Car washes and roadside services

Key figures

Car washes

*Source: Mobilians car wash branch
Billion euros turnover for the car wash sector
Filling stations in operation at end of 2021 in France

*Network survey in 2021 by UFIP Energies et Mobilités
Tonnes of lubricants sold

* Centre professionnel des lubrifiants (CPL)

Car washes, roadside service and petrol stations, lubricants

The lubricant market:
It's a growing trend. For the first time, the planets are aligning between equipment and tool manufacturers, spray booth manufacturers and paint manufacturers, to offer bodybuilders ultra-fast repair solutions that maintain a high standard of quality. Smart-repair meets the requirements of long-term leasing companies before vehicles are returned, as well as end-customers' desire to be able to recover their vehicles quickly and professionals' space constraints.

The roadside service and petrol station market: There are three different types of fuel station: oil company stations operating on major traffic routes, supermarket chains operating in their car parks, and small-scale companies operating in remote areas, each with a different business model. Yet they all have to adapt to the energy and mobility transition. EQUIP AUTO presents a wide range of investment solutions.

The car wash market: Car washing is a key sector in the automotive industry. It caters to the needs of a constantly growing number of cars on the road, but is facing challenges such as restrictions on the use of water, rising energy costs and environmental issues, of which it is a key part. EQUIP AUTO brings together a representative range of players in Lyon.

Actualités du secteur

Car washing
The carwash industry is facing major social and environmental challenges. The first challenge is to keep a fleet of more than 40 million private cars and 6.5 million commercial vehicles clean. This fleet is growing steadily, driven by the rising price of new vehicles, which is encouraging people to keep their existing vehicles.

Washing in a carwash is environmentally friendly: A collective challenge for carwash professionals is to explain to the French people the major benefits of washing their vehicles in a specialist car wash. Every vehicle washed generates 360 grammes of polluted sludge. Home car washes - a real bane, as most of the water goes into the rainwater system - generate 35,000 tonnes of this sludge every year. Washing in a specialised centre avoids this waste, and the recycling costs are a burden on local taxes anyway. Therefore, the industry needs to spread the message that it is environmentally friendly and responsible to wash your car in a car wash. This exciting challenge requires the renovation of older centres and the high-performance equipment that manufacturers are now offering for new investments.

A new 2023 Drought Plan
For existing car washes, the authorities have published the 2023 Drought Guide, which makes a number of changes to the two previous versions of the plan, whose measures were deemed drastic by the industry. Three levels of vigilance have been created: alert, heightened alert and crisis. Up to the heightened alert level, high-pressure equipment is authorised, with or without a water recycling system. A new feature is that gantries are also authorised up to the heightened alert level, but only with a single ECO programme and partial opening. The third level (crisis) entails the closure of all car washes.
The lubricant market
The automotive lubricant market shrank in 2022: 280,410 tonnes of lubricants were sold in France, representing a 3.8% drop in volume. This is a marked decline compared to 2021, which had been very positive (+6%). Looking at the 'passenger car engine' segment alone (160,564 tonnes), the decline is even smaller (-1.4%). A closer look shows that it is the 'de-dieselisation' of the car fleet that is to blame: the 'Passenger Diesel' segment (12,598 tonnes) fell by 21.6%, while the 'Petrol and Mixed' segment, still by far the largest at 143,774 tonnes, recorded an increase of 1.3%.
The car fleet on the road in France is a precious ally for oil and lubricant manufacturers. According to AAA Data, the average age of the car fleet is now 11.3 years, compared with 11 years in 2021. Of the more than 41 million private cars on the road (and 6.5 million commercial vehicles), nearly 27 million are more than ten years old. The challenge for car maintenance professionals - auto centres, garages, dealers and quick-fitters - is to ensure that their customers are properly informed about the frequency of oil and filter changes. Manufacturers' marketing campaigns, often co-branded with repair outlets, give the edge to dynamic operators in the field. There's business to be done, and EQUIP AUTO represents the entire ecosystem of players in the automotive lubricant sector.
Roadside services and petrol stations
Between 1980 and 2010, the number of filling stations in France was almost divided by four, while the number of cars on the road almost doubled. Fuel sales are increasingly concentrated in high-volume stations (such as supermarket car parks). In more remote regions, particularly in suburban and rural areas, there are still many smaller filling stations. For all the players involved, the installation of charging stations is an immediate challenge as the number of electric vehicle registrations soars.
There are almost 3,200 small-scale petrol stations operating in France, independent of the major oil companies or supermarket networks. They employed more than 17,000 people in 2021 (source: ANFA). If we add to this the fuel dispensing stations operating within companies with another initial activity (e.g., car maintenance and repair), the figure rises to more than 5,500 fuel retailers in France (source: FNA). However, they continue to exist in all rural and semi-rural communities and on the outskirts of major cities, where business models based on selling very large volumes of fuel are unsustainable. They form an essential network that is all too often forgotten in the regions: filling stations often combine servicing, repairs, breakdown assistance and vehicle sales, and sometimes add a multi-service business (bakery, food, newspapers, post office) or an automated parcel pickup service (AmazonLockers, La Poste pick-up). They are also an ideal location for those involved in environmentally friendly or responsible forms of transport: meeting points for car-pooling; hire and sales of electric two-wheelers, scooters or bicycles. There are many solutions, and EQUIP AUTO  is the melting pot that brings together all the players in this new ecosystem.

Classification des produits du secteur

Washing equipment and products:
Car wash brushes; Friction and high-pressure automatic car wash arches; Friction car wash arches; High-pressure automatic car washes; High-pressure cleaners (hot, cold); Jet washes; Parts washing equipment; Reverse osmosis systems, water recycling; Self-service car washes and equipment; Spare parts for jet washes; Steam cleaning; Wash booths; Washing products; Washing systems; Water softeners

Cleaning - vacuuming:
Autoscrubbers; Cleaners; Cleaning products (solvents, degreasing agents); Dust control mats; Dust removers, vacuum cleaners, injectors, extractors; Floor sweepers; Lubrication and cleaning guns; Parts cleaners; Single-disc machines

Petroleum products - Lubricants:
Greases; Lubricants; Petroleum products

Vehicle care and small repair products:
Additives; Air fresheners, sprays, fragrances; Alloy wheel cleaners; Antifreeze; Car polish shampoo; Chemicals; Insect and tree sap removers; Lubricating oils; Maintenance products for electrical and electronic equipment; Paint restorers; Plastic restorers; Scratch removers; Screenwash; Tar removers; Touch-up spray paint

Filling stations: equipment:
Battery charging equipment; Electronic payment systems (computerized tills, swipe card machines, etc.); Fuel distribution and electronic control equipment; Material and equipment for fuel transfer; Merchandising; Storage equipment

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