It’s not hard to think about how things have changed in the car care industry over the last 65 years. Car washes, or “auto laundries” as they were known in 1953, have come and gone along with manufacturers and suppliers to the industry. Decades ago, environmental concerns and water conservation were an afterthought at best. Computers and robotics have revolutionized the way things are done today. Early tradeshows and conferences were a fraction the size they are now. The one thing that hasn’t changed over all those years is this magazine’s commitment to the industry. Imagine, since 1953, month after month, year in and year out,Auto Laundry Newshas delivered the latest information on trends, surveys, new products and developments, and advice on how to run a better business to operators throughout North America and elsewhere. No other magazine in the care wash industry can make that claim.
Compared to the magazine’s long history, parent company, Williams Publications, is a relative newcomer to the industry, having acquired the magazine in 1995. Interestingly, Williams Publications is celebrating its own anniversary as this month marks 80 years of family ownership. As a measure of our dedication to the industry, all staff members have been with the company in excess of 20 years.
While Auto Laundry News may be the oldest publication in the car wash industry, we didn’t achieve that status by resting on our laurels. As times have changed, so has the magazine. Things like the Internet and websites were the stuff of science fiction in 1953. Our website, www.carwashmag.com, has been developed to allow readers to pick up on the latest news and read articles anywhere in the world as long as they have an Internet connection. E-newsletters, web ads, and videos enable advertisers to connect with customers in ways never dreamed of 65 years ago.
Though the methods and equipment used by car washes to clean cars in the past may seem primitive in comparison to the way things are done now, the dedication of operators remains the same. No one ever set out to do a bad job of cleaning a car. Car washers have to deal with obstacles foreign to most business owners. Weather, equipment breakdowns, not to mention the changes that have taken place in car design all come into play. Popular Science may have foreseen self-driving cars before 1953 but did anyone really think they’d become a reality?
It would be a fool’s errand to try and predict what things will be like in another 65 years. But the one thing that can be counted on in coming years is that the industry will continue to thrive at the hands of people with dedication and commitment to doing the best possible job.