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IDA Column. ............. 4

IDA Marine Certification

Sets Sail!

Detail Doctor . ............ 6

Maintenance Matters

Innovations . ............. 8

Nitty Gritty ............. 10

Where’s the Money?

Industry Dirt . ........... 12

Fiber Logic ............. 20

The Business

of Detailing . ............ 24

What Type of Detailer

Do I Want to be?

We're Not In

Kansas Anymore ........ 26

Vol. 5, No. 3, Fall 2020

One More Thing ...

So…how is everyone doing out there? Are

you okay? Surviving? Mad? Miffed? Wishing

2020 was over? Or, are you seemingly unaffected

by it all? Perhaps your state is “business

as usual.” Although, even if you’re impervious

to it all, the news, television entertainment,

and your travel plans are anything but normal.

This year for me has somewhat been a kick in

my ever-hopeful heart. My beloved cat passed

away, a close family member has been sick, and

there has been so much strife between friends

and loved ones over the upcoming election,

I seriously feel like either hiding out in the

Adirondacks for the next five months in a cabin

with no electricity. But, a constant and steady

part of my life has been this magazine. I still

have this work to look forward to every day and

I still get to hear your stories and feel normal

again when I sit down to work. Of course, while

I type this, I still have both kids at home with

me. I still feel stuck, and I still want to go and

visit my friends in other states, but those are

all passable problems. And, I hope, for all of

you who are reading this, whom I appreciate so

much, are doing okay. I know in a lot of ways,

the importance of cleanliness is front and center

of most peoples’ anxieties and desires. Germkilling

is no longer germaphobe propaganda – it

is a full-on new way of life. Detailers have a lot

of opportunities here, to really promote your

services and offer concrete, dependable services

and also, offer something that we moms, caregivers

and stressed-out drivers need more than

ever: Peace of mind.

And, if you don’t want to take the pandemic-based

marketing route, consider using the

recent study, referenced on page 17 which

revealed that most people will not get a second

date if their date’s car is messy. So, there you

have it. If people aren’t afraid of getting Covid,

maybe they are afraid of getting ghosted.

In other news, this issue’s cover story was so

much fun. It was made possible by Bud “Detail

Doctor” Abraham who knows detailers from

all over the world. The idea came about at the

last Mobile Tech Expo (remember when we all

convened in Orlando, without a Covid-based

care in the world). Bud and I were talking and

the idea of an international issue came about.

That evening, during a social gathering at one

of the resort restaurants, also gave us the opportunity

to meet Guðmundur Einar Halldórsson

of Iceland. The International Detailing

Association helped me track him down months

later and here we are. A detailer in Saudi Arabia

and another in Argentina are also included.

Some of their answers might surprise you.

And, one more thing before I go. If money

is tight right now, I urge you to read page 10

and look into a loan from the Small Business

Administration. I know businesses are closing

up here in Upstate New York. The money is

available and the criteria seems more than

reasonable. Please do not feel any shame in

reaching out for a helping hand.

I also ask that all of you out there stay safe

and know that you’re not alone.

Until next time,

Publisher: Jackson Vahaly

Editor: Debra Gorgos

Design: Katy Barrett-Alley

Auto Detailing News is published 4 times per year

and is independently owned by Jackson Vahaly.

Web address is www.autodetailingnews.com

All inquiries should be directed to:

Auto Detailing News

110 Childs Ln. Franklin, TN 37067


Copyright © 2020

2 Dollar Enterprises/Auto Detailing News

All Rights Reserved.




IDA Marine


Sets Sail!

The IDA’s Newest Certification Program

Is Ready for its Maiden Voyage

By Erin Reyes, IDA

Communications Coordinator

It’s time to dive into the latest IDA

Certification – Marine!

That’s right, IDA Marine Certification

examinations are now available online.

This is the first specialty certification

that the IDA is introducing to its lineup

– with plans to eventually grow to include

individual certifications for motorcycles,

recreational vehicles, aircraft, and more.

The IDA Certification Committee

first decided to proceed with the marine

certification more than two years ago,

based on market demand and the availability

of volunteers willing to help move

the program forward.

“The Certification Committee is constantly

reviewing the current programs

and looking at future opportunities,” explained

Keith Duplessie, CD-SV, RT, former

IDA president and one of the leaders

of the marine certification project.

“There have been a number of potential

specialty accreditations discussed in recent

years, including marine. In 2018, the

committee established a task force to review

the feasibility of and process for the

program. Luckily, a great group of IDA

members with an interest in marine detailing

volunteered to do the heavy lifting

of implementing the program.”

Indeed, heavy lifting it was – the task

force essentially started from scratch to

pull the program together. First, they

needed to settle on the best categories

to build upon the foundational Phase I

– Certified Detailer (CD) exams, while

also making sure the new tests were marine-specific.

Then came the even harder

task – developing questions that would

accurately assess an individual’s marine

expertise while also keeping them generic

enough to apply to the variety of circumstances

and environments that marine

detailers face on the job. Lastly, they

made the decision to limit the certification

– at least for now – to written exams,

rather than including the additional level

of in-person skills validation (SV).

“We all came to the agreement that

we should have knowledge first and then

work on the skillset,” said task force member

and veteran marine detailer Parker

Richards. “If some are wondering why

there’s not an SV test right away, we had

all decided that it was important to build

a foundation [first] and then continue to

build on the skillset.”

The task force initially believed the

certification development process would

take no more than a year, but soon realized

that between busy work schedules

and all the necessary steps to build the

program properly, they could not rush the

timeline. Now, over two years later, the

program is finally ready, and they are glad

they took the time to do it the right way.

While they had hoped to launch the

program earlier this year in-person at

the Southern Detailers Conference in

Lexington, Kentucky, unfortunately the

event was cancelled due to limitations

on gatherings because of the pandemic.

Exams are available online now, but,

according to Duplessie, the task force is

hoping to move forward with their plans

to hold in-person exams at the 2021

Mobile Tech Expo in Orlando, Florida,

should the event go on as planned.

Knowing that there would be a lot

of interest in the program, along with

a lot of questions, the task force held a

webinar at the end of August to discuss

the exams and answer questions from

attendees. The live webinar had more

than 60 attendees interested in learning

more about the program. The webinar

recording is available on the IDA website

for members who were not able to

attend the live session and for those who

just want to re-watch the discussion for

additional insights.

One of the points the panelists emphasized

during the webinar is that those

considering taking the exams should be

well-versed in the intricacies of marine

detailing and understand the major differences

between it and other forms of

detailing, namely auto detailing.

“There is a lot of material here,”

Duplessie said, adding, “This is a very

focused area of detailing. It’s not rocket

science, but it is specific.”

Not only are there the obvious differences

between the actual vessels that are

being detailed, but there are also various

chemical, environmental, and safety factors

to consider, which auto detailers may

not even think about at first.

During the webinar, the task force

dove into the example of cross-contamination,

an issue that can arise when

a boat is transported from one lake to


another. If one lake is populated by an

invasive species, it is important for the

detailer to thoroughly de-contaminate

the boat before the customer brings it to

another lake or run the risk of potentially

spreading the invasive species. Therefore,

it is essential for marine detailers to get

to know their customers and understand

their habits and behaviors, perhaps even

more so than auto detailers.

Furthermore, panelist Ben Thompson

reminded those on the webinar that,

as marine detailers, the waterway would

more than likely be their workplace, so

they have to be extra considerate of the

environment, knowing that whatever substances

they are using to clean the boats

will run off directly into the body of water.

Thus, hopefully marine detailers take it

upon themselves to be more cognizant of

the types of materials they use, all of which

is reflected in the certification exams.

Because of the advanced nature of

the marine exams, it is a prerequisite to

hold an active Certified Detailer (CD)

designation, which establishes the foundation

for all other certification levels.

There are five exams in the marine certification

series: (1) Interior & Vinyl Care, (2)

Paint & Fiberglass, (3) Safety & Environmental,

(4) Terminology, and (5) Wood

Trim, Metal & Brightwork. The full set

of exams costs $200 for members and

$400 for non-members. Each exam can

also be purchased individually for $50 for

members, $90 each for non-members,

and they can be taken in any order. Just as

with the Phase I certification exams, individuals

will receive two attempts for each

exam with their first purchase. If they do

not pass with an 80% or better after two

attempts, retakes will be available for $10

each. Also, like with the Phase I exams,

users will have a year to complete their

exams from the date of purchase of the

first exam or the complete set.

An 80% or better is required on all

five exams to pass and achieve the marine

certification. Once an individual earns

the certification, they also earn the privilege

of using the CD, MC designation

after their name (i.e. John Smith, CD,

MC). They will then be known as an IDA

Certified Detailer – Marine Certified for

as long as they maintain recertification.

As with all other IDA Certification

levels, marine certified detailers will need

to complete eight credits for recertification

every two years. A minimum of

two of the eight credits need to be marine-specific,

to show that the detailer is

keeping up with all the latest techniques

and technological developments in relation

to marine detailing. Similarly, the

Certification Committee will continue

to monitor the marine exams – as they

do for all current exams – on an annual

basis, updating the material as needed to

match new rules, regulations, and trends

as they arise.

The IDA knows that its members are

continuously looking for ways to better

themselves and improve the services they

offer to their consumer base. To that end,

the Certification Committee – along with

all the other IDA committees, task forces,

and Board leaders – are constantly working

on programs and offerings to improve

education and professional development

opportunities for detailers. In this case,

Marine Certification is just one of the

many ways the IDA is working to ensure

that the rising tide lifts all boats.

The IDA Marine Certification online

exams are available now. To get started,

visit https://the-ida.com/marine.

The IDA wishes to extend sincere thanks to

the team responsible for bringing the exams

to fruition: Keith Duplessie, CD-SV, RT, Detail

Plus; Parker Richards, Colorado Boat Detailing;

Ben Thompson, Mavinate; Josh Buckler,

Shine Right Detailing; Mike Phillips, CD-SV, RT,

Autogeek; John Lakkis, Hula Boat Care; and

Nathan Warren, CD-SV, Frontline Shine.
















DETAILPLUS.COM || 503-251-2955





Why your shop’s equipment

requires scheduled care.

Bud Abraham is Founder and President Emeritus of DETAIL PLUS Car Appearance Systems,

with more than 40 years of experience in the car care industry as a manufacturer, operator,

distributor and consultant. He writes articles and gives seminars on the subject of auto

detailing throughout the automotive industry. He can be reached at buda@detailplus.com.

