I still remember the days of applying wax or sealant to our vehicles. Working section by section with an applicator pad, letting the protection layer haze up and wiping away the excess with a clean microfiber towel. We all have that one detailing step that we reminisce about but with new protection technology like coatings, these steps can feel out of date. When coatings came out I remember thinking that there is no way a protective layer can be that durable, that this new technology was just a phase and we will be back to sealants and waxes soon enough. I am however happy to say that I was wrong and not only are coatings here to stay, they have been increasing in terms of durability and ease of application.
I find myself thinking, as the years go by what is next within the detailing industry. Is it new coating technology, a brand new type of protection product, an increase in battery technology allowing us to finally cut the cord on polishers, or something else completely? I sent this exact question over to our Ask-a-Pro Team and below are a few of the replies I was sent.
What do you think the future of detailing is? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!
In my opinion, I would like to predict that detailing will head towards making a lot of our current tools high-tech or utilizing smart technology. The ability to take something like a polisher that through an app can monitor surface temperature or even alert the user to someday making burning through clear a thing of the past. Integration with other products such as lights based on what color and model you are working with. Going wireless is definitely something we can already see happening. The big companies are making huge improvements in battery technology. But why not see the same for things such as vacuums, steam machines or maybe even a thermal/paint thickness/gloss meter with magnification. Oh wait, those haven’t been invented yet.
I have been doing a lot of research on sprayable color changes and sprayable PPF. In my opinion, if this technology can be mastered, this is the next big thing. We can make the installation process of customizing your ride a lot simpler and this will create the need to do it several times or more often. The simpler we can make the understanding of the install processes is going to be pivotal to the new technology taking hold in the market. Imagine eliminating the stress of burning your fingers, cutting into a car or damaging something because you’re stretching plastic across a surface to make a perfect fit. Now, we just need to see the technology mastered and we will have an entirely new segment of the market willing to spend the money to customize and protect their ride. Again, in my opinion.
So I think the future of detailing will be that detailers will be this century’s new “mechanics.” As cars get smarter and smarter, with electric systems and more specific equipment requiring to service vehicles, people are now more concerned with protecting their vehicles. This trend of purchasing electric cars and not leasing electric cars has led to an influx of clients that are interested in protecting their investments long term. So with this shift, more people are concerned with who touches their investment which is where detailers fill the void. When i started five years ago, i was doing a lot more hand washes than i do today. Today, my business is mainly coatings, films, and maintenance washes for those cars.
I believe there will be a huge improvement in tools and products all around. The coating tech will be really well implemented into all the more basic products like car shampoo and spray sealants (I guess spray coatings). This will of course help the average enthusiast care for their car but also make the jobs of detailers quicker and easier. Tools will see a great change/improvement both in size as well as the whole battery issue. No cords to drag around and probably lighter machines will make it much easier and quicker to move around cars and do proper detailing. Lastly I think improvements in coatings are coming very soon in terms of self-healing properties… there are already some that are capable of self-healing but the tech is not there from what I’ve seen, not even close to what PPF does. I think this change is a couple years away if that and will drastically change the scene of ceramic/protective coatings.
It is my belief that the social media evolution will make the niche of and niches within the auto detailing industry more clearly defined. More people are curious about the benefits of polishing, curious about ceramic coatings, and willing to make the investment in Paint Protection Film. There is a greater selection of detailing supplies and a larger consumer market for new enthusiasts. Customers are more frequently inquiring about detailing services, using professional terms (ex. two step correction). This is an obvious benefit to all parties, but there are going to be the inevitable negatives that come with mainstream exposure. For business owners and for those seeking formal training, detailing educational content creators has inspired those who want to be educated. Business bootcamps have not only helped with skills development but more importantly have provided desperately needed business skills for those who started only with a passion for detailing. There will be more individuals with a platform who are not knowledgeable or ethical with respect to safely cleaning an interior, proper paint correction, coatings, or application of Paint Protection Film. My hope is through networking enough high-quality individuals can elevate the industry, providing win-win solutions.
The exciting part about the detailing industry is that it’s being driven by very smart and passionate detailers and employees within our product manufacturers. Professional detailers are generally not falling for gimmicks and over hyped products as we have more access to research and reviews that helps us determine what truly works. This helps push manufacturers to develop products that meet the needs of detailers. The revolutionary new products will come through as we have technological or scientific breakthroughs that will take our polishers, polishes and protective products to the next level. You never really know when or how they will come but I’m confident we’ll be seeing more in the not too distant future. Along those lines I believe battery powered tools will become more popular as they become more powerful and affordable. Manufacturers have also stepped up with more training sessions and online resources to help detailers and I expect to see even more of this going forward.