The world’s biggest waterless carwash franchise is venturing into the New Zealand domestic market. In only four years, ecowash mobile has grown into an international franchise operation with over 100 mobile units servicing all states of Australia, the Middle East, Europe and the US. The NZ launch of ecowash mobile follows its recent naming as the ‘best services retailer’ in Australia by the National Retail Association.

Australian franchise systems are highly regarded abroad according to ecowash mobile managing director Jim Cornish, who has just negotiated the first master franchise for New Zealand.

He claims lifestyle considerations, a global shift towards sustainable practices and the stringent nature of the Australian franchising environment are the key reasons his Australian waterless carwash franchise has infiltrated 12 countries since starting out as a two-car operation in 2004.

“The nature of the franchising environment in Australia is a huge reason why overseas markets are taking us on. Australia has one of the toughest franchising codes in the world. If you pass our code it means you have a robust franchise blueprint in place, one that you can take overseas and implement in almost any market,” he said.

“You can pretty much take it anywhere because most markets aren’t anywhere near as demanding. About the only country that will need a little tweaking is the US. You have to adapt to their regulations, but the US and Australian systems are still quite compatible.”

Australia’s small population on a huge landmass is another key reason Australian-made franchises were so highly regarded overseas.

“We don’t have the same support systems as many of the overseas franchise markets.  Particularly in the US, there are so many franchisor support systems at virtually every level that you can outsource almost every task. You don’t have to build your business systems from the ground up as you do in Australia as almost everything can be done for you. In Australia you have to know everything that is going on from the ground level up, you have to use more traditional business systems as opposed to systems which specialise in franchising.”

The global trend is towards lifestyle-orientated services and an environmental sustainability which meant his business couldn’t miss offshore, according to Cornish.

“We have embraced both notions. People also value their time to relax and have embraced a better lifestyle, so they are outsourcing tasks in greater numbers. Further, every business is, or should be, beginning to see it as their responsibility to be environmentally sustainable.

“ecowash mobile has shifted the paradigm of what carwash standards should be. We have educated customers, challenged old systems and outdated ideas that dictate water is a compulsory cleaning agent. With the technology we have and the standards we have set in terms of quality and professionalism, we have become the new paradigm. The shift towards being environmentally aware is a global trend – consequently ecowash mobile has broad global appeal and a relevance that has created the demand.”

ecowash mobile has received the ‘tick’ from Smart WaterMark for their water saving concept and has saved over 43 million litres – that’s about 378.000 litres per week in Australia alone. Further, they operate their entire fleet carbon-neutral through Greenfleet and are a major international supporter of World Water Day – further boasting their environmental commitment.