Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Nighttime on the roadway stretches longer in the winter and drivers may find their lights growing dimmer.
Ringgold’s Headlight Renew Doctor is on call to zap the cloudiness off headlights in order to re-energize nighttime driving.
“About 70 percent of cars in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama on the road have yellow or cloudy headlights,” said Headlight Renew Doctor President Chris Watts Sr., who developed the headlight restoration kits his company sells. “The UV rays cause a chemical reaction on the outside of the headlight to make it cloudy. My system takes off that cloudy layer and applies a UV-protectant seal.”
Even though Watts resides locally, his product is sold in 12 countries, with many orders shipped to Australia. Forty percent of his Internet purchases are made by women, so he changed the company’s motto to “It’s so easy a man can do it.”
Locals can stop by Ace Hardware to pick up his restoration kits. The stores in Ringgold, Tunnel Hill, Missionary Ridge, Flintstone and Chattanooga carry the product.
“We are the only system in the world with this type of kit,” said Watts. “We actually tape up the headlight and sand off the yellow cloudy layer and smooth it off with a fine sandpaper and spray a UV coating on it.”
A chance run-in with a used car salesman is what illuminated Watts’ new career path. In January 2008, a salesman at a used car dealership asked Watts if he had ever renewed headlights. The salesman told him that his used car lot needed a system that lasted longer than the current systems to clean headlights, which just lasted 90 days.
“In the fall of 2007 I had no income for five months,” said Watts, who is a single father with custody of his son. “We were on food stamps. I had just built a new house in the spring of 2007 and pulled out my retirement to do it.”
He said he was able to figure out the right formula to get the headlight restoration to actually last for four to five years.
Watts started out with a toolbox in his truck renewing headlights as a mobile service at car lots from Dalton to Dayton. He originally began selling the product to used car dealerships to assist in their three-year warranty contracts as well as to auto service centers and truck stops. Then, 500 Repco Auto Parts stores picked up his product.
He said the product did well until the stock market fell in September 2008, then he had downtime for five months again. But he did not give up and borrowed money to go to Atlanta to make a sales pitch that positioned his company in a growing phase.
“Now [due to the recession] people keep their cars five to seven years,” said Watts, who now has five employees and recently demonstrated his product for Mercedes and Simoniz car wax. “They spend more money on their cars and keep them longer. The recession propelled my headlight restoration business.”
He said companies like Marshall Mize Ford, Ed Kirby Mazda, Ringgold Chrysler Jeep, and Volkswagen of Chattanooga all use his Headlight Renew Doctor kits, and car manufacturers and global companies are testing the product in China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Canada and soon will test it in Mexico.
People can visit YouTube and type in “Headlight Renew Doctor” to view a video of how to use the kit.
To learn more find HeadlightRenewDoctor.com on Facebook or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.