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Companies in this industry provide cleaning, washing, and waxing services for cars, trucks, vans, and trailers. Major US companies include Wash Depot, Oasis Car Wash, and Autobell Car Wash.
The US car wash industry includes about 15,000 establishments (single-location companies and branches of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of more than $5 billion. The output of US car washes is expected to grow at a medium rate in the next two years. Key industry drivers include consumer spending habits and new car sales.
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 companies hold less than 20 percent of the market.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Major services are exterior wash, exterior and interior cleaning, waxing, underside cleaning, vacuuming, and premium detailing. Detailing services consist of intensive interior and exterior cleaning, as well as waxing and polishing by hand. Some facilities offer vehicle maintenance and repair and safety inspection services and sell automotive products.
There are three types of car washes: a conveyor or "tunnel" wash system, where the ...
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