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U.S. Car Wash Industry Shows Growth in 2012

by Eric Wulf | Feb 19, 2013

Data supplied by retail car wash locations through the International Carwash Association’s Wash Count™ program showed that the U.S. car wash industry continues to recover with the overall economy, posting gains in both average car washes per location (wash counts) and average revenue per car wash (ticket average). In 2012, wash counts grew by 2.1 percent, while ticket average grew by 2.6 percent.

More than 500 locations are enrolled in Wash Count, which enables the data to be interpreted at the 95 percent confidence level (+/- 5 percent). The Association estimates the total number of car wash locations in the United States at approximately 80,500.

Wash Count is available at no additional cost to Association members. Participants receive valuable quarterly benchmarking data that is unavailable to non-participants, including the ability to compare results to a broad cross-section of the industry by geography and car wash model type.

“Wash Count has become an incredibly valuable tool for operators to evaluate their performance against the industry and view trends by car wash type in different regions of the country,” said International Carwash Association CEO Eric Wulf. “The results from 2012 confirm that the car wash business is again growing, and fuels additional optimism for 2013.”.

Operators interested in joining the Wash Count program can learn more by visiting and clicking on the Wash Count icon. Potential investors to the car wash industry can request additional information about the car wash business by visiting the same website and clicking “Learn more about the car wash industry” or by participating in the New Investor Seminar on April 21 at The Car Wash Show in Las Vegas.

A more thorough analysis of 2012 results will be featured in the spring edition of CAR WASH Magazine, which is mailed to ICA members and available at The Car Wash Show™ 2013.

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