Most folks believe that certain service businesses were recession proof, or at least recession resistant. And while some are, most of those aren’t breaking any speed records due to the severity of this current economic downturn. The car washing sector was once considered recession resistant, but try going down to your local carwash; notice there are no lines?
Why you ask? Well a couple of reasons lately. For instance; No one is driving, in fact, auto accidents are at an all time low, lowest since 1961. High fuel prices and recession are the obvious culprits, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.
Since the mechanical car wash business typically tracks new car sales, and the auto industry is off some 30% from this same time last year, the car wash business has seen better days. Unfortunately, quite a few car washes were built during the boom real estate period and bubble. Now it’s hard to say how many will still be in business if and when the economy returns and the recession ends sometime in 2010.
Still, new car sales for 2009 are expected to not even break 10 million here in the United States, and typically they’ve been running a solid 17 million in the past five years before the recession hit. If you are wondering why the car wash business tracks new car sales it is relatively simple.
You see, people that buy new cars wish to keep them looking nice for as long as possible. While people that have 4-year old cars or older, just do not have the same kind of love they once had, when they were new. Please consider this, and please go get your car washed!