Sonja and Johan are owners of the Carwash Club in Neerpelt, Belgium. Since last year Cartec's chemistry flows through the pipes of their car wash tunnel. We stopped by for a visit to get to know them better.
From a hobby in the barn to complete car wash on site
Twenty years ago Sonja picked up cars from clients, cleaned them at home in her parents’ barn and then returned them all clean and shiny to the client. From an early age it was her hobby to clean cars. She also polished the car of her future parents-in-law. And that’s how she got to know Johan. One dream she had, a fully automatic car wash. And she wanted to start a business of her own.
But Johan had nothing to do at all with car washes and didn’t know the industry. After three years of preliminary research and more than eighty visits to other carwashes, they started in beautiful Neerpelt, Belgium. With lots of notes with pros and cons they were well prepared and the Carwash Club became a fact. Meanwhile the Carwash Club exists more than six years. Sonja runs the Carwash and Johan takes care of the marketing and administration.
“Carwash Club has grown from a hobby on a farm to this total concept with a beautiful appearance.”
Total concept in the car wash
Sonja and Johan offer full service in the carwash. Customers can wash their car themselves in the carwash box or drive through the carwash. Sonja also sometimes drives cars through the car wash of people who become claustrophobic in car washes.
Detailing and interior cleaning are also part of the package they offer. Stains on the seats, tar or paint on the car, Sonja is not afraid for it. With her twenty years of experience she knows how to remove any dirt.
Working outside and customer contact makes Sonja enjoy her work and her company every day. The only disadvantage is that it is weather dependent. When the sun shines it is a great day, but when it rains or it’s colder, it is a lot calmer in her car wash. Still, of course, there is always work to do.
Quality at the top
Sonja and Johan want to add extra value to their customers’ car wash experience. With a large carwash tunnel that washes hundreds of cars a day, quality might fall behind. But at Carwash Club, quality comes first. Whether an old Ford Fiesta or a Porsche Cayenne comes in, they’re both treated the same way.
“To start a car wash, an extensive preliminary investigation and at least a month of trial runs are not a unnecessary luxury. You can never repeat a first impression. Don’t choose a (chemical) supplier based on price, but opt for service and quality. Because that’s what people will come back for.”
A day in the car wash
Every day starts with opening the water taps and the air hoses. After a short check-up whether everything is working, the first few cars are checked. When they come out clean and dry, the car wash is ready for the new day.
The blind spots where the brushes can’t reach are prewashed by hand. For example the emblem and the license plates. And in the summer it is very important that the front of the car is additionally pre-sprayed to remove the insects.
On a busy day when four to five hundred cars are being washed, it is physically quite heavy. Nevertheless, Johan and Sonja enjoy the hard work. On an average weekday there are about one hundred and twenty cars.
The most important thing, they both think, is to be customer friendly and have a neat appearance. An eye for detail is also very important in this business. For example, to make optimal use of the machines and to be able to adjust them.
Cartec Royal Care in the car wash
Sonja has been using Cartec’s car polish products for almost twenty years. Through these products she got to know Cartec. Johan and Sonja were already very satisfied with the quality and service back then. That’s why they wanted to try the Royal Care line for the car wash. This is how the car wash was converted into Cartec products a year ago. They are very enthusiastic that the Cartec quality can now also be found in their car wash.
“We chose the Royal Care line mainly for the professional service and the relieving of worries.”
Royal Forte, a multifunctional product
As with the other products of the Royal Care line, Sonja and Johan are enthusiastic about the Royal Forte. This is a multifunctional product in the chain conveyor of the Carwash Club. It is used in the pre-wash when the cars drive under the first arch. Manual injection of the car is also done with the Royal Forte. After the Royal Forte the cars are treated with the other products of the Royal Care line.
Carwash Club Neerpelt in the future
Currently, ninety percent of the water is recycled. Only ten percent fresh water is needed. Filtered rainwater is first used for the car wash. This is collected under the carwash, where a large water tank has been installed. The tank can hold 160,000 liters of water. Fresh water is not used until it runs out. When the water has been used in the car wash, it is collected again and purified for reuse. Because the products of the Royal Care line are biodegradable, there is minimal impact on the environment.
“In ten years’ time, we want to be one hundred percent recyclable and self-sufficient in terms of water management and energy. Being able to use wind and solar energy, that’s the goal.”
Also curious what the Royal Care products can do in your car wash? Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or visit cartecworld.com/products/the-ultimate-carwash-experience/