By Bud Abraham


When someone brings a vehicle to

your detail shop, you can tell if it has been

properly maintained. If it has not, what’s

your reaction? You probably feel that

the owner doesn’t bother to do the little

things that keep the car looking good.

You see that they rarely wash the car, has

probably never waxed it, or shampooed

the carpets. If there were jail time for cosmetic

vehicle abuse, this person would be

behind bars for a long time.

How, you ask yourself, can a person

spend so much money on their vehicle - one

of the largest investments they will make in

their life and then not take care of it?”



Look around your shop or mobile rig

at the investments you’ve made in equipment.

Are you properly maintaining

the equipment and tools that you need

to practice your chosen profession? Or

are some of your tools/equipment now

malfunctioning or not functioning at all

because of the abuse they have been put

through? You’re thinking about repairing

or replacing them, but they’re “doing

fine,” even though it might be costing you

in work quality and re-dos.

Most of your equipment and tools

need regular maintenance. Frequency

will vary, depending on the equipment/

tool, shop management, shop personnel,

and the level of respect an owner has for

their equipment investment. The following

is a list of equipment maintenance

tips that will help you focus on an important

part of your business.

Although not a comprehensive list

by any means, these tips might deal with

some equipment that your shop has let

slide. If this nudges you into taking another

look at that particular piece of equipment

and its maintenance, maybe it will

have saved you some part of your initial

investment or even a future job. Remember

that there is no “downside” to regular

maintenance. You’ll never see an article

titled, “The Pros and Cons of Equipment

Maintenance” because the “cons” simply

don’t exist. Properly maintaining your

shop’s equipment can only produce good

results for your bottom line.

Keep in mind that some tips presented

here may not apply to a specific manufacturer’s

equipment. Always follow the manufacturer’s

recommended maintenance.


Regularly replace air filters and carbon

vanes, check oil and add or change if

necessary, open the valve to blowout condensation

or dirt, clean out water traps to

remove condensation.

After a few years, your compressor

may have inadvertently become situated

in a less-than-ideal area of the shop.

Make sure that it’s placed in an area that

provides clean, fresh, breathable air that

is well ventilated.

Regularly check the belt to ensure

snugness. A loose belt could break the

belt down and throw the pulleys out of

balance. An overly tight belt, on the other

hand, may damage the motor and compressor

bearings. Check for damaged

wires around the belt area.

Check monthly for rust and cracks in

the body or tank of the compressor. If either

appears, it may be time for a brand

new compressor.

Check for bubbles or blisters in hoses

and replace before breakage can occur. If

you have a new compressor, allow for a

break-in period before you begin subjecting

it to the wear of everyday shop use.

If you use air tools, lubricate them every

day only with manufacturer-recommended

oil or install an automatic oiler

or lubricator in the air lines that power

the tools. (If you use electric tools, check

brushes and cords for wear).

Regularly check for worn parts that

will affect the tool’s performance. Since air

tools rely upon specific air pressures a worn

part that causes a drop in pressure can adversely

affect the tool’s performance.

Keep all moisture out of the air lines

by using a dryer or filter. Drain the compressor

daily and install moisture traps

and separators in the air lines.

Periodically check air tools to see if

they’re receiving the proper amount of

air pressure. Air pressure can be checked

at the tool by rigging a compression

gauge or an air-pressure gauge to a tee

fitting and then note the air-pressure

reading. Note this reading against the

running air pressure.


The most important thing to do with

electric tools is to change the brushes in

the motor regularly. Check the electric

cord for any fraying or loosening where

the cord goes into the tool. And, check

the condition of the plug regularly.


Periodically check all plugs, wires and

connecting cables for signs of fraying or

other damage.

Regularly clean the outside of your

computer and its components, following

manufacturer recommendations. You

should not use aerosol sprays, solvents or

abrasives to clean your computer. Do not

allow moisture to get into any openings.

After a computer has been in your

shop for some time, it can be taken for

granted. If you’re not careful, some employees

will begin using it as a magazine

stand, memo holder or coat rack.

Avoid overheating of your computer,

make sure that all ventilation openings

remain clear and unobstructed.


Make sure the tips of screwdrivers are

free of dirt and grease, and keep handles

clean as well. Inspect tips regularly.

Check for wrenches with broken or

battered points - discard these. Inspect

ratchets regularly and keep each mechanism

clean and properly lubricated with

Iight-grade oil.

Periodically inspect sockets and replace

immediately if showing cracks or


wear. Make sure sockets are free of dirt

and grease both inside and out.

Organize tools on wallboards for better

access and inventory control. Install metal

supply cabinets for smaller tools that tend

to “walk away.” Use the last 15 minutes of

each workday for tool cleanup and for the

return of tools to proper places.


If you use respirators, check the mask

regularly for cracks, dents, etc. For cartridge-type

respirators, replace the cartridge

on a regular basis and at the first

scent of solvent odor. Replace the respirator’s

pre-filters when it becomes difficult

to breathe using the respirator. Check for

proper fit on a regular basis.


If you do paint touchup and use

spray guns, be sure to check the gun cup

gasket. Soak it thoroughly to remove all

traces of paint material, which can lead

to severe leaks.

Regularly examine and lubricate the

gun’s air valve, trigger-bearing stud, pattern-control

knob, and fluid-control knob.

However, do not overly lubricate. Check your

owner’s manual for lubrication intervals.

To clear a plugged side-port jet or

horn hole on the air cap, soak the air cap

in lacquer thinner, place the cap face up

on a piece of cloth held in the palm of

your hand, and use an air gun to blow

the passages clean.

If there are small nicks or abrasions

on the cup’s neck or rim, you can remove


The maintenance tasks and tips covered

in this article don’t take care of

themselves, of course. As already slated,

the importance of maintenance has to

be stressed by the owner or manager and

that maintenance philosophy has to be

adopted and carried out throughout the

shop. Here are some basic steps to take

to begin organizing your shop’s maintenance


them by using a 100-grit dual-action,

adhesive-backed sanding disc. Place the

sandpaper, grit side up, on an even, flat

surface. Before sanding, open the cup

rim, making it as round as possible. Also

check to see that the cup-locking pegs

are straight and not pointed toward the

ceiling due to previous, excessive lid pressure.

Then, turn the cup upside down and

move it in one direction over the sandpaper

until the edge is completely smooth.

• Make a list of the

equipment in your shop.

• For each piece of Equipment, list

the maintenance procedures you

should follow to care for

that equipment.

• List the frequency for each

maintenance task (daily,

weekly, monthly, etc.).

• Decide who will be in charge

of equipment maintenance.


You should empty and flush the vacuum

canister every night and clean the filter -

without exception! Check gaskets for proper

sealing, and hoses for cracks or leaks.


Empty and flush out the solution and

recovery tanks, clean and rinse filters every

day. Check all fittings for leaks and

hoses for cracks and leaks.

With a regular maintenance schedule,

you can track who is responsible for maintenance

problems. It also serves as a kind

of job description for the person assigned

to the maintenance, mapping out all the

duties expected of him. By listing the

procedures necessary for maintenance,

the schedule also serves as a checklist for

more accurate upkeep control.



Introducing new & improved products for professional auto, boat & motorcycle detailers.

Headlight restoration

system from Auto Magic

Auto Magic announces the launch of

their Professional Headlight Restoration

System that quickly restores yellowed

and foggy headlights up to original OEM

specifications. With the new system,

headlights can be restored up to 5 times

faster and with up to 30% less sanding.

A final coat is formulated to cure in 3-4

minutes with UV light or sunlight for

increased application flexibility while

providing a protective coating that helps

resist chips and scratches.

“Detailers want product solutions that

deliver quality results while saving time

and money,” said Steven Levine, Vice

President and General Manager ITW

Global Body Repair. “The Auto Magic

Headlight Restoration System delivers

professional results with fewer steps and

in less time, adding customer value and

helping increase the productivity of detail

shops. Best of all we stand behind our

performance with a 3-year guarantee.”

The Auto Magic Headlight

Restoration Kit includes materials and

supplies to restore 12 cars or 24 headlights—no

special tools or equipment

are needed. Kits are available from

authorized Auto Magic Distributors.

Additional product information and list

of distributors can be found on the Auto

Magic website.

Career Center from

International Carwash Association

The International Carwash Association has

launched the ICA Car Wash Career Center,

designed to connect employers in our industry with

candidates, job seekers, and talent. It’s never been

easier to amplify the benefits of working at your

operation or company; and it’s never been easier to

find opportunities in our business.

The Car Wash Career Center features postings

from all segments of the car wash business.

Jobs will be available at retail operators, suppliers,

Surface prep from Meguiar’s

Meguiar’s® M122 Surface Prep is a new and

unique formulation that was specifically formulated

with professional detailers in mind to equip them

with a pro-grade inspection spray that delivers

maximum performance, yet is still cost-effective.

M122 removes compound and polishing residue,

oils and fresh surface contaminants ultimately

allowing the detailer to fully assess the true condition

of the surface they are working with. Given

the highly competitive price point, detailers can

finally justify using M122 as an inspection spray

throughout the entire paint correction process.

Surface Prep is also the perfect choice to quickly

clean and prepare paint and ensure maximum

adhesion before applying a coating or touch-up

distributors, and facility or ancillary services like

marketing, finance, or HR.

Employers should know that the Career Center

is distributed and promoted to ICA’s global audience

of more than 25,000 subscribers and members.

These individuals include veterans to the industry

and those from “car wash families” as well as those

brand new or seeking entry into the industry. And

between now and October 1, 2020, all job postings

to the ICA network will be FREE to any employer.

paint. Without being

heavy in solvents, this

ready-to-use formula

is body shop safe and

uniquely formulated

so it won’t run the risk

of swelling or staining

paint, making it

safer to use than pure

isopropyl alcohol. Whether an automotive detailer,

a professional in a paint collision shop, or detailing

enthusiast, this pro-grade inspection spray is easy

to use, delivers quick effective paint cleaning and is

still a cost-effective solution.

Commercial Wall

Fixtures from LSI

LSI Industries has launched a new line of high-performance

commercial wall fixtures. The new outdoor

luminaires feature a sleek, modern housing and offer

multiple temperature, distribution and lumen options.

