International Carwash Association® (ICA) is the nonprofit trade group representing the retail and supply segments of the professional car wash industry in North America and around the globe. The Association's member companies represent more than 15,000 car washes in nearly two dozen countries.
ICA is governed by a sixteen member board of directors, comprised of operators and suppliers. The organization is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois with a supporting team in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The Association produces The Car Wash Show® and Car Wash Show Europe®, the world's largest car wash trade show and conventions, administers WaterSavers®, the industry's leading environmental recognition program, publishes CAR WASH Magazine™ and hosts a variety of educational and networking events.
The Association is the voice of the professional car wash industry, serving as its spokesperson to business and consumer media, investors, governmental agencies, allied associations and related industries. As part of this role, the Association has produced the industry's leading research in the areas of consumer habits and preferences, the environmental attributes of professional car washing and industry equipment sales.
History of the Association
In 1955, a group of 40 or 75 car wash professionals (depending on which historical documents you read) met at the Hotel Del Prado in Mexico City to officially form the Automatic Car Wash Association (ACWA). ACWA became recognized throughout the world for its activities on behalf of the industry. ACWA was later renamed the International Carwash Association (ICA).
As the self-serve segment of the industry evolved, an organization known as the National Carwash Council (NCC) came into being. Since there was no need (in the opinion of the majority of manufacturers and suppliers serving car wash operators) for two associations to serve the car wash industry, NCC merged with the International Carwash Association in the early 1980s to better serve all segments of the industry worldwide.
For a brief period of time after the merger, the group was called the International Carwash Association/National Carwash Council (ICA/NCC). But in 1985, by acclaim at the organization's International Convention & Exposition in Chicago, the name National Carwash Council was dropped and the association's name was abbreviated to International Carwash Association.