It’s a new year and a new decade, and the Professional car wash industry, as always, is facing new opportunities and challenges. Industry consolidation in the United States, where corporate organisations manage large chains of car wash facilities is on the horizon here. Those of us who are old enough can remember the days when most take away shops were independents; fish and chips, burger shops, cafés etc. Have a look around now and see how many independents are surviving in a sea of chain stores? If you think branding isn’t important, why do McDonald’s, Nando’s, Flaky Jakes, Domino’s and others dominate this market now? I think a large part of their popularity is due to their consistency. They may not be the gourmet choice, but the consumer pretty much knows what to expect and is happy with the value for the price they pay.