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Exploring the European Car Wash Market: Customer Behaviour, Sector Value and Channel Success

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Posted / Last update: 30-11-2010

The European car wash sector is one which is dominated by service station retailers, however, other players are active in the market and in certain countries commercial hand car washing operations are increasing in importance. This report provides insight into key sector trends as well as data on motorist's wash behaviour, market value and installation numbers by type of car wash and channels.

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Scope of this research

  • Insight into the key trends impacting the car wash retail sector including forecasts of new vehicle registrations and motorists' car washing behavior
  • Up-to-date car wash value, wash volume and installation data for the UK, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Germany, Spain and Italy
  • Consumer data on the effectiveness of different wash types based on criteria including wash quality, wash speed, care for vehicle and value for money
  • Overviews of the key car wash manufacturers and operators including service station providers as well as standalone players such as Elephant Bleu

Key reasons to purchase this research

  • Make informed investment decisions by understanding the size of the car wash retail market and the nature of the competition within it.
  • Formulate market share objectives for your company and assess performance using our value data segmented by channel and installation type.
  • Develop superior strategies to those of your competitors by accessing information on their site numbers and marketing activities.
  • OVERVIEW
    • Summary
  • DEFINING THE CAR WASH MARKET
    • There are three main types of car wash installation
    • Automatic washes are still perceived negatively by consumers
      • A reduction in service stations has reduced the number of roll over installations
      • Tunnel washes are suitable for sites with a high throughput
      • Jet washes are the most commonly used installation
    • Across Europe, there are three commercial wash channels used by private motorists
      • Service stations are the largest car wash channel in Europe
      • Standalone operators typically feature well-maintained equipment and high wash throughputs
      • Hand car washes have varying penetration across Europe due to differing environmental legislation
  • EUROPEAN OVERVIEW
    • Each registered vehicle is washed at a commercial car wash an average of 4.8 times each year
    • The commercial car wash market was worth €4,696m in 2009
    • Service stations are most commonly used for car washing
    • Roll over machines are the largest wash type in the region by value
  • MARKET DRIVERS
    • The current economic environment has created new challenges for car wash retail
      • The crisis-struck European new car market is unlikely to recover properly until 2015
      • Car usage and fuel demand have been less resilient than usual
      • Some European motorists have sacrificed paid car washing services in order to reduce motoring spend
      • Although car wash installation investment is suffering, there are opportunities to improve wash numbers
      • Site consolidation and occasional supermarket new builds still provide growth opportunities
    • When selecting a car wash, wash quality and vehicle care are most important to motorists
    • Environmental issues are increasingly impacting the car wash market
      • Germany has the strictest car wash regulations in the region examined
      • More biodegradable chemicals are being developed
      • The emergence of commercial hand car washing operations is fuelling the environmental debate
      • Commercial wash operators must appeal to the growing number of environmentally aware consumers
  • MAJOR PLAYERS IN THE EUROPEAN CAR WASH MARKET
    • Manufacturers often sell their equipment through specialist car wash dealers
      • WashTec is one of the leading European car wash manufacturers
      • US-based Ryko Group has sold its European manufacturing division
      • Istobal installations have a strong presence across the Iberian Peninsula
      • Christ exports just under half of its products to countries outside of Germany
      • Ceccato has a strong presence at Agip branded sites in Italy
      • Tammermatic’s key markets are Scandinavia and the Baltic states
      • Kärcher offers a car wash equipment cash back scheme in the UK
    • Large standalone operators are typically arranged in a franchise-based model
      • Europe’s largest standalone operator, IMO, went into administration in 2009
      • Standalone player Elephant Bleu has introduced roll over machines at a number of its sites
