Dealership IQ Success Story – Watermark Nissan

They call the triangle-shaped southern tip of Illinois “Little Egypt”, where its fertile soil between the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers and remaining Native American mounds evoke Egypt’s Nile Valley and ancient pyramids.  Our success story today returns to the town of Marion – the hub of the universe in the heart of Little Egypt – for an update on an amazing demonstration of Auto Dealership and Car Wash exceptionalism.  Odd as it may seem, both are occurring in the same place.

The Watermark Auto Group, headquartered in Marion (notoriously known for its ownership of the United States Penitentiary Marion) operates seven dealerships in the region, including Marion Nissan which they acquired in 2013.  Within two years, the firm planned a new state of the art facility for the Nissan dealership.

As construction proceeded, and to raise the bar on its vehicle prep of its customers’ newly purchased vehicles specified the IQ Soft Touch in bay automatic from D&S to accomplish this lofty goal.  That IQ Installed by D&S Distributor Dirtbuster in a single week went operational on January 14, 2015.

As of late, The Watermark Nissan of Marion has been on a roll concerning the car wash industry, washing a grand total of 132,000 vehicles since the IQ’s installation.  For reference, only two other IQ machines have washed more, and both have been in service for 2+ years longer than Marion Nissan’s.  Another fact that makes this feat so impressive is that neither of the 2 machines that have the Marion Nissan wash beat are Auto Dealership washes, they are strictly business to consumer car washes.

Though it may seem a bit out-of-the-blue for a dealership wash to be doing so well, this car wash is one that helped define one of the newest trends in the car wash industry – the conversion of a dealership wash into one that is open to the public.  This dealership specializes in new and used Nissan vehicles and serves the Marion, IL area with its services. 

It also holds the distinction of being consistently ranked in the top 2 in customer satisfaction out of all the Nissan dealerships in the entire country, as it is consistently praised for its ability to wash cars efficiently and quickly.  As with any dealership, they also rely on a car wash to ensure their vehicles are in their utmost cosmetic condition. 

Since the wash’s installation, the IQ has washed an average of 78 vehicles per day serving the Nissan store and Watermark’s other dealerships nearby.  This number is tremendous on its own, however, in mid-2018 the daily count began to eclipse 100 washes per day, which coincided with Watermark’s decision to utilize the IQ as a marketing tool.  By offering complimentary washes to its sales and service customers, they created another reason for them to feel good about the dealership and another reason to return.

The reliability, efficiency, and marketing success of Watermark’s IQ System had management considering more of a good thing.  Realizing their workhorse equipment still had the capacity to spare, Marion Nissan modified their facility to serve the public as a commercial car wash.  The result? Add another 25+ washes to the daily average processed by the IQ.

Having been in service for over 4 ½ years, this IQ 2.0 Soft-Touch wash was one of the earliest examples of the potential that could be realized by converting a dealership wash into a public wash and the enhancements that come with such a move.  By using the consistent model of $7 – $10 per wash, the dealership is enjoying an increase in profit from its car wash and has watched how much their wash has benefitted their business.  It all seems to have worked out in their favor, as they are enjoying quite a successful time over at Watermark Nissan of Marion in terms of car washing.  With over 130,000 cars washed during its lifespan, it’s not hard to see the evidence of the benefits to such a transition.

Proving it’s possible to be “ahead of the curve” even in a small midwestern town, Watermark is part of a nascent trend among progressive car dealers.  By breaking from the stereotypical mold of deficient, after-thought vehicle prep station, Marion Nissan and other visionary dealers have created profitable new revenue streams as a commercial car wash.  A car wash that can bring hundreds of potential new customers to their business at large.

With The Watermark Nissan of Marion topping the D&S fleet report charts and being able to continue its gold standard of car washing, this wash continues to provide the dealership with increasing levels of success as time goes on.  This wash is only one example out of the recent string of washes that have begun to unquestionably prove that converting your dealership wash into a public wash can pay dividends to you and your future.