The average age of cars on the road is at a record high of 11 years, according to market research firm Mintel. Consumers who own older cars are interested in different types of automotive cleaning products than new-car buyers (deep cleaning products such as scratch removers, for example). Given that these consumers are likely putting off of buying a new car for cost reasons, they may be less likely to pay for a professional car wash as well, relying on at-home cleaning products.
However, there is little difference between household income groups regarding how often they clean their vehicles at home. According to Mintel, this demonstrates that car washing is a universal activity, as both luxury and used cars get dirty. However, consumers of different income levels will likely be interested in different products: luxury cars may need additional polish for more detailed cleaning; used cars may need restoration products for older paintwork.
Blame it on the kids…
Households with young children are one of the most opportune markets for auto cleaning product manufacturers. The difference in interior cleaning product purchasing behavior between families with children and those without children is significant: approximately 39% of respondents with no children under 18 did not purchase any cleaning products, as compared to just 21% of those with children, said Mintel.
Factors at play include the increased mess caused by children (and family pets), as well as a change in lifestyle brought on by being a parent—a possible increase in the number of vehicles, more frequent use of vehicles and a need to save on expenses (such as a trip to a professional car wash), etc.
Consumers aged 18-24 (who are likely buying their first car and learning to care for it) were more likely than other age groups to purchase interior cleaning products, including air freshener sprays (45%) and carpet cleaner (34%).
Washing car interiors at home, using store-bought products, is the most common and least-expensive auto cleaning activity. Cleaning at home may also be a leisure activity that families can share together on weekends, a factor that is supported by Mintel data that indicates 50% of vehicle owners say “cleaning the car/truck is a good family exercise.”
Cleaning Vehicles Inside & Out
Whether considered a “leisure activity” or not, cleaning vehicles is a necessary task. To help, Empack Spraytech Inc. launched its new emzone Rim Cleaner and emzone Rim Protector to its Tire & Rim Care program. Emzone Rim Cleaner aggressively cleans and dissolves brake dust, road grime, grease and dirt to give rims a brilliant shine. Emzone Rim Protector forms an invisible protective barrier that helps repel brake dust, road grime, grease and dirt, which keeps rims clean longer and makes cleaning easier. One application lasts up to four weeks. The new items complement the emzone Foaming Tire Shine currently in the line. Its special formula lifts and dissolves dirt, leaving tires with a high gloss finish. Used together, the products help ensure that tires and rims look their best. Emzone Rim Protector and emzone Foaming Tire Shine sport valves from Precision Valve and caps from Cobra Plastics.
Champion Brands Wipe-R-Clean Glass Cleaner is a safe and easy-to-use cleaner that dissolves smudges, film, scum, smears, bugs and other soil. A suitable cleaner for windows, mirrors and other glass surfaces, the product is streakless and ammonia free, as well as compliant for sale in North America.
3M Auto Care relaunched its vehicle care collection, utilizing redesigned containers. The 11-sku line includes Wheel & Tire Cleaner, Tire Restorer, Quick Wax and Leather & Vinyl Restorer in a trigger pump. TricorBraun received a 2013WorldStar International Packaging Award for the 3M Auto Care Products, whose packaging was redesigned with an eye toward environmental compatibility and economy. According to TricorBraun, the newly-designed packaging is manufactured with PET, including 25% post-consumer recycled material. The 3M products were distinguished by an environmental commitment that annually eliminates 63,063 pounds of PET from the waste system. The new containers lowered distribution costs by reducing package weight 12.5% and also accepted a less costly closure.
The Armor All/STP Products Co. launched Custom Shield Coating, a product that allows consumers an opportunity to ditch the automotive bra on the front of their car for a sleeker look. New Custom Shield Coating is a temporary, spray-on, peel-off veneer that allows consumers to protect a vehicle’s paint and body from the elements. The technology comes in the colors of Black, White and Clear, which give consumers the ability to create a temporary customization, such as racing stripes or team colors. The product helps protect front grill, hood and rocker panels from scratches and nicks caused by flying debris. It can also be used on wheels to protect from brake dust build-up, is weather resistant and can last up to three months. It’s easy to apply, as its aerosol delivery allows for a simple application that dries quickly. Removal never requires tools—when it’s time to remove, just peel off and throw away.
Valvoline Heavy Duty Brake Parts Cleaner instantly removes brake dust, brake fluid, grease and grime, and contains a powerful, non-chlorinated formula designed to effectively clean brake parts and CV joints. The penetrating formula is fast-drying, non-chlorinated, evaporates quickly and leaves no residue. It helps stop brake squeal and chatter and can be used for all ABS, disc and drum brakes. It’s VOC compliant in all states except California, with a California VOC compliant formula available.
Valvoline Extra Strength Starting Fluid has been formulated to deliver maximum starting strength. Ether and heptane are blended together to produce a starting fluid which has a low freezing point, high vapor pressure, low flash point (ignition), high BTU content (starting power) and an upper cylinder lubricant for protection. It starts engines quickly and helps reduce drain on batteries, is compatible with gasoline or diesel engines and contains upper cylinder lubricant. It is suitable for year-round use in cars, trucks, lawn mowers, chain saws, marine engines and motorcycles.
Valvoline Heavy Duty Carb & Throttle Body Cleaner maximizes engine power and performance by instantly dissolving gum, varnish, sludge, grease, dirt and carbon deposits from carburetor throats, chokes, catalytic converters and PCV valves to improve gas mileage. It effectively cleans throttle plates on fuel injected engines and helps eliminates hesitation and rough idle. All three Valvoline products are packaged in cans from DS Containers.
For extreme conditions…
Ice-Off Windshield Spray De-Icer from CRC Industries helps melt ice, snow and frost from windshields on contact. It also thaws frozen locks, is effective to sub-zero temperatures, and helps prevent re-freezing. It is harmless to car finishes, and can be used on car and truck windows, locks, latches and wipers. CRC Ice-Off utilizes Powerjet technology with a new Powerjet spray nozzle from Precision Valve that produces a burst of product to forcefully break apart ice and defrost windows instantly.
Penray Plus Tire Fix Plus Emergency Tire Inflator from The Penray Companies, Inc. is a safe method to temporarily repair a tire. Utilizing its special “Leak Detective,” the product is designed for use in most passenger cars, trucks, trailers, lawn tractors, ATVs or pneumatic-type tires. The special latex foam formula helps seal most tread area punctures while partially inflating the tire. It requires no jack or tools, which helps reduce the hazards of roadside tire changing. It’s safe on tire pressure monitoring devices when used as directed, has a non-flammable formula and easy clean-up with water.
Motor Medic Thrust Quick Starting Fluid from Radiator Specialty Co. helps promote quick starting of gasoline and diesel engines under extreme cold conditions down to -65°F. The product—containing upper cylinder lubricant and corrosion inhibitors—helps save the batteries and ignitions of autos, buses, trucks, tractors, outboard motors, chain saws and construction equipment that have either gasoline or diesel engines. It contains no chlorinated solvents and meets current low VOC regulations. The cans for all three products are manufactured by DS Containers.
Rust-Oleum Automotive’s LeakSeal Rubberized Coating fills and seals leaks and cracks, providing a flexible water-tight seal that prevents moisture penetration, rust and corrosion. The high-build formula was specifically developed to fill cracks, gaps and holes while maintaining flexibility, even with temperature changes and UV radiation. LeakSeal can be used on metal, vinyl, plastic, PVC, concrete and other surfaces year round. SPRAY