Cost-competitive and energy-efficient, the new fixtures

are ideal for retail exterior applications.

“Our new commercial wall lights are among the

most competitive, scalable and affordable wall fixtures

on the market,” said Mike Prachar, Chief Marketing

Officer of LSI Industries. “Not only do they deliver

excellent photometric performance, they match the

aesthetics of our commercial area lights – giving property

owners the ability to create modern, attractive and

welcoming spaces.”

LSI’s new wall mount fixtures are easy to install,

featuring an external box for surface conduit, including

thru-wire, as well as stub conduit for use when a junction

box is not present. The new luminaires are available in

three sizes with outputs ranging from 1,500 to 20,000

lumens. The optics can distribute illumination in Type

3 and Forward Throw patterns at 3K, 4K and 5K color

temperatures that enhance visibility, safety and security.

In addition, the new products can be configured with

photocell sensors that automatically switch the lights off

during daylight hours – conserving energy and minimizing

associated energy costs. LSI’s new wall mount

product line is compliant with DesignLights Consortium

(DLC) premium standards, allowing customers to

qualify for energy rebates. The new products can also

comply with California’s Title 24 energy conservation

requirements and International Dark Sky standards.





the Money?

U.S. Small Business Administration

P.L. 116-136 – Sec. 15010/15011

Plan for Use of Covered Funds

If you feel like you’re floating out to

sea, lost in a fog with money worries,

and Covid-based nightmares, there are

lifelines available, both financial and

advisory, for small businesses. But with so

many different platforms, and deadlines,

and red tape, it can be challenging to

know what opportunities are right for you

and your business. Here is a breakdown

of the various funding options, offered by

the Small Business Administration (SBA).


An EIDL stands for Economic

Injury Disaster Loan. On June 15, the

Small Business Administration resumed

accepting new EIDL applications from

all eligible small businesses. EIDL

proceeds can be used to cover a wide

array of working capital and normal

operating expenses, such as continuation

to health care benefits, rent, utilities, and

fixed debt payments.

Small business owners and qualified

agricultural businesses in all U.S. states

and territories are currently eligible

to apply for a low-interest loan due to

Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The SBA EIDL direct loan program

is administered by SBA’s Office of

Disaster Assistance (ODA), and offers

long-term, low-interest loans to eligible

small businesses, private non-profit organizations,

and agricultural businesses

that have suffered substantial economic

injury as a result of a declared disaster.

SBA has issued COVID-19 disaster

declarations for all U.S. states and territories.

Eligible applicants must apply

directly to SBA using the online SBA

COVID-19 EIDL portal (available at


For the

COVID-19 disaster, Section 1110 of the

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic

Security Act (CARES Act) (P.L. 116-136)

authorized SBA to provide advances of

up to $10,000 to applicants that applied

for COVID-19 EIDL loans and self-certified

as to eligibility, while the applicants

await processing of their EIDL loan

applications. The COVID-19 EIDL

advance is a grant that must be used for

general business purposes.

When SBA disburses an EIDL

advance or an EIDL loan to an applicant

or borrower, all proceeds are

deposited ONLY into the verified

Financial Institution account belonging

to the eligible applicant or borrower.

For purposes of the EIDL program, a

verified Financial Institution account is

a depository institution account using the

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

or Social Security Number (SSN) entered

by the applicant or borrower in the EIDL

loan application. No third-party service

provider is authorized by SBA to receive

EIDL advance or EIDL loan funds on

behalf of an applicant or borrower.

As of August 24, 2020, 3,573,856

loans have been approved have been

approved across the United States

totaling $188,022,021,024.

Each applicant must review and

check all the following (If Applicant

is unable to check all of the following,

applicant is not an eligible entity):

✔ Applicant is not engaged in any

illegal activity (as defined by

Federal guidelines).

✔ No principal of the Applicant

with a 50 percent or greater

ownership interest is more than

sixty (60) days delinquent on

child support obligations.

✔ Applicant does not present

live performances of a prurient

sexual nature or derive directly

or indirectly more than de

minimis gross revenue through

the sale of products or services,

or the presentation of any

depictions or displays, of a

prurient sexual nature.


SBA Program

Economic Injury Disaster Loan

Emergency Advance (EIDL)


P.L. 116-136, Sec 1107, Sec 1110

P.L 116-139, Division B Title II

Entrepreneurial Assistance -

Small Business Development


P.L. 116-136, Sec 1103, Sec 1107

Entrepreneurial Assistance -

Women's Business Ownership


P.L. 116-136, Sec 1103, Sec 1107

Entrepreneurial Assistance -

Centralized HUB FOR COVID-19

P.L. 116-136, Sec 1103, Sec 1107

Subsidy for Paycheck Protection


P.L. 116-136, Sec 1102, Sec 1106,

Sec 1107

P.L 116-139, Sec 101(a)

CARES Act Debt Relief

P.L. 116-136, Sec 1107, Sec 1112

Subsidy for Coronavirus Disaster

Assistance Loans

P.L 116-139, Division B Title II

Salaries and Expenses

Administrative Funding

P.L. 116-136, Sec 1107

P.L. 116-139, Division B Title II

Disaster Administrative Funding

P.L. 116-123, Title II

P.L. 116-136, Title V

Office of the Inspector General

P.L. 116-136, Sec 1107

Covered Fund

(in Millions)

Type of


$20,000 Grant


$192 Grant


$48 Grant


$25 Grant


✔ Applicant does not derive more

than one-third of gross annual

revenue from legal gambling


✔ Applicant is not in the business

of lobbying.

✔ Applicant cannot be a state,

local, or municipal government

entity and cannot be a member

of Congress.

Purpose and Use of Covered Funds

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,

small business owners in all US states, Washington, DC

and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury

Disaster Loan Advance of up to $10,000. This advance will

provide economic relief to businesses that are currently

experiencing a temporary loss of revenue.

To provide management counseling, training, and

technical assistance to the small business community

through a network of Small Business Development

Centers (SBDCs).

To fund private, nonprofit organizations to assist, through

training and counseling, small business concerns owned

and controlled by women, and to remove, in so far as

possible, the discriminatory barriers that are encountered

by women in accessing capital and promoting their


To establish an online platform that provides small

businesses with access to a consolidation of COVID-19

related information and resources from multiple federal

agencies that incorporates an online training program to

educate SBA’s Resource Partners.

U.S. Small Business Administration

$670,000 Guarantee The Paycheck Protection Program was established by the

P.L. 116-136 – Sec. 15010/15011

Loan program CARES Act. The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan

Plan for Use of Covered designed Funds to provide a direct incentive for small businesses

to keep their workers on the payroll. The effective period

is any from covered February mortgage 15 to June obligation, 30, 2020. any The payment program on any is

implemented covered rent obligation, by the Small or Business any covered Administration utility payment. with

support from the Department of the Treasury. This

program PPP lending provides authority small at businesses the current with subsidy funds rate to is pay $652

payroll billion and costs excludes including 7(a) benefits. program Funds authority can also also be included used to

pay in the interest CARES on Act. mortgages, rent, and utilities.

$17,000 Loan

During As part the of the period coronavirus beginning debt on relief February efforts, 15, 2020, the SBA and pays

payments ending 6 months on of December principal, 31, interest, 2020, the and amount any associated of loan fees

forgiveness that borrowers under owe this for section all current will be 7(a), determined 504, and without

regard Microloans to a proportional in regular servicing reduction status in the as well number as new of fulltime


504, and equivalent Microloans employees disbursed if an prior eligible to September recipient, in 27, good

faith, 2020. is able to document the inability to rehire or return

to the same level of business activity as prior to February

$50,000 Direct Loan SBA is offering disaster designated states and territories

15, 2020 due to safety requirements related to COVID-19.

program low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to

SBA will forgive loans if employees are kept on the payroll

small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a

for 24 weeks after the date of origination, and the money

result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

is used for payroll for at least 60 percent of the covered

$2,775 Administrative


To provide



for payroll

for the



and may use


up to 40

of the


Small Business

of such


amount for any




of interest



field offices operations for CARES Act program

1 implementation, as well as to prevent, prepare for, and

respond to coronavirus.

$582 Administrative To provide support for the administrative expenses to

carry out the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program in

response to coronavirus.

$25 Administrative To perform the necessary audit oversight of CARES Act

related loans and activities.





The U.S. Small Business

Administration announced the updated

interest rates for the 504 Loan Program

offered by Certified Development

Companies (CDC). Small businesses can

now apply for the lowest interest rates

since July 2018 as the program is now

10 | AUTO DETAILING NEWS | VOL. 5, NO. 3 • FALL 2020



We have answers!

Accounting expert Pat Shannon answers questions

on everything from PPP loans to tax forms to

revenue numbers.

In the hazy maze of this financial

quagmire thanks to Covid-19, many

business owners are left with questions.

The Small Business Administration (sba)

is offering help, but unless you’re an

expert in the field of economics, there

are opportunities for confusion and

frustration. Thankfully, Pat Shannon fits

the bill for the aforementioned qualifications.

Shannon is a car wash owner,

the President of the Heartland Carwash

Association and an expert in small business

accounting, payroll, personal and

business tax preparation. The following

are answers to questions posted to


Why doesn’t an S-corp qualify for

the PPP loan?

PAT SHANNON: Being an S-Corp does

not disqualify you from receiving a PPP

Loan and if you do not receive a PPP

loan you should explore the employee

retention credit. If your business is taxed

as an S corporation, your owner draws

are known as shareholder distributions.

It’s important to realize that these distributions

are non-taxable, which means

there are some pretty strict requirements

in place to prevent owners from taking

advantage. As an owner of an S-Corp,

you are required to pay yourself a reasonable

salary through payroll, meaning that

you are remitting payroll taxes on that

amount. You are allowed to take distributions

in addition to this salary, but it’s

best practice to have a combination of

the two rather than distributions alone.

We purchased our business about

two years ago from the owner on a

land contract and we have about a

year left to pay it off. We updated

our equipment and rehabbed the

building using a home equity loan.

Our LLC is a partnership between

my dad and me. I have noticed

that sole proprietors and LLCs

are specifically mentioned in the

stimulus package. From what I have

gathered so far it seems like we

may be able to get some assistance

based on the numbers that we

show as profit. Is this true?

