The largest automatic car wash facility in the world is the Mr. Wash location in Stuttgart, Germany. When International Carwash Association CEO Eric Wulf visited recently, he said, “This thing will stand forever. There’s more concrete and steel here than at 10 car washes in the U.S.”
That’s according to the Wall Street Journal, which recently profiled Germany’s massive (in more ways than one) car wash industry. Mr. Wash is its crown jewel, a two-story plant built five years ago at a cost of $40 million. Whereas America’s largest industrial car wash can clean 200,000 cars annually, this one pushes out 500,000, Wulf told the Journal.
Washes there start at just below $8 per wash, but different options range up past $20. One French woman interviewed by the Journal said her countrymen hardly ever wash their cars. “German car washes are a phenomenon unto themselves,” she said.
Indeed, you’d be hard-pressed to find a car wash in the United States that even comes close to the girth of the one in Stuttgart, which is simply a reflection of economic reality. But at least one States-side car wash is pushing the envelope. The Camel Express Car Wash near Nashville claims it will build the longest car wash tunnel in the world, stretching 130 feet, about a third the length of a football field. (American football, that is.)
Check out the YouTube video below to see inside the Stuttgart Mr. Wash.