‘Most customers return because of good wash results’

Gert Lokhorst from Autowas Elburg in the Netherlands wants to keep his car wash up-to-date. Recently, three wash bays were refurbished with new floors from Mesa Coatings. Thanks to modernisation and marketing campaigns, the number of washings at the car wash has increased significantly. “But”, says Lokhorst, “ultimately customers mostly return because of good wash results.”

In 2015, Gert Lokhorst became the owner of Autowas Elburg. Since then, the number of cars washed there has more than doubled annually. To make that happen, a lot of work has been done. At the start, a lot of effort was put into the brand awareness of the car wash. “That went so well that we could no longer meet the demand,” says Lokhorst. Three years later, the decision was made to renovate and install wash bays plus a new rollover. That was in 2018. This summer, the finishing touches were added to the floors in the wash bays.

The car wash has been modernised in several ways and there are regular promotions to create a bit of noise. Yet, says Lokhorst, customers come back mainly because of the wash result. The two most popular programmes are the two most expensive programmes. “Your success stands or falls with clean cars.”

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Two brands

What made the renovation at the time special is that the carwash now has two different sections with two different brands in one hall. “Initially we had a car wash here with a machine from Istobal, but it became very hot or very cold in the hall due to the materials with which the wash hall was constructed. To solve this problem, we built a new building over the existing hall, which makes it look like there is something completely new.” The new rollover and wash bays are made by Christ.

Lokhorst is very satisfied with the set-up. “With the current equipment, we can easily accommodate all customers. Of course, we are constantly thinking about how we can stay as up-to-date as possible. For example, an interior design job is interesting, but you have to think carefully about the potential in your region.”

Detailing

Since that 2018 renovation, customers can also go there for professional polishing by appointment. “It is a specific target group that chooses that,” says Lokhorst. “But by linking the cleaning to the carwash, you also get washing customers who sometimes want something more. A nice addition, then.”

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Floors

In the context of keeping everything up to date, the floors of the three wash bays were taken care of this summer. These are the wash bays that were installed in ’18, the floors were still concrete. Now you stand there on the MesaFast Heavy Duty system in dark blue and black. The floor system is 100% liquid proof and resistant to chemicals and sunlight. “They can last for years again,” laughs Lokhorst.

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Author: Rieneke Kok

Rieneke is editor for CarwashPro.com. She also writes for the Dutch version, CarwashPro.nl.

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