The help you can receive depends on the

program that you are applying for. For

EIDL loans (applied for directly on the

Small Business Administration website)

they are revenue based. For PPP loans to

sole proprietors and LLCs that file taxes

on Schedule C they are profit based. You

stated you were a partnership, so your

1065 and K-1s would drive your eligibility.

The 1065 would document formal

payroll and the K-1s would document

owner draws or distributions. The last

day to apply for a PPP loan is August

8th, so see your banker right away.

Here we are with all of the overhead

of a small business without the

payroll. Are there any benefits

available for those who have been

affected by COVID-19? Utilities,

mortgage payments and equipment

loans are the same as any other

business with payroll…so, what is

available and how do we apply?

The time to take cookies is when cookies

are being passed around. That was the

advice that I gave Heartland Carwash

Association members back on April

4, 2020, when I laid out all the programs

available to help business owners. Now,

four months later, many of the programs

are closed or out of money. You have until

Aug 8, 202,0 to get a PPP loan, get to

your banker ASAP for details. Otherwise

the Employee Retention Credit

and the Employer Tax Deferral

programs will still be available to you.

I recently got this email: “You are

receiving this message as a notification

that your Economic Injury

Disaster Loan (EIDL) application

is currently being processed in

the order it was received. You

will receive an email notification

when there is a change to your

application status” and then I found

$1000 in my account. It doesn’t say

anything about it being an advance.

Should I assume that’s what it is?

Yes, EIDL Advances were deposited

without notice or explanation. Be happy

that you got the advance, as that program

quickly ran out of funds and has not

been refunded leaving the SBA owing

advances to many businesses and no

additional funds look to be forthcoming.

The Paycheck Protection Plan

loan includes the self employed,

so long as you have paid taxes as

a self employed business owner.

Therefore, you should be good for

2.5 times the monthly “payroll” as I

understand this so far. Is this true?

Yes, depending on the tax form being

filed and a few other details.

SBA’s plan for use of funds provided

through public laws

The Small Business Administration’s

plan for use of funds provided through

public laws: Coronavirus Aid, Relief,

and Economic Security Act (CARES

Act), the Paycheck Protection Program

and Health Care Enhancement Act,

and Coronavirus Preparedness and

Response Supplemental Appropriations

Act, 2020.

allowing 20 and 25-year interest rates at

2.214% and 2.269%, respectively.

“These are very encouraging terms

and very supportive of our nation’s goal

to bounce-back from COVID-19,” said

William Manger, SBA Chief of Staff and

Associate Administrator for the Office of

Capital Access. “CDCs” are the driving

force behind the 504 Loan Program.

The longer terms and low interest rates

support and encourage entrepreneurs

to step outside of the box and look at

real investments. We are pleased that the

504 Loan Program continues to show

double-digit year-over-year growth,

especially in these extraordinary times.”

Small businesses looking for information

on how to expand their business’s

real estate or improve their working

capital should visit: https://www.sba.



The 504 Loan Program is an SBA

business loan program authorized under

Title V of the Small Business Investment

Act of 1958, 15 U.S.C. 695 et seq. The

core mission of the 504 Loan Program is

to provide long-term financing to small

businesses for the purchase or improvement

of land, buildings, and major

equipment, to facilitate the creation or

retention of jobs and to support local

economic development. Under the

504 Loan Program, loans are made in

conjunction with private sector lenders

to small businesses by CDCs, which are

certified and regulated by the SBA to

promote economic development within

their community.

For questions about the 504 Loan

Program, please contact:

Linda Reilly, Chief, 504 Loan Program





NOV 18, 2020

The Kleen-

Rite Expo

Kleen-Rite Headquarters

Columbia, Pennsylvania


FEB 4-6, 2021

Mobile Tech Expo

– Orlando

Gaylord Palms Resort


FEB 17-19, 2021



& Car Wash EXPO

Fort Worth Convention Center

Fort Worth, Texas


JUNE 7-9, 2021

Car Wash Show

Las Vegas Convention Center

Las Vegas, Nevada


SEPT 27-29, 2021

2021 American

Car Wash Expo

Georgia World Congress Center

Atlanta, Georgia


OCT 4-6, 2021





Atlantic City Convention Center

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino


*These shows are still scheduled

at the time of publication of this

issue. However, shows might still be

canceled due to Covid-19. Check

websites for each show for more


NRCC canceled for

2020, Hard Rock to

host 2021 convention

A press release from the Northeast

Regional Carwash Convention (NRCC)

Board of Directors, was sent out June 1,

2020, stating that the 2020 Convention,

that was supposed to take place in Atlantic

City in October, was canceled.

According to a letter from Suzanne


The Northeast Regional Carwash Convention

(NRCC) Board of Directors, after extensive

deliberation, has decided to cancel the 2020

show, October 5-7, at the Atlantic City Convention

Center in Atlantic City, NJ. This thoughtful

decision took into consideration the numerous unknowns

with a trade show in early October as a

result of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The board

felt that this decision would be in the best interests

of its exhibitors and attendees.

“We are concerned that large venue events

may not be an option in October, there could be

a resurgence of the virus in the fall and our carwash

economy will still be recovering,” said 2021

Show Chair Dave DuGoff. “In addition, even if

allowed, will people feel comfortable traveling and



congregating? These are certainly unprecedented

times and with that caution and safety are necessary,

but it was an incredibly difficult decision.”

That being said, the 2021 show, October

4-6, will include a reimagined education track

and show floor, as well as an elite keynote speaker,

and a move to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

for overnight accommodations on the city’s iconic

Boardwalk. “The 2021 NRCC will have a new

look and feel but still provide our attendees with

an intimate setting in which to learn, grow and

reimagine their operations,” said DuGoff.

Spending is up since May for small businesses

A report by CNBC stated that business

spending showed some signs of

green shoots in June, as manufacturers

bought more equipment and spending

shifted away from stay-at-home sectors

to ones that could rebound in a reopening

economy, according to Cortera, a

software company which analyzes business-to-business

credit transactions.

But overall, June spending was still

depressed, down 10.9% from the same

month last year, and up just 2.7 percentage

points from the 13.6% decline in May

year over year, according to the company.

Cortera said spending by industries

that benefit from the work-from-home

trend, like internet retailers and food

and beverage stores, fell by 6 percentage

points in June from May, but is still 1.7%

above 2019 levels. “Gasoline stations and

food and beverage establishments and

other sectors that would benefit from reopening

spent 7 percentage points more

in June than in May, but that is still lower

than last year.”

The report also stated that 48 states

saw increases in spending from May to

June, with small and medium-size businesses

recovering at a faster rate than

large businesses, up 7 percentage points.

However, they were harder hit in March

and April, and small business spending

was still down 10% from last June.

Statement from SEMA about the 2020 SEMA Show

SEMA, the Specialty Equipment

Market Association, announced on August

5 that due to Covid-19 and concerns

that event facilities and services will be

unavailable, the SEMA Show will not be

taking place in 2020.

While both event organizers and industry

members have been working tirelessly

to deliver an outstanding SEMA Show

in November, mounting uncertainty has

rendered continuing with the event inadvisable.

SEMA expects the decision will

bring much needed clarity to an uncertain

picture and will help exhibitors, attendees

and partners plan accordingly.

Recent SEMA Show survey results

indicated interest in a possible virtual

tradeshow with related live elements.

SEMA will be working with industry

members to determine interest levels on

specific alternatives.

“The SEMA Show is committed to

furthering businesses in the automotive

specialty equipment market, and to providing

manufacturers and buyers with

the best opportunity to connect, promote

new products and discover new trends,”

said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and

CEO. “We appreciate the spirit, hard work

and innovation our industry puts into the

SEMA Show each year. While we are disappointed

circumstances prevent us from

hosting the Show in November, we look

forward to getting everyone together in

2021 for another outstanding event.”

Full refunds for SEMA Show exhibitor

booth deposits and attendee registration

fees will be issued.

12 | AUTO DETAILING NEWS | VOL. 5, NO. 3 • FALL 2020




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800.537.7797 carproducts.biz


SEMA offering eMARKETPLACE solution

SEMA, the Specialty Equipment

Market Association, announced today

that it is offering an online marketplace to

allow manufacturers and resellers in the

specialty automotive segment to connect

and conduct business. Taking place Nov.

2-6, SEMA360 was created after industry

members expressed a need for a viable

marketplace solution in the absence of

the 2020 SEMA Show.

“Creating a platform where the industry

can gather and discover new products

and trends has always been a SEMA priority,”

said Chris Kersting, SEMA president

and CEO. “SEMA360 is the ideal

solution to bring the industry together,

at a time when we’ve all been kept apart.

The platform allows qualified buyers to

interact with manufacturers, see innovative

new products, check out top SEMA

Show builds, and take in industry-leading

educational offerings.”

Show organizers gathered input from

industry members who registered concerns

with typical “virtual trade show”

solutions. The result is SEMA360, a simplified

platform where SEMA will help

manufacturers create a straightforward

brand presence that will reach quality

domestic and international buyers. With

a focus on helping the industry grow their

businesses, participating resellers will have

access to product offerings and demonstrations,

and manufacturer personnel.

“The industry made it clear there is

a void to fill,” said Tom Gattuso, SEMA

vice president of events. “SEMA360 addresses

that need by leveraging SEMA’s

exclusive buyer database to connect manufacturers

with resellers.”



• A simplified platform for

manufacturers to showcase their

new products and innovations

• Efficient interaction between

manufacturers and resellers for

quality business exchange

• SEMA vehicle reveals from

world-class builders

• Industry-leading education

focused on professional

development and new strategies

• SEMA’s unrivaled media contacts

amplifying news, products, and

innovations to a world-wide


Manufacturer applications for

SEMA360 will open Sept. 3, 2020, at

a SEMA-member rate of $495, and a

nonmember rate of $1,495. Attendee

registration, which opens mid-September,

will be free to qualifying buyers who

are SEMA members, and $25 to nonmembers.

Qualifying media will be able

to register at no cost.

Mobile Tech Expo Orlando!

Mobile Tech Expo Orlando is still on

the calendar – put it on yours! The Gaylord

Palms, our 2021 home, has already

hosted a safe and health centric event in the

convention hall. They’re preparing to host

other events through 2020 and into 2021.

Our hope is that the situation nationwide

continues to improve and we will all be together

again in Orlando in February.

In other MTE news, after the Las Vegas

Mobile Tech Expo was canceled due to

the pandemic, show organizers announced

that plans for the 2021 are still a-go.