      • Mr Wash sites feature conveyor and self-service jet washes
      • ProntoWash sites are predominantly located at commercial car parks
    • Service stations are the main car wash operators in Europe
      • Shell has the largest number of branded service stations with a car wash in Europe
      • TOTAL offers a pre-loaded car wash card in a number of European markets
      • Repsol Sprint Wash centres are located throughout Spain and Portugal
      • Agip accounts for 24% of all service stations with a car wash in Italy
      • PKN Orlen has begun to invest in car washes
      • Two-thirds of car wash installations at Statoil sites in Sweden feature water recycling equipment
  • CAR WASH COUNTRY PROFILES
    • France
      • On average each vehicle in France is cleaned over 6 times each year
      • Jet washes are most prevalent installation type in France
      • Service stations are the biggest car wash channel in France
      • Standalone sites have the highest number of jet wash installations
      • The paid hand wash segment is the smallest commercial car wash channel in France
      • Each of the major wash types exceed French consumers' expectations
    • Germany
      • Germany has the largest car wash market in Europe by both installation type and value
      • Most wash installations in Germany are roll over machines
      • Service stations are the largest car wash channel in Germany
      • Standalone tunnel washes in Germany have a very high wash throughput
      • Stringent regulations mean that the commercial hand car wash segment in Germany is small
      • Automatic washes are the highest rated and most frequently used wash type in Germany
    • UK
      • On average, each vehicle in the UK is washed just over eight times per year
      • The majority of wash machines in the UK are jet installations
      • Many service stations in the UK feature a car wash installation
      • The standalone segment is the second largest car wash channel in the UK
      • Paid hand car washes are the largest channel by market value in the UK
      • Washing at home is the most popular car wash type in the UK
    • Belgium
      • Each vehicle in Belgium is washed over 7 times per year
      • Jet wash machines are the most commonly found installation type in Belgium
      • The Belgian service station channel was worth in excess of €40m in 2009
      • The standalone wash segment is the largest commercial channel by market value
      • The paid hand wash channel in Belgium is growing in importance
      • Each of the four wash types in Belgium exceeds consumers’ expectations
    • Netherlands
      • On average each vehicle in the Netherlands is washed over 6 times each year
      • Jet installations are the most commonly found wash installation in the country
      • Service stations are the largest channel by market value in the Netherlands
      • A major standalone operator in the market is IMO
      • Paid hand wash sites exist in the Netherlands
      • Each of the four wash types in the Netherlands exceeds customers’ expectations
    • Sweden
      • Vehicles in Sweden are washed less frequently than in any other country in the region
      • Roll over machines are the most commonly found wash type in Sweden due to the cold climate
      • Service stations are the biggest wash channel in Sweden
      • The Swedish standalone channel is the smallest in the region
      • Water recycling legislation has limited the number of commercial hand wash sites in Sweden
      • Washing at home and jet washing score the highest consumer wash rating in Sweden
    • Spain
      • Registered vehicles in Spain are washed more than in any other market in the region
      • Jet wash machines are the most commonly found installation type in Spain
      • Service stations are the biggest car wash channel in Spain
      • Jet installations are the most frequently used wash type at standalone sites in Spain
      • In 2009, the commercial hand wash channel in Spain was worth €20m
      • Automatic machines and washing at home are both rated the highest by Spanish consumers
    • Italy
      • Italy is the third largest market by value
      • Jet installations account for over half of installations in the country
      • The majority of car wash installations in Italy are located at service stations
      • 䔠 Each registered vehicle in Italy is cleaned more than once a year at a standalone site
      • Commercial hand washes are the smallest wash channel in Italy
      • All major wash types in Italy tend to exceed customers' expectations
  • APPENDIX
    • Secondary Research
    • Further reading
    • Ask the analyst
    • Datamonitor consulting
    • Disclaimer
  • TABLES
    • Table: Service station and standalone installations, wash occasions and market value in France
    • Table: Hand car wash sites, occasions and market value in France
