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A Shining Example


A revolutionary new brushless car wash system, based on technology used to clean abattoirs, is the UK’s latest franchise opportunity. Set up by entrepreneur, Jim Allison, Bathgate based Autoshine Express will have four outlets open in Central Scotland by the year-end.

Offering a payback period as low as twelve months, Autoshine Express aims to create a minimum of 200 outlets across the UK, which, dependent on site size, are each capable of washing up to 500 cars per day from only £3.50 per wash.

At no time during the car wash process do you leave your car or does any person or machine touch the vehicle, which clearly reduces the possibility of damage to the paintwork, spoilers and aerials etc. Environmentally friendly hot foam is sprayed onto the vehicle, covering it and the wheels completely. The foam gently removes the film caused by today’s dirt and pollution and is washed away after only 30 seconds by a hot water spray which, unlike conventional car washes, won’t freeze when the temperature drops.

Having successfully established the Autoshine Express formula in Bathgate in 2000, the first Autoshine Express franchise was opened earlier this year in Dunfermline by two redundant electronics engineers from the NEC plant in Livingston who bought into the business using their redundancy money.

Two more locations will open shortly at Tranent and Glenrothes before Christmas and two are set to open in Glasgow in early 2004.

Autoshine Express Managing Director Jim Allison said, “We have created an exciting, unique, and sustainable new business opportunity that offers investors the potential to make an excellent return on investment. Revenue projections indicate that the initial franchise cost, from £38,000, can be recouped within the first year of trading.”

“Traditional mechanical car wash machines with their giant brushes can damage paintwork, aerials and such like. Even a bucket and sponge can cause scratches, and its hard work. The Autoshine Express process avoids all contact with the vehicle, eliminating the risk of damage and delivering a first class finish.”

Allison confirmed that one Ferrari driver is so impressed that he drives from Edinburgh to Bathgate every week to have his pride and joy cleaned. He added: “We have many customers who travel up to 20 miles to use our service.”

At the other end of the scale, Autoshine Express can deal with the biggest of vehicles like trucks, JCBs and buses and have a number of commercial wash contracts including 3663, Hays, Scania.

Early customer Andrew Stephenson was so impressed with the service he joined the business, recognising the potential for expansion. Now Commercial Director of the company, Andrew said: “The wash was fast, the process efficient, the car looked like showroom condition and it was very good value for money. It amazed me that a quick, effortless system could make such a big difference.”

Jim Allison said: “We have an ambitious yet achievable target of 200 outlets across the UK by 2007. By investing in Autoshine Express, franchisees gain a strong foundation of support that will provide on-going training, sales and marketing support, and assistance in future business development.”

As a member of the British Franchise Association, Autoshine Express has also reached agreement with major high street banks to provide up to 50% of the finance for each new franchisee.

The entire franchise package, which is a complete turnkey business, can be up and running within four weeks of gaining planning consent. A five-day residential training course is then provided at the company’s head office in Bathgate.

Jim added: “We are continually developing additional income streams which currently include our recently introduced hot wash, hot wax and alloy package, and an internal valet bay and mobile van. These all add further income streams that enhance the return on investment.”

Autoshine Express works with aspiring franchisees to identify suitable sites with a particular emphasis on non-trading and low volume petrol stations that don’t already have a car wash. Investing in Autoshine Express could see sites without car washing facilities benefiting from a significantly higher profit margin.

The technology underlying the Autoshine concept, developed initially by the company’s research and development team, has already earned the company a number of awards. These include the John Logie Baird Award for Innovation in 2001, the Motorola Award for Environmental Achievement, and runner up in The Lothian Business New Business of the Year, both in 2002.

For further information on Autoshine Express, please contact Jim Allison or Andrew Stephenson on 01506 650590 or visit

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