According to a statement: Mobile

Tech Expo Orlando is still on the calendar

– put it on yours! The Gaylord Palms,

our 2021 home, has already hosted a safe

and health centric event in the convention

hall. They’re preparing to host other

events through 2020 and into 2021. Our

hope is that the situation nationwide continues

to improve and we will all be together

again in Orlando in February.

MTE also announced it is accepting

nominations for its People of the Year awards.



• Detailing Person of the Year

• PDR Person of the Year

• PDR Tool Person of the Year

• Lifetime Achievement Award

• Windshield Repair Person

of the Year

• Rufus Lowery Mentor

of the Year Award

The Detailing Person of the Year

award honors the individual who has

made a difference in the detailing industry,

either through product innovation, service

to the overall industry through marketing

and advocacy or has advanced the industry

through mentoring and education.




(PDR Person of the Year)

Tom Nations was an industry leader in every

sense of the word. He always spoke honestly

about the pros and cons of the industry,

and was strong enthusiast of the industry

and an asset to the Dent Wizard Team. He

was straight-forward and always had a smile

on his face and brought one to those around

him. In his memory and to honor his consistent

support of the paintless dent repair

industry, Mobile Tech Expo has named the

PDR Person of the Year award after Tom.


(PDR Tool Person of the year)

Sidney (Sid) Emmert began manufacturing

his own tools when he started his career in

paintless dent repair after college. An industry

icon, Sid was a leader and mentor, and

his company DentCraft Tools became one of

the most highly regarded in the industry. In

addition to his PDR work, Sid also was well

known for his charity work with children as

he created the “Twinkie Drop”. But it is for his

many contributions in forwarding the PDR industry,

that the PDR Tool Person of the Year

award is named in his honor


(Lifetime Achievement)

Nat Dinofsky, who eventually shortened his

surname to Danas, owned a small trip shop

in the 1950s. He realized there was no way

to share information between trim & upholstery

shops, so he started Auto Trim News in

1951. This 60-year publication reshaped the

automotive aftermarket. Danas was a true

mentor, friend, and gentleman. The Nat Danas

Memorial Award honors those who have

also dedicated themselves selflessly to the

Auto Care industry.




Honoring an individual for their contributions

through product development,

mentoring and advocacy or has advanced

the industry through other methods.

People who have passed away may

also be honored. The Rufus Lowery

Memorial is in honor of Lowery, a PDR

Tech was known to offer help to anyone

who needed it. Lowery, was killed in April

2006 at the age of 49 when he was robbed

by two men and killed for his tools and his

truck. In his memory, the Mentor of The

Year Award is named the Rufus Lowery

Mentor of the Year Award.

Nominations may be made by visiting:


14 | AUTO DETAILING NEWS | VOL. 5, NO. 3 • FALL 2020

Mobile Tech

announces virtual

education series

Mobile Education Series by MTE

launched in early August, premiering

with Galit Ventua Rozen’s “Upleveling

Your Business” session. New videos will

continue to be uploaded on a weekly

basis on Mobile Tech Expo’s You-

Tube channel. The content will also

be shared on Facebook. If you have

any requests for content or would like

to participate as an educator, please

email Lindsay@MobileTechExpo.

com. Viewers can look forward to more

content from Galit as well as from Rod

Puzey and Jody Sedrick at Zenware,

and Marty Hill at Total Auto Solutions

& The Pints and Polishing Podcast.

SBA warns of small business support scams


• SBA does not initiate contact on

either 7a or Disaster loans or grants.

If you are proactively contacted by

someone claiming to be from the

SBA, suspect fraud.


• If you are contacted by someone

promising to get approval of an SBA

loan, but requires any payment up

front or offers a high interest bridge

loan in the interim, suspect fraud.

• SBA limits the fees a broker can

charge a borrower to 3% for

loans $50,000 or less and 2% for

loans $50,000 to $1,000,000 with

an additional ¼% on amounts

over $1,000,000. Any attempt to

charge more than these fees is


• If you have a question about

getting a SBA disaster loan, call

800-659-2955 or send an email to


• If you have questions about other SBA

lending products, call SBA’s Answer

Desk at 800-827-5722 or send an

email to answerdesk@sba.gov.


• If you are in the process of applying

for an SBA loan and receive email

correspondence asking for PII,

ensure that the referenced application

number is consistent with the actual

application number.

The Office of Inspector General

recognizes that we are facing unprecedented

times and is alerting the public

about potential fraud schemes related

to economic stimulus programs offered

by the U.S. Small Business Administration

in response to the Novel

Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19).

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic

Security Act (CARES Act), the

largest financial assistance bill to date,

includes provisions to help small businesses.

Fraudsters have already begun

targeting small business owners during

these economically difficult times. Be

on the lookout for grant fraud, loan

fraud, and phishing.

• Look out for phishing attacks/scams

utilizing the SBA logo. These may be

attempts to obtain your personally

identifiable information (PII),to obtain

personal banking access, or to

install ransomware/malware on your


• Any email communication from SBA

will come from accounts ending with


• The presence of an SBA logo on

a webpage does not guaranty the

information is accurate or endorsed

by SBA. Please cross-reference

any information you receive with

information available at www.sba.gov.



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Federal Government awards

record-breaking $132.9 Billion

to small businesses

In other SBA news, the Administration

announced in August that the federal government

exceeded its small business federal

contracting goal, awarding 26.50 percent

or $132.9 billion in federal contract

dollars to small businesses. That amount

is more than a $12 billion increase from

the previous fiscal year. Additionally, the

Fiscal Year 2019 Small Business Federal

Procurement Scorecard marks the second

time in Scorecard history that the women-owned

small business contracting goal

of 5% has been met*.

The federal government also added a

record-breaking one million jobs to the

American economy with $132.9 billion

in prime contract dollars awarded to

small businesses and $90.7 billion in subcontracts

awarded. Overall, the federal

government earned an “A” on this year’s

government-wide Scorecard, according

to a statement.

“I’m thrilled to report that the federal

government exceeded its set goals

and awarded a significant $132 billion

to small businesses in FY19,” said SBA

Administrator Jovita Carranza. “There

is good news for women-owned small

businesses too. For the second time in the

history of the Scorecard, the federal government

has met the women’s contracting

goal. For the seventh year in a row,

the federal government has also exceeded

the contracting goal set for service-disabled

veterans. The federal prime and

subcontracts awarded to small businesses

in FY19 equate to more than one million

jobs created. Every contract that gets in

the hands of a small business is a winwin

for our nation, entrepreneurs and

their employees, and the communities

they support. This is especially important

now, as our economy recovers from

the pandemic-related setbacks.”

FY2019 Small Business Federal Procurement


The individual agency scorecards

released today by the SBA, as well as a

detailed explanation of the methodology,

is available online.

• In FY19, the federal government

exceeded the service-disabled

veteran-owned small business and

small disadvantaged business goals

and the prime contract dollar awards

in all small business categories

increased from previous years.

• The federal government also

exceeded its subcontract goals for

awards to small businesses and

women-owned small businesses

and awarded more than $90 billion in

subcontracts to all small businesses.

*The prime contract goal achievements

by dollars and percentages for all

categories are as follows:

20% OFF




16 | AUTO DETAILING NEWS | VOL. 5, NO. 3 • FALL 2020

Dirty cars don’t get

you a second date

And, in case you need another marketing

tool, how about the fact that a dirty

car is a major turnoff during the early

stages of a relationship.

According to an April Fox News report,

when it comes to relationships, seven

in 10 believe having a dirty car is a turnoff,

according to new research.

A poll of 2,000 American drivers discovered

that 51 percent would go so far

as to end a first date early if their date

showed up in a dirty car, the story said.

“In fact, having a messy car is such

a massive turn-off that 23 percent have

even ended a relationship with someone

because of their filthy vehicle.”

The study, conducted by OnePoll in

conjunction with Meguiar’s, also found

that 68% of those with messy cars are

completely embarrassed to have people in

their car, given its filth.

Interestingly, 45% said containing the

mess in their cars is overwhelming.



• 24% said they avoid cleaning

their cars because they know it’ll

just get messy again

shortly thereafter.

• 41% don’t think it’s all that

important to have a tidy car

while a further one in five don’t

even know where to begin when

it comes to cleaning their cars.

• 24% said they would much

rather clean their toilet than

have to tidy up their car.

• 62% of those surveyed

would rather have a dirty car

than a dirty home.

• 28% said they have empty

bottles taking up way too

much space in their cars.

• 78% said a clean car makes

them feel like they have their

life more together.

When asked about the junk found in

people’s cars, three in 10 revealed their

cars are filled with crumbs while a further

and three in five respondents said their

cars are filled with stuff they need to pursue

their passions.

A majority of Americans believe their

entire life would be better off if they had

tidier vehicles, the story stated.





1. Dishes 36%

2. Dusty shelves 29%

3. Kitchen sink 27%

4. Toilet 24%

5. Bathtub 24%



1. Crumbs 30%

2. Empty bottles 28%

3. Food wrappers 25%

4. Old magazines 24%

5. A blanket 23%





This is the dirtiest

part of a car

If you need a new marketing strategy,

a recent study might give you the

ultimate opportunity. According to the

study, a car stereo is 371% (or four times)

dirtier than a communal office toilet seat.

According to a July report in The

Drive, a recent study conducted by

Compare the Market discovered the

top five dirtiest parts of a car’s interior.

“Compare the Market is an automotive

insurance comparison website based in

the United Kingdom, and its study involved

testing ten different vehicles using

high-end surface test swabs and computing

systems to determine Relative Light

Units (RLU). An RLU reading is then

compared to the amount of Adenosine

Triphosphate (ATP) collected during the

swab. Basically, the dirtier the test area,

the larger the ATP amount, producing a

higher RLU reading. A high RLU reading

means gross, dirty, germy, cringing

levels of disgust.”

The ten vehicles tested included

family cars, work vans and luxury vehicles.

Each of the following areas were

swabbed: The shifter, indicator stalks,

steering wheel, driver seatbelt and seat,

interior door handle, windshield, stereo/

touchscreen, and rearview mirror. The

study also swabbed a toilet seat at an

office building to have a comparison in

bacteria levels, the story said.

According to the results, the dirtiest

area of a car is the stereo and in second

place was the shifter, racking up an RLU

reading 331 percent higher than the toilet.