    • Table: Service station and standalone installations, wash occasions and market value in Germany
    • Table: Hand car wash sites, occasions and market value in Germany
    • Table: Service station and standalone installations, wash occasions and market value in the UK
    • Table: Hand car wash sites, occasions and market value in the UK
    • Table: Service station and standalone installations, wash occasions and market value in Belgium
    • Table: Hand car wash sites, occasions and market value in Belgium
    • Table: Service station and standalone installations, wash occasions and market value in the Netherlands
    • Table: Hand car wash sites, occasions and market value in the Netherlands
    • Table: Service station and standalone installations, wash occasions and market value in Sweden
    • Table: Hand car wash sites, occasions and market value in Sweden
    • Table: Service station and standalone installations, wash occasions and market value in Spain
    • Table: Hand car wash sites, occasions and market value in Spain
    • Table: Service stations and standalone installations, wash occasions and market value in Italy
    • Table: Hand car wash sites, occasions and market value in Italy
  • FIGURES
    • Figure: A roll over installation in the UK
    • Figure: Inside a tunnel installation
    • Figure: A jet wash installation in the UK
    • Figure: An IMO standalone site
    • Figure: An American Hand Car Wash site in London, UK
    • Figure: Average annual wash occasions per registered vehicle
    • Figure: Total commercial car wash value by country (€m), 2009
    • Figure: Average annual commercial car wash spend per registered vehicle (€), 2009
    • Figure: Car wash value by channel (€m), 2009
    • Figure: Total value by wash type and country (€m), 2009
    • Figure: New car registrations in selected European markets, 2007–15
    • Figure: Motorists that had reduced car usage in the six months to November 2009
    • Figure: Motorists that had reduced commercial car washing services in the six months to November 2009
    • Figure: Customer satisfaction by car wash method, Euro 8
    • Figure: A WashTec roll over installation and company logo
    • Figure: An Istobal roll over machine and company logo
    • Figure: An Elephant Bleu standalone site, France
    • Figure: A Repsol Sprint Wash site, Spain
    • Figure: Service station and standalone car wash market values in France, 2009
    • Figure: Car wash installations by channel in France, 2010
    • Figure: Wash occasions by installation and channel in France, 2009
    • Figure: Wash rating and occasions by car wash type in France, 2009
    • Figure: Service station and standalone car wash market values in Germany, 2009
    • Figure: Car wash installations by channel in Germany, 2010
    • Figure: Wash occasions by installation and channel in Germany, 2009
    • Figure: Wash rating and occasions by car wash type in Germany, 2009
    • Figure: Service station and standalone car wash market values in the UK, 2009
    • Figure: Car wash installations by channel in the UK, 2010
    • Figure: Wash occasions by installation and channel in UK, 2009
    • Figure: Wash rating and occasions by car wash type in the UK, 2009
    • Figure: Service station and standalone car wash market values in Belgium, 2009
    • Figure: Car wash installations by channel in Belgium, 2010
    • Figure: Wash occasions by installation and channel in Belgium, 2009
    • Figure: Wash rating and occasions by car wash type in Belgium, 2009
    • Figure: Service station and standalone car wash market values in the Netherlands, 2009
    • Figure: Car wash installations by channel in the Netherlands, 2010
    • Figure: Wash occasions by installation and channel in the Netherlands, 2009
    • Figure: Wash rating and occasions by car wash type in the Netherlands, 2009
    • Figure: Service station and standalone car wash market values in Sweden, 2009
    • Figure: Car wash installations by channel in Sweden, 2010
    • Figure: Wash occasions by installation and channel in Sweden, 2009
    • Figure: Wash rating and occasions by car wash type in Sweden, 2009
    • Figure: Service station and standalone car wash market values in Spain, 2009
    • Figure: Car wash installations by channel in Spain, 2010
    • Figure: Wash occasions by installation and channel in Spain, 2009
    • Figure: Wash rating and occasions by car wash type in Spain, 2009
    • Figure: Service station and standalone car wash market values in Italy, 2009
    • Figure: Car wash installations by channel in Italy, 2010
    • Figure: Wash occasions by installation and channel in Italy, 2009
    • Figure: Wash rating and occasions by car wash type in Italy, 2009

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Datamonitor
United Kingdom

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