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Oct, 08 2013


Industry estimates suggest that India will have the highest number of cars by 2050, its consumer market is expected to be the fifth largest in the world by 2025, and immense growth is also projected in the transportation sector. The car care and car wash

For the past few years, we have been hiring the services of the cleaner boy who goes to many other houses to do the same stuff with a piece of cloth and some frothy detergent. Time has changed and so has the technique of cleaning cars. Car care and car wash is now among the top priorities in one's To-do list. The global market for car washing services is expected to reach to a figure of over $27.4 billion by the year 2017, driven by rising disposable incomes and jump in new car sales.


A car wash can be a good business for an entrepreneur with little previous business experience. According to the International Carwash Association, 37 per cent of car wash owners have owned their business for less than five years. Anckur Sama, MD, CarzSpa autofresh Pvt Ltd says: “Premium wash with car detailing / car care and tire care industry is growing at a rapid pace and succeeded in all sense in India.” Jasmeet Singh, Country Head, Channel expansion, Speed Carwash agrees. He says: “There has been a drastic change in the automobile sector in the past few years, especially in the car washing segment. The figure of increasing number of professional car washing units speaks for itself.” The future of this industry is definitely bright in the years to come.

About waterless car wash, Jitesh Dang, Founder & CEO, Green Duck Industries, says: “Waterless car wash is a very fresh concept in India and it would be too early to comment on this. Considering the water scarcity in India, there is a lot of potential and opportunity for the concept to take over soon.”

However, Ramesh Naidu S, Founder & MD, Superwash Services Pvt. Ltd , has a different opinion.  “In terms of quality and quantity of beautification services provided to customers, the Indian car wash industry has surely failed till now. But the good news is, quick changes are taking place, Customer knowledge is also improving and young entrepreneurs and large companies are eyeing car detailing business,” he says.

In 2025 every third car manufactured will be sold in India. Since the number of cars will increase, there will be a high demand for car washing business and detailing services too.

Driving factors

These days people are always short of time for a car wash. One of the main challenges for today's car wash owner isn't just providing customers with clean cars; it's providing customers with clean cars in the shortest time possible. Singh of Speed Carwash puts it nicely. “Mechanised car cleaning system is already a $5.97 billion business in the US with more than 14,414 successful outlets, and in India it is just picking up. Indian car owners today do not have many options for car cleaning and detailing, so they are bound to take their car to the road side garages for cleaning services. The car washing business has a handful of competitive advantages. It lacks a dominant national chain. There is a need for professional car cleaning organisation which can provide an ultimate car cleaning experience. So demand for a professional and reliable cleaning brand is higher than ever and is going to increase further.”

In this regard Sama of CarzSpa says: “Ownership age for cars has gone up, exceeding car population, luxury cars and owning more than one car in a household is truly driving this industry.” Low capex and high returns are also counted as two of the many driving factors of this industry.” Waterless car wash may be a new concept in India, but it has been in existence in other parts of the world like Australia, Spain, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Romania, USA, and UAE for many years and has been a huge success. Water crisis in India is the biggest driving factor for opting waterless car wash.

For Naidu of SuperWash, a huge potential market, professional detailing services, and quality and quick service earning points are among the various motivating factors in this industry.

Time to go automatic?

While most car owners still prefer the traditional method of car cleaning, there are a few who look for  best services for their cars and are in favour of choosing the automatic car cleaning approach.

Naidu of Superwash says: “India is definitely a potential market for automated car wash and other car detailing services. Most people still go for the traditional way due to the unavailability of automatic wash centres. The reason is not the unavailability of enthusiastic investors but lack of good indigenous automated machines. Imported automated machines are very expensive, with high maintenance costs and no service provided after sale. In my opinion, if an Indian company produces a good quality machine with a decent price and low maintenance cost, and after-sale services are provided, more traders would be interested in promoting automated car wash centres.”

On the contrary, Sama of CarzSpa says: “There is no potential in India for automatic car wash. Indian conditions are neither favourable nor suitable for such equipment.”

