5981 Tennyson St
Arvada, Colorado 80003 USA
+1 800.525.8248 toll free
+1 303.423.4910 direct
+1 303.430.0139 fax
623 S Service Rd Unit 1
Grimsby, ON L3M 4E8 Canada
866.658.9274 toll free
Located in Napa, Calif., Kastner Honda is nestled in the heart of wine country and has been a dealership resource to its residents for close to a decade. Overseeing the parts and services department is Luke Ammann, bringing with him more than three decades in the automotive industry.
Kastner was previously outfitted for an in-house car washing system. Still, it wasn’t until earlier this year that the dealer decided to ditch its previous handwashing process and pull the trigger on adding the actual machinery. With visits down due to COVID-19, the objective of the installation was pretty simple.
“I wanted to use our car wash as a profit center to be able to help pay for the car wash and then, later on down the road, make it a profit center,” Ammann said.
While researching which company to work with, Ammann came across Mark VII and the competing provider that actually outfitted Kastner with the infrastructure to house a washing system. Ammann reached out to both the competitor and Mark VII to get an estimate and additional insights on what the installation process would entail.
While it took the competing brand months to come out to Napa and assess the setup, Mark VII had a representative to be at Kastner within a week of Ammann’s first LinkedIn correspondence with the company. The representative walked Ammann through all of Mark VII’s amenities — the brush features, the roof resistance, the full electric systems that contrasted the partial hydraulics offered by the competition, and — most importantly — the wax-and-wash feature.
“That was the dealbreaker. We knew that if we could offer that wax feature, that would be our future to make this a profit center,” Ammann said. “Apples to apples, the softeners, osmosis, and spot-free rinse were all the same.”
Add in that Mark VII has the abundance of centers and availability across North America, that Ammann felt more nurtured throughout the sales process, and that Mark VII would provide a more ecologically friendly option in their a green-conscious area like Napa, and the best system became quite apparent to them.
“It made me more comfortable dealing with somebody that walked me through it. We had to deal with the city of Napa, we had to prove the water usage of the machine, how many gallons of water each car wash would produce, and (Mark VII) dealt with it, so we didn’t have to deal with it. And that showed me a commitment that they wanted my business. I asked competitor the same questions and wouldn’t get back to me.”
Mark VII also offered Kastner the opportunity to install the machinery itself, an option that enabled the dealership to save on outsourcing or hiring personnel for the install.
In the ensuing months since the installation, Kastner realized that profit potential that Ammann hoped the Mark VII would provide. The car wash center grossed an average of $2,300 in monthly revenue the first few months with the expectation being they’d eclipse $7,000 in August.
On top of that, the Mark VII system has become a support source for customers looking to consolidate their service needs. In a time where customers seek convenience where they can, Kastner wants to be as close to a one-stop-shop as possible.
“While we don’t do the full detail, we can at least present it,” Ammann said. “You pay $40 for a tank of gas, then $12-13 for a car wash, pay for an oil change, then why not spend an extra on a car wash. We’ve been able to maximize that.”
Adding the Mark VII system to its full-service offerings has — naturally — sparked a notable improvement in the overall customer experience. In the past, Kastner chose which vehicle would get a handwash based on the vehicle’s age and how much the customer spent on service.
That approach resulted in CSI scores that had more than enough room for improvement. With Kastner upping its volume from about 30 washes a day to 50-70, allowing the service department to automate the cleaning process and allocate staff to help customers and provide more well-rounded assistance in other areas.
“Our scores were in the low 80s before; now we’re in the 90s,” Ammann said. “So, we’ve seen an increase in the cleanliness of the vehicle upon pickup, which we can attribute to the car wash.”
The increased scores are a reflection of end-to-end experience Mark VII has provided Ammann and Kastner. Everything, including profits, is on an upward trajectory.
“I mean, it’s been as far as the process from the initial estimate and the walkthrough and the installation and the post-install had been the simplest transaction for such a large piece of equipment that we bought,” Ammann said. “It’s been excellent.”