Incorporating Dealership Car Washes for Added Profit

Until recently, dealership car washes have been an afterthought, a small value-added service which generates little, no or negative profit for the overall dealership or car mega center.

Totally Tommy Flex Serve Car Wash model

For Tommy Car Wash Systems, manufacturing car washes with little hope of ever making sizable profit for its owners is simply unacceptable. Developing comprehensive building and marketing strategies which will help car wash owners succeed is a key part of what we do, which is why we’ve taken the initiative to create an entirely new model of dealership car washing.

According to recent car wash consumer surveys, the following trends indicate strong moneymaking potential for smart dealerships.

  •  Decrease in at-home car washing; more and more consumers are visiting professional car washes rather than doing the job at home.
  •  Quality of the wash job has become the most important factor when it comes to customer satisfaction.
  •  Thanks to more efficient car wash equipment, car wash process speeds are lowered to 3-5 minutes for exterior car washes and 10-15 minutes for full exterior and interior cleanings.

So how can car dealerships leverage these new trends to their advantage with high performance on-site car washes?

First of all, dealerships considering adding car washes to their site need to adopt a new perspective on how their car wash will work with the rest of the dealership facility. When we work with dealerships to develop on-site car washes, we focus on incorporating the car wash into a key element of the facility’s overall revenue generation, not as a loss-leading side project. High end dealerships such as Lexus dealerships in particular will find enormous opportunities for increased revenue by integrating high end car washes into their facilities.

To accomplish this, we focus on the following factors:

1) Higher quality expectations. Many standard freestanding car washes provide high end wash quality – clean, shiny and dry – and dealership customers will expect even more out of dealership car washes. Building planning needs to begin with these heightened expectations.

2) Higher operation costs. Recent hikes in utility costs and minimum wage have brought average wash costs to an average of $2 per car, for thorough washes. Basic breakdown of costs is as follows:

– $0.65 – chemicals (including add-ons such as Rain X)

– $0.40 – electricity costs

– $0.20 – water

– $0.15 – natural gas

– $0.70 – labor

3) Best use of land. Allowing prime real estate on or next to dealerships to sit idle – or, worse, draw in profit losses – is something most car dealerships can’t afford. Rather than filling empty land with profit-eating sub-standard car wash facilities which aren’t open to the public, dealerships should consider making their on-site car wash a key part of profit generation.

We’ve developed two different car wash models ideal for dealerships of different sizes. The express tunnel car wash model is a freestanding facility capable of processing 2,000 cars each day, perfect for dealerships located in high traffic areas. The “Totally Tommy Flex Serve” car wash model takes dealership car washes to the next level, offering both interior and exterior cleaning on a belt conveyor system. Customers walk next to their car as its interior is cleaned on the conveyor belt assembly lined, putting on a fun, professional show for customers and increasing the likelihood of repeat car wash business.

Dealerships who use this new model to develop on-site car washes will not only benefit from ready access to low cost, value-added car washes for car sales customers, but they also provide an opportunity to add $1,000,000 in yearly revenue. By incorporating washes into the total car dealership experience, customers may be persuaded to revisit the site weekly or bi-monthly, enticed by the high level of quality their dealership wash provides.

We’re currently working with several large dealership facilities to design full-package auto dealership, service and wash facilities. These exciting new plans will allow dealerships to leverage their integrated car washes to showcase new cars and to up-sell services while customers are at the wash. These integrated washes will offer a fascinating experience for kids and families.

Totally Tommy Flex Serve Car Wash Detail Center

With the help of innovative new dealerships, we are helping to breed a new dealership model: the car mega center. By combining first class car wash and detail facility with dealership sales and service centers, dealerships can not only create the ultimate car care experience, but also add key revenue streams. Investment costs for dealership car washes running around $1,700,000 for express models and $2,200,000-$2,400,000 for Flex Serve washes.

For more information about incorporating a car wash into your dealership facility, contact one of our customer service representatives.

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