In India car owners want to save time and go for the automatic option, but they are hardly left with any choice. Apart from all these options, India also offers phenomenal opportunity as a market for waterless car wash. Dang of Green Duck Industries says: “Using waterless car wash is much easier than washing cars through traditional hose and bucket. Now more people are becoming aware of and are going green.” Vishesh Nigam, Business Manager, Franchising Business, 3M Car Care, says: “Despite a poor economy with almost two lakh cars sold per month, the potential for this business cannot be overemphasised. The potential is huge but not really estimated properly by anyone in the industry.”

Why franchising?

Most car wash owners believe that franchising is always the best route for expansion. Nigam of 3M Car Care believes that a brand can really harness the potential of any market through quality franchisees that know their respective markets well. Speed Car Wash attributes it as a business of happy customers. The demand for a professional car wash service was the key which motivated Speed Car Wash to start franchising, reaching beyond their territory. Franchising can help any brand to expand fast. The concept of waterless car wash is also booming and demand for waterless car wash is growing at an amazing speed. Green Duck Industries believes it is the right time to capture the market and expand via the franchise route.

Franchisee must-haves & offerings

Every franchisee before owning a brand's franchise has to fulfil all the prerequisites of the brand. Speed Car Wash is offering unit franchise, district franchise and master franchise depending upon the prospects, investment range and level of interest. If you are interested in taking the eco friendly route with Green Duck Industries, no technical know-how is required. Just one hour of onsite practical training and a little investment from a prospective franchisee is all that the brand seeks. Other brand's must-haves include dedication towards running business at the standards described. 3M Car Care is opening car detailing stores across the country that caters to needs of car owners who wish to keep their car looking new. The brand has a separate head of soft skills training for customer interactions.

Super Wash calls its training and support system as A-Z Policy.  From layout design to construction to customer support and after-sales training are provided by the company to the franchisee.

Why a best seller?

Every car wash brand maintains its USP and some distinctive offerings that make it a runaway success. 3 M Car Care's USP revolves around trust, technology and expertise. Their portfolio of offerings has not only wash and car detailing but also unique products like Scotchgard Paint Protection Films (lamination for cars), Car wraps, Nomad mats, Sprayable films, etc. Green Duck Waterless Car Wash is capable of washing a car with just 100 ml of the product. It can be used anytime, anywhere and one also saves water from getting wasted. Another USP is that the product has zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Speed Car Wash adopts a unique mechanised car cleaning concept where cars get pampered by the latest equipment, including high pressure cleaning machines, spray extraction machines, high powered vacuum cleaners, steam cleaners, etc. Every brand tries to offer something exclusive to its customers. The USP of Superwash is quality service, headlight restoration, wheel brightening, and Descaling.  CarzSpa's USP lies in its titanium coatings on paint and sound dampening coatings on under body.

Emerging Trends

  • Customers are looking for premium thorough washes, interior cleanings with ozone purification for germ free cars.
  • Unlike the traditional way of cleaning, Customers are now showing interest in wide range of detailing services like Waxing, Underbody treatment, Anti-germ treatment, Paint protection, Paint restoration.
  • High demand for good ambience and recreational facilities at the centre. Customers are even ready to pay extra.
  • For waterless Car wash, a corporate contract for cleaning cars while you are at work is the most emerging trend.
  • Biodegradable wash

Expansion plans

Current trends in the market seem to favour car wash owners. With the number of vehicles increasing rapidly, car wash owners are quickly planning to get bigger. Superwash plans to open 20 franchise outlets by December 2013. With an eco-friendly motive, Green Duck Industries are targeting all major cities in the country for expansion. Speed Car Wash with its aggressive approach of giving customers the best service of its class has planned to penetrate into the Indian market covering tier I and  II cities. CarzSpa is planning to add 25 more outlets in next one year. On the other hand, 3M Car Care currently runs 26 outlets with plans to add 10 more in Q4 of 2013.


Now that you are aware of opportunities in the car wash industry, it is the right time to study the market, and grow your business network. 

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