Best-Practice-Story, Car Dealer Lenz,
Manager Frank Lenz washes with our VARIO SPEED system

With Christ at Full Speed

The Lenz car dealer in Oelde-Stromberg in North Rhine-Westphalia is one of the larger car dealers in Germany. Managing Director Frank Lenz needs a fast car wash with excellent wash and care results for the wash and care of many new and used vehicles, which usually park only briefly on site, as well as customer vehicles which are serviced or repaired in the workshop. "Our equipment requests for a new roll over system were primarily based on our high water flow rate. We also wanted clean vehicles with better drying at higher speeds," says Frank Lenz, summarizing the main aspects of his ideas and expectations of a car wash manufacturer. Requirement for making the right decision is good product information - globally from the worldwide network, at specialist trade fairs such as  the Tankstelle und Mittelstand [Service Station & SME] trade fair in Münster or tips from cooperating partners. The decisive hint came from Gütersloh from the company Otto Fricke GmbH & Co. KG  which acquired shares in the German AVIA mineral oil GmbH, Munich, in 2002. This is significant because at that time a DEA flagged station laid the business foundation for this car dealer with garage for now 51 years of Autohaus Lenz, which today sells fuels under the AVIA brand "The people responsible at Fricke made a very clear recommendation for Christ Wash Systems." Frank Lenz also contacted other petrol station operators and compared various roll over systems with each other before he finally decided with best conscience in favour of the manufacturer Christ.

Faster and more Efficient

The decision was followed by discussions about details with Tobias Beier, sales consultant responsible for the region, and Stefan Schwarzer, sales manager, whose conclusive arguments persuaded Frank Lenz to choose the "VARIO SPEED" system and to quickly come to an agreement with the Christ team. The Memminger wash factory then received the order to equip the new roll over wash unit "VARIO SPEED" with fast, efficient, reliable and low-maintenance technology. The result of the equipment: the unit can handle up to a quarter more wash, care and drying power than other systems thanks to the 16 bar high-pressure pre-wash. Five oscillating nozzles for each side of the vehicle and new foam nozzles installed on both sides are a part of this system as well as the 140-degree swivelling TURBO DRY horizontal blower with Opti Air function. The XL wheel wash device cleans wheels up to 21 inches, the SENSOMIX+ gentle wash material with textile content and a horizontal brushes splash protection complete the high-quality and powerful technical ensemble. After the first few weeks, Frank Lenz admits that the "VARIO SPEED" does not only have an amazingly good wash and maintenance performance but also a high process velocity. Because "the productivity factor - especially when an employee pre-washes - already plays a major role. If we don't reach a certain number of washes per month, we are not working profitable enough."

Otto Christ AG produced and installed a roll over wash system for the Lenz car dealer for the first time. Frank Lenz carried out the manufacturer change with all consistency. This is why the car wash was carried out from the first overflow of the "VARIO SPEED" with Christ CAR CARE washing chemicals. "We wanted to get everything from a single source and therefore ensure right from the beginning that the matching between the machine and the chemicals was right. With this in mind, we also signed a service contract with Christ. An application engineer comes by regularly to check whether the settings on the dosing pumps and the wash water quality are suitable as we have very hard water in our region. When technology and chemistry come from one manufacturer, they will fit well and much better than other solutions. Because of this combination, I think we'll be able to achieve better drying results."

Show with Light and Fragrance

The car wash opens daily from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. In order to offer the "VARIO SPEED" wash programmes to as many customers as possible, "we created a campaign to make it known that our car wash is open until 8 p.m. Car washers who visit the new Christ unit during the campaign from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. receive our best wash programme at half price." With the VARIO SPEED, Frank Lenz offers his car wash customers atmospheric blue light beyond the actual wash, care and drying process. The LED lights installed on both sides at the height of the foam nozzles and the circular rows of LEDs in the entry aids mounted parallel along the guide rails of the racing sports-labeled portal provide a successful optical appearance during the wash. They also have an after-effect on car wash customers, as blue light is supposed to have a positive effect on performance and concentration. A fragrance dispenser, which is supposed to transfer the freshness idea of the car wash into the customer's nose, also has an effect.