1. Stereo

2. Gear Stick

3. Indicator

4. Steering Wheel

5. Handbrake

“Other results in this test showed that

a family car’s interior could be up to twice

as dirty as a work van. So, according to

this study, a contractor’s drywall dust-covered

F-150 is probably cleaner to eat in

than a new Lexus SUV with two car-seats

in the back,” the story said.

OSHA offers poster geared toward automobile

industry workers

A new poster, available in English and Spanish, lists steps to protect automotive service workers from exposure to coronavirus.

Steps to Protect Automotive Service

Workers from Exposure to Coronavirus

The following steps can help reduce the risk of exposure to the

coronavirus for automotive service workers:

Encourage workers to stay

home if they are sick.

Provide gloves and masks or

other face coverings.

Maintain at least six feet

between co‐workers and

customers, where possible.

Offer pick‐up and

drop‐off service.

Close or limit customers

in reception areas and

waiting rooms.

Use "no‐touch" options

for payments and


Regularly clean and

disinfect all tools and


Discourage the sharing of

tools and equipment.

Cover seats and

sanitize key fobs and

steering wheels before

and after service.

Encourage workers to

report any safety and

health concerns.

For more information, visit

www. osha.gov/coronavirus or

call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

18 | AUTO DETAILING NEWS | VOL. 5, NO. 3 • FALL 2020 1-800-321-OSHA (6742)

TTY 1-877-889-5627


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Auto Detailing


Issue DT62

Fiber Logic

Everything you need to know about

fiber-based buffing pads

By Clint Hintz


Clint Hintz, IDA CD-SV-RT - Certified

Trainer, is the North American Sales

Manager of Buff and Shine Mfg. of Rancho

Dominguez, California.

Buff and Shine acknowledges that

our industry is everchanging with tools

and polishing systems, which obviously

keeps a need for constant evolution with

buffing pads. In last year’s summer edition

of Auto Detailing News, foam pad

technology was showcased, so this article

will be covering the makeup and differences

in fiber-based buffing pads. One

objective is to educate our audience on

the actual makeup and differences in

these pads. Another objective is for the

audience to be better versed in which

types of fibers will work best with their

current or future processes. We believe

that this information will be helpful for

people in not only knowing the differences,

but how these different options may

help increase productivity and improve



A 4-ply twist 100% wool pad is an aggressive

pad-type that has gone through

prior manufacturing processes to reduce

the short fibers in the wool that throw

out lint, as these pads traditionally are

known to lint. This wool type can offer

an aggressive option with working on

painted surfaces, can be cleaned with

a spur to remove contamination much

easier than knitted or lamb’s wool type

pads. The lower the pile height will increase

the amount of cut that these pads

offer, which will typically work best on a

rotary type polisher vs. random orbital

machines. 4-ply wools have been around

for a long while, are older technology but

still very commonly used in the industry.

Some cons to these pads are they are

known to lint as well as using this padtype

will typically take training, as improper

usage can result in swirling and

even burnt paint. Most common is 100%

wool but you will find some pads that are

wool blends, the easiest way to identify

them is beige/white are wool and typically

colored ones are the blends.

Quick Take

✔ More aggressive

✔ Lower pile height

✔ Work best with rotary type polisher

✔ Easier to clean

✔ Lint easily

✔ Training needed



Single ply wool is a stitched wool

pad that has a similar construction to

a 4-ply and predominately made to be

used with a rotary buffer. This pad has

the same grade of wool as the 4-ply but

will be less aggressive than the 4-ply

twist and not as widely used. These

pads tend to throw a lot of lint, as it’s a

single ply wool and not twisted. It is like

a giant piece of yarn untwisted which

can make manufacturing more intricate

and equate to be a more expensive

pad in the market. Most common

is 100% wool but you will find some

pads that are wool blends, the easiest

way to identify them is beige/white are

wool and colored ones are typically the

blends. These wool types can be constructed

with 100% wool as well as with

a combination of wool and synthetic


Quick Take

✔ Made to use with a rotary buffer

✔ Less aggressive

✔ Throws a lot of lint

✔ More expensive

The knitted wool pads look like

sheepskin, but the wool is shaved from

the animal, processed through a machine

and knitted into the pad with

an actual machine. One benefit versus

twisted wools is a noticeable less amount

of linting from these pads. There may

be a small amount of lint from the manufacturing

process, but after this is blown

out the linting will be minimal. Another

attribute of knitted wool is it can be very

versatile in using with virtually any machine

types (rotary or DA).

One downside to this wool-type is

that once it gets wet, or if you use too

much product it can get matted up.

They do not clean as easily with a buffing

spur as a twisted wool, nor will have

the longevity but can be kept cleanest

by brushing regularly during use.

Quick Take

✔ Less linting

✔ Very versatile

✔ Easily mats up when wet

20 | AUTO DETAILING NEWS | VOL. 5, NO. 3 • FALL 2020


The most common pad construction

with microfiber typically contains

a higher pile (predominately for finishing)

or a lower pile which would make

more aggressive for cutting and/or

polishing. You will see these pads made

with various foam interfaces and again,

typically thinner foams will offer more

of a cut as the closer to the paint the

machine gets. Regarding tools, thicker

foams will increase durability in lower

stroke machines and typically the thinner

the foam will increase durability in

the higher the stroke (15mm or 21mm).

A thinner foam interface will not sway

as much equating to longer durability

of the pads. Most microfiber pads designed

for a longer throw machine will

have a hole cut out in the middle to reduce

the heat build-up, as pads will tend

to hold heat in the centers, which over

excessive heat will cause the foam to

collapse. These pads work exceptionally

well with random orbital machines but

due to the low pile height can get loaded

up and will require regular cleaning

with a brush during use for best results.

The majority of the pile materials are

100% polyester and different yarns can

be manufactured at different denier

(thickness), which means they can be

finer or more course depending on the

thickness, even though they are considered

micro-fiber. You will see various

colors of micro-fibers in the market

which will not always mean anything

regarding cutting ability, but other materials

can be added to increase cutting


Quick Take

✔ Offers more of a cut

✔ Longer durability

✔ Work well with orbital machines

✔ Regular cleanings required

Always keep in mind that not all fiber

(wool and microfiber) based-pad types

work the same with different polishing

systems and paint types. In fact, in many

instances pad choices can require some

trial and error. There are numerous ways

that fiber-based buffing pads are measured,

but the information is this article

was put together as a starting point to

help choose the best pad for your current

and future projects. This information is

not presented to “steer” you towards a

particular pad type, but to rather provide

data to and education to help choose

which pad type will work best for your

preference and service options offered.







SINCE 1953



both domestically and in over 70 countries for sticking by us in these trying times.

For over 65 years Malco Distributors have been

the backbone of our organization, and now, more than

ever we appreciate your support and dedication to the

brand and our industry!


@Malcoautomotive @Malcoautomotive Malcoautomotive Malcoautomotive



0000 Malco Auto Detailing News Ad_August2020.indd 1 8/21/2020 3:34:39 PM

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What Type of


Do I Want to Be?

By Rob Schruefer


Every person who opens a detailing shop,

or is mobile, has to decide what type of detailer

they want to be. I am not talking about how

they will be as a person, I am talking about who

the target market is for their business. Within

the detailing community there are several

“types” of detailers (in no particular order):

✔ Car wash/Express

✔ High-end boutique

✔ Commercial, and

✔ Production

For years, on forums and Facebook, some

of these factions have been negative towards

one another. There seems to be a segment of

the detailing world that thinks if you are not

doing high-end paint corrections and coatings

you are not a real detailer, and that there is

no money to be made. I can tell you, from

someone who does not limit themselves to

a single category, that this is absolutely false.

Every segment of the detailing industry can

be profitable and can create the base for your

business. In this article we will explore the different

options and avenues that a detailer has

when they are deciding what type of detailer

they want to be.

Car Wash/

Express Detailer

This segment is given the

hardest time, but the reality is

it is where most of us got our

start. The detailing industry’s low

cost of entry creates a new flock of

express detailers every year, so it is important

to separate out the “bucket brigade”

as they are sometimes called, from

the professional detailers who just focus

on the more economical end of the detailing

world. There are a lot of vehicle

owners that just could never wrap their

head around spending thousands of dollars

to have their vehicle cleaned. The

express detailer lives in the $60-$300 detail

realm, and this is also where the vast

majority of residential

detailing customers

exist. An

experienced detailer

can service

between 3-10

of these customers

a day depending

on what service they are

providing. Regular and maintenance customers

also make up a large amount of

the sales. Since these customers can also

be serviced in a detailing shop or with a

mobile unit, the ability to scale your business

is completely based on your drive

and ambition. The downside to this type

of detailing is that it is weather/season

dependent, and it requires a constant

flow of customers to make sense.

High End/Boutique

The high-end market is where

every detailer aspires to be when

they start out in their detailing

journey. This is the glamorous side

of detailing that makes for great

pictures and industry fame. The volume

is low, but the average ticket price

is high, sometimes very high. A single

detail can run well into the thousands

and may take days to complete. There

is also the added advantage of working

on Ferraris, and not filthy minivans. It

takes years of experience to break into

this category, and even more to establish

the reputation for customers to trust you

to spend that kind of money. High-end

detailing also requires very few or any

additional detailers

to function.

The work can

be done by

you, or one

or two other

trusted employees.

This keeps the

profit of the business

high without having to strive for huge

revenue numbers. The downside is the

length of time it takes to establish yourself

at this level. There are far fewer of

these clients to go around, so they can be

harder to get even when you have been

established for a while.

24 | AUTO DETAILING NEWS | VOL. 5, NO. 3 • FALL 2020


Commercial detailers

are those that focus on regular

business-2business work,

or large corporate contracts

to support their business. The

number of businesses out there

with a fleet of company vehicles is

staggering. They exist everywhere and

could have hundreds of vehicles that need

to be cleaned on a regular basis. Companies

with large fleets have a hard time persuading

employees to clean or take care

of a vehicle that is not theirs, and possibly

shared with others. Large accounts like

Amazon, or FedEx are constantly looking

for detailers to do basic washes on the exterior

of their delivery vehicles. Once you

have gotten a contract, it is fairly easy to

keep it as long as you are doing what is

asked of you. Long term contracts and

solid word-of-mouth advertising is all that

is needed to generate work, so marketing

and advertising budgets can be significantly

lower than residential

detailing. The downside

to commercial detailing

is it often requires

“off hour” working.

