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Creativity reaps big in car care business in Kenya

 

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When meeting friends at a popular eatery or nyama choma (roast meat) joint at the weekend, one of the ideal things to do is to have your car washed. Better still you would ask the guard at the eating or meeting point to find some water to clean your vehicle.

To many people, the idea is a win because you part with about Sh150 to Sh300 and enjoy a clean ride for the next four to five days.

But while at it, your valued asset has not received the optimum attention it deserves, it does not get the professional touch that it requires, says Carzspa clinic director Mary Wairimu.

Times have changed from the days when people would wash their cars by the riverside. Currently there a number of estates and city car washes many of which the attendants use not so clean water.

Introduced nine months ago after injecting about Sh6 million capital, Carzspa car clinic uses steam washing technique and “just a little” more attention to the usual touch for desired results.

Located in the upmarket Kilimani area, the clinic is poised to take car care business to a new level with its range of services that include professional cleaning of inner and key parts in a vehicle.

For instance, steam car wash uses a powerful, commercial low moisture machine with steam temperatures of about 149 degrees celcius (300°F) and pressure levels of 1,000psi to dissolve stubborn stain deposits on vehicle exteriors and engine without risking any damage to the painted surfaces or engine parts.

This style eliminates grease, mud, bugs, bird droppings, tree sap, oil and more with ease using a low moisture steam. This model is electric powered, propane heated and minimises the water used while concentrating highly on steam to produce desired results.

At the moment, the car clinic employs 10 permanent staff who have undergone specialised training on bodywork preparation. The car clinic makes an average monthly turnover of Sh280,000 but it has potential to realise over Sh600,000 per month.

According to Ms Mary Wairimu, it’s an intervention that uses less water but one to be considered because of the caution practised.

“Car care has been around in some form since the invention of cars but now you will find that it’s becoming not only a huge business but also a fun thing to do. The sustained growth of the Kenyan automobile sector means car care will soon be the norm rather than a luxury,” says Ms Wairimu.

It is for this reason she says Carzspa takes its new staff through a two-month training from their trainers in India as the equipment, processes and skills required at the clinic are unique and unavailable in Kenya.

She adds: “With the investment one puts in a car, it is simple logic that they take good care of it. We are making the place more like a beauty clinic for cars; people have to give their ride a treat and that is our aim.”

Majority of the products used at the car clinic are imported and many are geared towards maintaining the car’s accessories. The exterior also gets a range of safety services from headlamp restoration to anti-glare treatment for your windscreen and hard water stain removal for affected door windows.

Cars, she notes, are now accessible to the young generation and they need guidance because some take it for granted.

The services offered starts at lows of Sh500 for a steam wash, Sh4,000 to Sh6,000 for a full wash, buffing between Sh3,000 to Sh10,000 and headlight restoration from Sh3,000.

For those who want a six-step paint correction and preservation with glass finish will also get the service at Carzspa clinic.

Other services are full interior strip down cleaning, leather restoration, engine wash, interior panel protection, buffing, AC cleaning and ozone treatment among other customised services.

On future plans: “Our immediate forecast is to raise monthly turnover to over Sh800,000. We are also seeking partners to open new centres under our brand name Carzspa through a franchise.

Nation

 

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