Automatic car wash or touchless car wash is a process which uses water and cleaning solutions to wash the car automatically without the physical presence of a human to wash the car. In this process, high-powered jets of water and strong detergents are sprayed over the car to clean and wash it. Drive in, scrub, blast, rinse wax, dry, and touch up are the stages through which a car has to go while undergoing an automatic car wash.
The booming automotive sector is expected to propel the growth of the automatic car wash market during the forecast period. The convenience of automated car wash, comparative low cost, and the rising preference of people to get their car washed in lesser time are a few factors that are anticipated to boost the automatic car wash market during the forecast period. The automatic car wash is more beneficial than a manual car wash in terms of protecting the external finish of the vehicle since it involves a definite procedure and offers consistent results. The increasing use of vehicles for off-road applications which involves riding the vehicle in extreme environmental conditions demands a thorough car wash. This is expected to provide promising applications for the automatic car wash market during the forecast period.
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The automatic car wash system offers numerous advantages; however, it still lacks the personal care and human touch of a manual car wash. Furthermore, if the machine malfunctions, the machine is not be able to correct itself, since the process is entirely automated. Failure of the operator to notice the malfunction of the machine is likely to cause serious damage to the car. For example, the rotating brushes may start rotating too roughly causing noticeable swirl marks and severe scratching of the windows. This is expected to hamper the automatic car wash market during the forecast period.
Based on type, the automatic car wash market can be segmented into self service, exterior rollover and exterior only. Self-service systems use a pressure sprayer, and sometimes a foaming brush, that is connected to a large central pump. The sprayer has a coin-operated dial system, which enables the user to choose between functions such as soap, rinse, and wax. After a certain period of time, the timer shuts off, after which a new coin has to be used for the washing process to start again. In the exterior roll over system, the car has to be driven inside a bay. When the car reaches the desired location, a signal indicates the car to stop. The car wash equipment then moves over the car on a track, which performs specific functions such as applying soap or rinsing with each pass. Exterior roll over systems provide lucrative opportunities to gas stations, where often a discount is offered on an automatic car wash service after buying a tank of gas.
Similar to exterior roll over systems, the exterior only systems require the car to be driven into a long tunnel-like bay. The front tire, usually on the driver’s side, is positioned on a special conveyor belt. The car then goes through several car wash equipment where the car undergoes automatic wash. The full service system is a modification of the exterior only system, which is a conveyor-belt-based automated system. The only difference between exterior only system and the full service system is that in the full service system, the interior parts are cleaned by attendants with the help of a vacuum pump and a few exterior services such as hand-drying and wheel-cleaning are automatic.
Based on component, the automatic car wash market can be divided into drives, motors, foamer systems, dryers, and pumps. The foamer system segment is anticipated to expand at a considerable pace during the forecast period owing to the increasing research and development activities being carried out across the world to develop foamer systems, which provide a better and more efficient cleaning action than the foamer systems that are currently being used. The foamer system segment is expected to be followed by the motors segment since the motor performs a vital function of powering the automatic car wash process.
Based on application, the automatic car wash market can be classified into interior components and exterior components. The exterior components segment is expected to expand at a rapid pace in the near future since the exterior components of the vehicle are more susceptible to getting dirty and soiled due to exposure to extreme environmental conditions.
Based on geographical region, the automotive car wash market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. In terms of geographical regions, North America is expected to dominate the automatic car wash market during the forecast period owing to the tendency of people to keep their vehicles clean, the increase in disposable income of people in the region and the growing awareness regarding proper maintenance of vehicles among people of North America.
Key players operating in the global automotive car wash market include WashTec, Istobal S.A., Autec, Inc, Coleman Hanna, CAROLINA PRIDE CAR WASH SYSTEMS AND SOLUTIONS, and Washworld Inc.