Company vehicles

are normally in use

during regular business

hours so cleaning them requires

either long weekends or

overnight hours.


Production detailers,

those that work at dealerships

or auctions, have

always been considered

the bottom of the detailing

world. They get the

reputation of not being good

detailers or being hacks. The problem

with this train of thought is that they are

not offering the same service as a highend

detailer. I have an auction that can

do 300+ cars a day. The service is more

like an express than a detail, but the coordination,

training, and teamwork that

is required to produce that many auction

quality vehicles every day, six days a week

is quite an undertaking. Also, production

detailers have steady work, year-round.

Dealerships are constantly selling cars and

need someone to be there to clean them.

The revenue that can be generated is also

nothing to be ignored. A small dealership

will generate $100k+ a

year in revenue, and a high

functioning dealership or

auction can be upwards

of 5 million. Since a lot

of production detailers

are embedded in the locations,

there is very little

overhead outside of supplies

and labor. The downside to the

production world is that you get much less

per vehicle and that you are a contractor

for someone who probably does not think

that highly of the detailing department.

To make large amounts of money in production

detailing, volume is the key.

I have laid out the four most common

types of detailing businesses. There

is nothing to say you have to fit exactly

into one of these categories, or even stick

to just one. My business operates in all

four. It is important to know as a detailer

that there are other options out there,

and there are successful people in all

categories. Do not limit yourself or your

company’s growth by thinking that there

is only one path to detailing success.

Rob Schruefer is the owner of On

The Spot Detailing out of Columbia,

Maryland. He proudly serves on the

board of the International Detailing

Association and works tirelessly to

ensure that detailing business owners

receive business development support

to help them achieve their goals.


We’re not in

Kansas Anymore

Of course, there’s nothing wrong

with Kansas, or any other state in the

beautiful country that is America. But,

let’s face it, the last six months have

made us all confined to our homes, our

workplaces and sometimes even our

state borders. So, let’s go on a little trip.

First, we’ll head south of the equator

to South America where we’ll meet a

detailer in Argentina. Next, we’re off a

little further north to the Middle East to

meet a detailer in Saudi Arabia. And,

finally, we’ll head further north to the

beautiful European island of Iceland.

So, let’s buckle up, and do a little

globetrotting to three different continents

and meet other detailers around

the world.

26 | AUTO DETAILING NEWS | VOL. 5, NO. 3 • FALL 2020

We’re off to see…


of Buenos Aires, Argentina

What is your name and

business name?

My name is Ricardo Martinez I´m 47,

and my shop´s called “JMP Valeting

Detailing”, JMP are the initials of my

kid’s names: Juan Manuel (19 years old)

and Paula (10 years old).

How long have you been in

the detailing business?

I went full time in May 2009, so it’s been

eleven years now. Eleven exciting years!

What was your background

before the auto detailing


My parents owned a Gas Station since

the end of the 60s, and that was our

family business, it was a medium-sized

facility with an oil change service, a

convenience store and car wash. It was

mainly intended for trucks as the gas

station is located close to an important

National Road about 25 miles south of

Buenos Aires (Argentina´s capital city).

I also would like to mention that I got

a degree in marketing from a university

and got a degree in English Teaching for

primary and high school. I never worked

as a teacher though, and preferred to

work with customer service for several

American companies such as At&t,

Western Union and Microsoft… those

years of customer care experience ended

up being very useful when building up a

clientbase for my detail shop.

Do you have a fixed

location or are

you a mobile detailer?

Luckily, I can say both. I kept my old gas

station facility to provide a car wash and

detailing services to my small town neighborhood,

which was my first customer

base. About March 2018 we expanded

to Buenos Aires to deliver retail detailing

services in the northern Buenos Aires

area. We opened a shop with a partner

in a very fluent and wealthy neighborhood

with good business performance,

but costs increased and I decided to

turn to corporate

customers. This

ended up providing

a constant workflow

and I saved rental

expenses by working

onsite at their facilities.

By October 2018 we started

to take new car dealers’ work, we

call them “official dealers” as they are

manufacturer distributors. We have

official Toyota, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda,

Chrysler-Fiat, Peugeot and Citroen

dealers. Now, with these dealerships we

work for them in their facility as well, or

they assign a determined place for us to

detail their units. This is convenient in

two ways: It means low overhead for us

and is safer as new units never leave the

dealer´s building. I have a partner in this

venture (Engineer Sergey Smirnov), who

works in window tinting and has been

providing this service to many important

official dealerships since 2003, and has a

good reputation within the main dealers

in Buenos Aires.

I also started to make a business

connection with a very important collision-repair

shop that specializes in making

vehicles bulletproof in Buenos Aires.

Bulletproof vehicles are becoming more

and more demanded, and this Covid-19

pandemic has increased a need for security

for wealthy people. Most of the work is

performed on high-end vehicles, and, again

in this case, detailing comes as a part of the

process of making vehicles bulletproof at

the very end of the production line. Then

it’s the quality assurance check and the

car/truck is delivered to the customer. The

whole process may take a month.

continued ...

We’re off to see…


of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

What is the name

of your operation

and where is your

operation located?

We are agents of the


company and we are headquartered

in in Jeddah. We

have branches in Riyadh,

Al-Khobar, Tabuk, Jizan, Yanbu,

KhamisMushait, and Abha.

When did your

business open?

We started in 2002

Why did you choose

this line of work?

I have chosen this business because of

my love and passion for sport and luxury

cars which started during my childhood.

I used to buy weekly magazines related

to cars when I was 12 years old. My love

and passion for car news made me admire

this activity since the opening of the first

branch of the company even before I was

an agent of it. I was 18 years old then. I

decided to get into the trading world once

I graduated from university and I chose

the car polishing activity as a hobby.

Eventually, I obtained the company’s

franchise in the first branch that I

launched in Jeddah for nearly 10 years

before obtaining the agency at the level

in Saudi Arabia. After that, I got the

agency for the whole Gulf.

continued ...






off to




of Selfoss, Iceland

What is the name of your

operation and where is your

operation located?

It is known under the name Detail

Ísland (Detail Iceland) But the name

of the company is My Island and we

are located in a town called Selfoss

which is 50 km outside of the capital

of Reykjavík.

When did it open?

The company was founded in 2015.

Before that I had been color correcting

cars for about 20 years.

How did you learn about the

detailing industry and the

skills involved?

I have had a massive interest in cars

since I can remember. I burned through

my first panel at age 11. Since then I

have burned through probably 100

panels. My skills started to develop right

before the year 2000 when I met an

Italian guy rock climbing in Italy. His

family owns a detailing company and

we became good friends and he helped

me out a lot. Unfortunately, he passed

away a few years later in a climbing

accident. When YouTube came along it

gave all of us lots of knowledge. I have

also made several trips to both sides of

the pond to learn and train.

What services do you offer?

We just do color correction, coatings,

high-end detailing and PPF. We also

have training classes and offer 13

different trainings that everybody

can join. Training covers everything

from how to wash a car to high-end


Is auto detailing a wellrespected

industry in


The word “detailing” was not known

in Iceland when I started my business,

but now people are starting to understand

what we do. We have come a

long way but there is even a greater

road ahead of us.

What is your clientele like?

What types of vehicles do

you mostly get?

The car culture is a little bit different

in Iceland than other countries.

There are two Ferraris in Iceland,

no Lamborghinis, but we do have

a Porsche dealership. We probably

mostly do American pick-up trucks

that have been modified with bigger

wheels and SUVs like a Range Rover

and Audi Q7.

Our clients are basically everybody

-- farmers, fishermen, soccer moms,

business owners, bankers… etc.

Is there a lot of competition

in your area?

There are a lot of people cleaning cars

in Iceland but not too many high-end

detailing operations (there are a few

trying and not many succeeding). The

biggest problem is guys are not getting

their education right. Everybody

needs to train and practice -- that’s the

only way to learn. At our workshop

we have a section that is set up as a

training center where we train people

in color correction. That is my happy

place -- I can spend a lot of time there

testing pads, compound techniques

and whatever else comes to my mind.

There is a side effect on working

with high-end cars -- You acquire an

expertise on these units which is the

most important thing. And, it increases

the perceived value a customer sees

in your service, which means you can

charge more. Perceived value, experience

and reputation are a detailer´s most

important tools to market their services

and improve sales, margin and workflow.

Mobile detailing on the retail side

has not developed yet in Argentina;

sometimes we use our small Volkswagen

minivan and take care of some

customers here and there, but we basically

focus on car collectors, high-end

paint-shops with classic car projects,

and concourse or car shows. I participate

in AutoClasica which is our main

Antique and Classic Car Contest, and

is considered to be the most important

event of this kind in South America.

And, proudly, we got second place last

year with an old 1959 Wartburg.

In 2014 I was invited by the official

Chevrolet Racing Team to work on their

race cars and I ended up establishing a

very important relationship with them,

and got to know lots of people such as

professional drivers, automotive engineers,

motorsport journalists, advertising

agencies and Chevrolet executives. Good

contacts are important in this business; I

find that a detailing venture depends on

human relations.

Being part of the Chevrolet team also

allowed me to do some detailing for my

community such as Car Museum units.

Now I´m into some military unit restoration

projects for the Falklands War

Veterans, which Is not about money but

about giving back to your community.

Do you have any


Ricardo Martinez: Well we are a

very small business. At the carwash we

have two employees mainly for the daily

wash and wax work. My older son operates

the former gas station operation

since last year and that has helped me

a lot to develop my corporate customer

base in Buenos Aires at the armor car

operation. I started solo but I will soon

increase production with a partner that I

work with at the dealerships, and maybe

will add two more employees, but my

dealership work depends on how the

economy recovers from this pandemic.

My wife helps with administration,

marketing and customer care aspects.

What services are offered?

On the retail facility we have a

very loyal clientele, mostly car wash and

interior work is what is most demanded.

Our car wash services include

continued ...

1957 Chevrolet Belair totally restored by my good friend Dany Coronel,

what you see at the back is a Chevrolet Silverado 1981 truck

28 | AUTO DETAILING NEWS | VOL. 5, NO. 3 • FALL 2020




How and where

were you trained?

At the start, we got the training from

the previous agent. However, later on, we

got the training from the main company in

America from Mr. Bud Abraham himself,

the owner of the company.

are considered as one of the biggest

names in the market. We are the first

company that works in this field in the

Middle East. Moreover, we offer quality

with appropriate prices.