Car washers notice the extremely thorough pre-wash of the employees. They know that the "VARIO SPEED" can only achieve consistent wash, care and drying results if the vehicles are meticulously pre-treated. After the pre-wash and entering under the portal, the employee starts the "VARIO SPEED" unit at the VARIO-L operation terminal. - Car dealer Lenz currently washes all vehicles in operation with fresh water. "We once had a recycled water preparation system and will soon have such a system installed again." The newly founded business cooperation with Otto Christ AG suggests that Frank Lenz will want to have the FONTIS-S explained in detail. A water preparation system specially designed for roll over wash units.

 

Car Wash with Great History

The new Christ roll over wash unit with a lot of power is the latest and logical investment of the Lenz car dealer for the future which can now look back on a remarkable company history. The Lenz family has always observed the basic principles of economic activity ever since they started their business with the management of a DEA petrol station in 1968. After starting with the petrol station business, father Lenz opened a garage. "Because my father wanted to run a car dealership, a Mazda dealership was added in mid-1975. Before the dealership contract with the Japanese car manufacturer, he worked with Opel and ran a used car business." The first car wash was built by the Lenz family in 1993. "Until then we washed by hand in a hall with a stamp stage - four people, two washed, two leathered the vehicles. Their equipment consisted essentially of buckets, sponges, leather cloths and sandblasters to wash and dry Opel Rekord and Admiral, various BMW models at the time and many Porsche, sometimes 60 to 70 cars on Saturdays. I cleaned the rims because I couldn't get to the roof of the car." The Lenz family expanded the company again in the 1990s and took up the challenge of selling used cars and commercial vehicles. The Lenz car dealership has also been an authorized Skoda dealer for nine years. 65 employees are involved in trade and sales as well as garage service, petrol station and car wash. The car dealer currently offers more than 30,000 square metres of space for customer vehicles and sells up to 3,000 vehicles annually to interested parties coming to Oelde-Stromberg from all parts of Germany. "Internet sales grew very strongly. Customers are looking for cars on the stock markets, they want them immediately and that's why they drive across the country to us."

The large number of vehicles offered for sale and the cars driving to the Lenz dealer for inspection need to be washed well and quickly. "Our customers praise the performance of the "VARIO SPEED" very much. But today everyone claims he has no time. Time of waiting is actually a serious issue today. Nobody accepts it anymore. So we really needed this Christ system." Frank Lenz needed it above all because "we also operate the car wash publicly and are among the larger German dealers. Otherwise both - the dealer and the customer - will have to wait too long." For this reason, he has a second wash hall built on the company premises in the immediate future. "Both used cars and new cars are to be washed there by our neighbour Autobid, an auction platform for dealers, in order to relieve the load on the Christ wash system. At the same time, we want to be able to wash the vehicles of our public customers and also wash our vehicles faster," says Frank Lenz, revealing the general solution to the waiting problem.

Reliable Partner

When asked about the cooperation with Christ Wash Systems in general and Tobias Beier in particular, Managing Director Lenz responded spontaneously: "We have the best contact person you can rely on and who also reacts quickly. The offers are designed to be transparent. Sales manager Stefan Schwarzer also took part in the discussions. He supported the already very good consulting of specialist Beier. That is why I quickly came to my decision. I appreciate Stefan Schwarzer as a man who more than many others can emphatically put himself in the position of his counterpart. When we train our car salesmen, I always say: if you can explain well, you can sell well. Just to print out offers is not enough. If things are explained well and advantageously, you're willing to spend a few Euros more." Frank Lenz answers the question about further wishes to the Memminger wash plant with a final word: "We live in a selective distribution network. So it would be great if you could get support in the area of the social media world - your own sub-homepage, a configurator or that which visually celebrates a world of experience for the customer in the car wash. We also have to arouse interest of the car wash customers in the same way that other industries show us and allow them to determine in advance when they will wash their cars with the Internet and digitise them via social networks. I think, through this, we'll get the traffic we want for the car wash."

Frank Lenz: "The 'VARIO SPEED' Christ unit is already a blast in terms of performance, speed and service."

Bernd Fiehöfer

 

Otto Christ AG - The Real Car Wash Factory

 

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