NATIONAL REPORT — While upgrading to a conveyor system is a growing trend among convenience stores with car washes, it is not at the expense of in-bay automatic systems.
Here is what some car wash industry suppliers have to say on the topic:
“In-bay automatics will always have a presence in the c-store industry. There is a place for both rollover and tunnels. In today’s world, there are more options for the c-store owner to pump even more profits through their car wash. A car wash is a value-added commodity and having a tunnel makes it more of a destination. In-bay automatic car washes tend to be more of an impulse purchase.”
— Laura Edgmond, marketing specialist, Ryko Solutions Inc.
“The in-bay market is still alive and well. The c-store industry is reaching the point where the size of the lot and store/pump volume is dictating the size or type of car wash that is best for the site. Smaller sites still have an opportunity to wash good volume with the right in-bay automatic. While washing more cars profitably is something we all strive for, at a smaller-footprint site, this can create frustration for customers trying to get in and out quickly. The wash quality and customer experience are ultimately what makes the site a consistent top performer.”
— Rob Deal, vice president of international and corporate sales, Innovative Control Systems
“In-bay automatics will always be an integral part of the c-store car washing industry. Rollovers fit the needs of many operators. They run unattended and they fit in relatively small bays. They do have limitations as far as their ability to process a high volume of cars.”
— Kevin Collette, vice president of sales, CTO, Sonny’s Enterprises Inc.
Editor’s note: Look in the April issue of Convenience Store News for our full report on the latest trends and best practices in convenience store car wash operations.