There have been occasions in the past when industry tradeshows have followed one another with such rapid succession that travel arrangements became a challenging endeavor. This is the first time to my knowledge, though, that two car wash shows have occupied the exact same dates on the calendar. The Northeast Regional Carwash Convention and the International Carwash Association’s Car Wash Show Europe both take place October 5-7.

Whether to attend one show or the other was probably not a difficult decision to make. Distance and cost considerations alone could have been conclusive. Indeed, few would have been presented with a choice at all were it not for the fact that the ICA, the organizer of the European show, and the five state and regional associations that cooperatively present the NRCC have overlapping membership. And, as we know, associations belong to their members.

Since associations exist for the benefit of their members (i.e., owners) the membership in each of these associations has an interest in the success of both the Atlantic City and Amsterdam shows. The NRCC has a track record — it is a venerable 26-year-old event. If its most recent performances are any indication, the 2015 event will not disappoint. The Car Wash Show Europe, which represents a significant investment by ICA members, will have just admitted its first attendee.

Absent a track record, what circumstances and conditions portend success — or failure — in Amsterdam? The ICA’s own reporting reveals that, at press time, 97 percent of the exhibit space was under contract — an excellent achievement. If one were to point out any negative aspect it would be the absence of several of the “big” names among European car wash equipment manufacturers including Otto Christ AG, WashTec AG, Kärcher, and Istobal.

By the time this issue hits subscriber mailboxes, initial attendance figures at the European show might already be available. This number, too, is likely to be at an acceptable level. One could hardly wish for a better time to launch an automotive-related tradeshow in Europe. As did their counterparts in the United States, European auto manufacturers have steered themselves out of the doldrums of five, six years ago. New-car sales, an acknowledged driver of wash volume, are on a tear.

JATO Dynamics Ltd., the London, UK-based provider of automotive business data, reports that new-car sales in Europe grew by 11.5 percent in August compared to August 2014, marking 24 consecutive months of growth. Sales figures also show a year-to-date growth of 8.9 percent. The report notes that sales reached these numbers despite the fact that August is traditionally the slowest month of the year for car sales due to summer vacations. August’s top seller was the Volkswagen Golf, with units moved nearly double that of its nearest competitor, the Renault Cleo.

With two minor exceptions, auto sales rose in every country, with Germany, as always, recording the highest number of units sold (226,314). Even Greece, for all its economic woes, managed a 21.7 percent increase in sales, though the number of units remained modest at 4,469. The Netherlands, host of the Car Wash Show Europe, posted sales growth for August of 20.8 percent with the number of units reaching 31,178. All told, Europe saw 9.4 million automobiles sold through August in 2015 — each one a potential new car wash customer.