What is your clientele like?

in the winter, etc?

Heat and sand affect the cleanliness of

cars greatly from the inside in addition

to the paint of vehicles. We also suffer

from people using dish soap in washing

their cars, which spoils our work and the

materials that we put on their cars.

What services do you offer?

✔ Auto Detailing

✔ Window Tinting

✔ Ceramic Coating

✔ Paint Protection

We receive in our branches all kinds of

regular and luxury vehicles and we have

customers of all levels.

Is there a lot of

competition in your area?

How do you advertise

your business?

We promote through modern social

networking websites, such as Snapchat

and Instagram, etc.

service can be done for the car without

leaving it or even moving away from it until

completing the work completely. All equipment

is designed by Mr. Bud Abraham, the

founder of the company.

Is auto detailing

a well-respected industry

in Saudi Arabia?

Yes! It is very well-known and has had a

lot of investors in recent years.

Why do you think you

have been successful?

Our customers like us because we

Yes! The competition has become very

massive in recent years.

What are some of the

biggest issues affecting

vehicles in the Middle

Eastern climate? For instance,

we have pollen here in the

Spring, love bugs, salt damage

What is your favorite

detailing tool and why?

We use the company’s Detail Plus materials

and equipment. We are the first company

to manufacture the necessary equipment

to operate an auto polishing center in an

integrated manner, according to the factories’

production line method, so that a full

What is your life

like outside of the

detailing industry?

I am a B.A. holder. My other projects are

only in the field of real estate investment.

I have some investments in Saudi Arabia

and Dubai. And, I am married and have

four sons and daughters.

Detailing the iconic Masera6 300 Sport driven by Juan Manuel Fangio

Williams Cosworth 1981 Formula One car driven by Carlos Reutemann.

I coated this unit with a special SiO2 Coa6ng provided and shipped

specially by Gtechniq from the United Kingdom.







In a normal year we get around 100

people through our training courses.

Since the pandemic started I have not

been doing any courses as I don’t want

to jeopardize the work at the workshop

if I got sick. We will hopefully start

again in the autumn.

What are some of the biggest

issues affecting vehicles over


Iceland, as the name suggests, is quite

brutal when it comes to ice.

Volcanic ash is blowing around in

the atmosphere every day. It is super

fine and can easily scratch the surface

of a vehicle. We have massive winters

with a storm coming in at least once a

week -- sometimes we get seven storms

in seven days.

I am quite certain that we have a

world record in terms of salty roads,

causing lots of rust damage. Our road

system is terrible, with badly made

asphalt, lots of stone chips and a huge

tar problem.

How do you advertise your


My philosophy is that a good job will

advertise itself, and a bad job will

destroy your company.

During a normal month for us we

have about 20 cars waitlisted, so we

don’t have to advertise too much. We

do all kinds of advertising on social

media. Facebook and Snapchat are

our biggest social media platforms.

We also do newspaper, radio and TV


What is your favorite

detailing tool and why?

This is a really hard question -- it’s like

asking me which of my cars I love the

most… After a long and hard thought I

think I would have to say sandpaper and

a rotary machine. Those two items have

gotten me to the place where I am today.

undercarriage pressure washing using an

electro-hydraulic 2-post lift capable of

lifting cars, trucks and even some minivans,

up to 10,000 pounds. Also, our

engine steam cleaning is in demand and

we detail cars and do some repairs and

repaint in partnership with a paint-shop.

We outsource PDR, window tinting and

car wrap with very good professionals.

Some retail customers have very

exclusive cars and need specialized

services… the kind of work these

customers give us is rewarding on the

financial and professional side. We are

always ready to take good care of our

dealers. When sales improve dealers

provide good work volume. We perform

basic one-step detailing, and sometimes

paint correction for showroom cars.

A few years ago, we took used car

dealership work, but paint correction in

these units takes too many man hours

and most of the time car dealers go

for the cheapest work instead of more

quality, so I decided to focus on new car

distributors. Working on new units takes

less working time, less cost in products,

pads, and we obtained quite a good

reputation as professionals working on

brand new vehicles.

The government does not detail

their units and our local county has their

own car wash facility and paint shop

(that is operated by my brother-in-law).

Nevertheless, working for the government

demands very strong financial

foundations as they are a very slow payer.

Car collectors have offered me big

opportunities as exclusive Car Clubs

always need a good detailer at hand and

this is a very profitable market niche.

Is there a big retail market

in Argentina for auto


If we talk numbers, according to the

Argentinean Car Dealers Association

(ACARA), there are more than 14

million cars in Argentina with an overall

population of 45 million people. There

is a car for every 3.14 people. Last year

only 350,000 new units were sold, and

the average car is 11 years old. Even

during this bad economic time, detailing

shops are opening everywhere. On a

High-end units being detailed, White Mercedes Benz A250 AMG 2020

plus BMW X2 M 2020, this vehicles were coated with Sillica-based

Ceramic products.

good year Argentineans can purchase

1 million new units, so there is potential

for growth. Is important to add that we

are one of very few countries in Latin

America that have several factories,

therefore the automotive industry is very

important in Argentina.

Anyway, there’s a huge gap between

the USA and Latin America in terms

of the number of cars compared with

population. For example: The USA has

an average of 965 cars for every 1000

people, and that average is reduced to

265 cars for every 1000 in my country.

The flip side is the culture: There

is almost no DIY culture in Argentina

so most people like to have their cars

detailed by a professional. In some provinces

there’s a strong car-culture which

is mostly related to car manufacturing

and motorsports. For example: Cordoba

is the second city in population after

Buenos Aires, and important automotive

brands such as Fiat-Chrysler, Renault,

IVECO and Honda produce cars there.

Also, auto parts industries have their

factories here such as LEAR, and the

VW AG Group to mention a few.

Motorsports is an important activity

in this region; more than 50 professional

racing teams are located in Cordoba

and surrounding areas, they even have

a WRC Contest every year. Cordoba

is to Argentineans what Detroit if for

Americans, it is where our automotive

industry was born.

What are some of the

biggest problems you face


I could name the lack of supply variety

such as DA polisher machines, accessories

and products as the number one

problem, but I wouldn’t say “only in

Argentina.” This is a problem for other

parts of South America, Chile, Uruguay,

Peru and Colombia.

Car prices and car sales have an

impact on detailing. Back in 2012 when

car sales were at a record high and the

high-end market was performing well,

detailing shops were full, and we were

booked even a few weeks ahead. With the

recession, inflation and this pandemic

most distributors and auto dealers are

struggling to survive. Our administration

locked down starting on March 18 with

an announcement of our president on

TV, I’m writing this on June 7 and this

has harmed our economy to the bone.

So, here comes our third problem:

The future. At this moment we can only

say that many

businesses are going to close. My particular

case is quite unique… I have very low

overhead, I own my property, my shop´s

property and work mostly on customer

facilities, so over the last five years I have

decreased my operating costs dramatically.

I even keep my transportation costs very

low by leaving a set of machines in my

corporate customer´s shop and I organize

workflow to optimize car usage. Keeping

costs low has not been a problem, but

more of a constant struggle.

Are there many suppliers of

detail products in


Supplies are sometimes hard to get.

Some brands, many to be honest, don’t

reach these regions. When it comes to

30 | AUTO DETAILING NEWS | VOL. 5, NO. 3 • FALL 2020

accessories and machines it gets worse.

Simultaneously, some Asian brands are

establishing a presence here, but with

low quality products lots of machines

are sold with little to no manufacturer

warranty. Product options are reduced

to a few global brands such as SONAX,

Meguiar’s, 3M, Menzerna, 3D or Koch

Chemie. Other brands are made available

here but not for an official dealer,

distributor or branch and the products

are highly taxed as well.

On the flip side we have a few local

manufacturers getting into this market.

There´s an Argentinian chemical engineer

that produces a set of detailing

products with decent performance and

our neighbor Brazil has an important

manufacturer that has been historically

a huge player in Carnauba wax

production and now is producing high

performance detailing chemicals with

interesting results.

Approximately how many

detail shops are in


We are about 5,000 detailers in Argentina

now, some detailing shops are shared with

a car wash facility, or some kind of business

related to cars. That number includes a

good amount of part timers that work

on weekends. But one aspect I want to

point out is there could be some thousand

so-called “detail shops” in every city, but

there could be hundreds of guys detailing

cars for dealerships, collectors, going

mobile or even detailing museum cars. We

could count them as detailers as well.

Anything else you can tell

me about the detail market

in Argentina?

A country such as Argentina has its

particularities for instance, you have

subtropical forests in the northeast, high

altitude deserts in the northwest close to

the Andes, and glaciers. High mountains

and blue lakes like Switzerland in the

southwest and plains along the entire

Atlantic coast.

Snow and salt removal is a must in

the extreme south provinces of Santa

Cruz and Tierra del Fuego. Red soil with

high iron rust content can be a nightmare

on car interiors and chassis if you

live in the northern Misiones province.

Sun can really damage a clear coat in

the highlands of Jujuy. Dirt roads in the

Pampas are covered with a thin dust that

can easily pass through your door jamb

rubber seals if they aren’t in good shape,

gravel roads in Patagonia can literally

remove undercarriage protection and

rust your car chassis severely, so for us

detailers it is not always just a polish and

wax. Interiors get very dirty and molds

grow fast if you don’t vacuum your car

properly, as average humidity in the air

is beyond 70% in my region, and bad

odors can easily infect a car interior.

Within Latin America the Argentinean

detailer is much respected as well as all

car-related technicians. We have a strong

car industry and a reputation of being

self-taught people in general.

Argentine customers are very careful

about whom they trust their vehicles

to; they gather information about the

detailer that is going to work on the unit,

and inquire about his/her experience

and reputation.

Some particular types of customers

demand more than just paint correction

and look for what is referred to as

a “full detail” – here that means you

work on each and every part of the car,

and it always includes a high amount of

manhours and this kind of project can

be complex and physically demanding. I

take a few cars for full detail a year and

it’s been mostly high-end or rare units

most of the time.

According to the Pareto Principle, 80

percent of a business income is produced

by 20 percent of the customers. In my

business that rule of thumb is accomplished,

very few customers keep my

business rolling so taking good care of

my customer base is my main strategy.

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