few economies of scale. Chains have advantages in advertising and customer recognition. Small firms can compete successfully by having good locations. The industry is highly fragmented: the 50 largest US companies hold less than 20% of the market.
A key source of competition comes from do-it-yourself consumers who prefer to wash their cars at home, also known as "driveway washers."
Products, Operations & Technology
Major services are exterior wash, exterior and interior cleaning, waxing, underside cleaning, vacuuming, and premium detailing. Detailing services consist
Sales & Marketing
Finance & Regulation
Regional & International Issues
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
Trends and Opportunities
Call Preparation Questions
Glossary of Acronyms