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Business Operations

News from the Industry

October 11, 2010
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?Mister Car Wash adds 2 washes
In two separate transactions, Mister Car Wash, the second largest conveyor carwash chain in the nation, acquired HiCo Car Wash in Spokane, WA, and Royal Oaks Car Wash in Shoreview, MN, to give the company 62 total carwashes.

The terms of the deals were not disclosed. Mister Car Wash also owns and operates 24 lube shops in conjunction with its 62 carwashes across seven states.

Mister last acquired a chain in December 2007. Earlier that year, the company was acquired by ONCAP, a private equity firm based in Canada. The company added a total of 21 carwashes that year.

The two carwashes join already strong presences in their respective market areas. Royal Oaks is the chain’s 15th carwash in Minnesota and HiCo is the company’s fifth carwash in the Spokane area.

The company is planning extensive renovations for each location

?NY investigates 84 carwashes
A state investigation has found that nearly half of the New York state-based carwashes inspected and about eight out of every 10 New York City carwashes violate both minimum wage and overtimes laws.

Some of the carwashes investigated were not paying their employees, who sometimes work in excess of 70 hours a week, time and half. The investigation also showed that some employees were only paid $3 an hour.

Investigators visited 84 carwashes in total. They were selected at random.

State Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith said the 84 carwashes together underpaid employees $6.5 million and the worst violator was a carwash in Queens, NY, which underpaid its employees $800,000.

“If you’re a carwash that is out of compliance and if you remain out of compliance, we will find you. We are determined to change the culture in the carwash industry,” Smith said.

Dennis Lalli, an attorney representing 12 of the carwashes investigated, said the carwash owners are being targeted unfairly. “They are coming after these guys for tons of money over record-keeping violations. These are small employers. They are not sophisticated people. They are trying to start a business and create jobs for people,” he said.

CA fines carwashes over $500,000
Officials with the State Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (Labor Commissioner’s Office) visited 97 Northern California carwashes in a two-day enforcement sweep and issued citations totaling $521,000.

Fifteen teams of investigators conducted the two-day sweeps on Aug. 13-14 and 54 carwash businesses were cited. Out of those 54 carwashes, 30 received work stop notices until they can provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.

The violations included failure to:

  • Provide work permits for minors;
  • Provide employees with an itemize wage deduction statement;
  • Pay overtime wages;
  • Pay the annual registration with the commissioner’s office; and
  • Provide workers’ compensation.

The last raid conducted by the Labor Commissioner’s Office occurred in July.

“We will continue to strengthen our efforts in addressing these types of violations that are typically associated with the underground economy,” California Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet said.

3M to acquire Meguiar’s
3M has entered into an agreement to acquire Meguiar’s Inc., the 100-year-old family business that manufactures the leading Meguiar’s brand of car care products for cleaning and protecting automotive surfaces.

The Irvine, CA-based company will join 3M’s Automotive Aftermarket Division for auto body repair professionals and auto enthusiasts. Products include performance cleaning products, waxes, paint finishing polishes and compounds, paint application systems, and more.

Meguiar’s products include waxes, polishes, cleaners, conditioners and protectants for the automotive and marine markets.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

“Combining with 3M will greatly enhance our ability to serve and support car crazy people on a global basis,” said Barry Meguiar, president and CEO, Meguiar’s Inc. “We are excited about the opportunity to grow our business by joining forces with one of the world’s great global companies — working together to increase our support of the car hobby worldwide.”

Prime Shine to break ground on 10th carwash in January
Prime Shine Car Wash, a chain of nine carwashes based in Modesto, CA, will break ground on its newest location in Manteca, CA, this January.

The carwash will be part of a 53,100-square-feet retail area that is located across from a shopping center. Developers hope to have the unit opened by the spring.

Prime Shine will be the city’s 11th carwash. In the past two months, three new carwashes have opened including Showtime on East Yosemite, a carwash at Wetmore and South Main and a carwash in construction with the AM/PM at Airport Way and Yosemite Avenue.

ProWash adds three carwashes in Northern CA
ProWash Consulting, a carwash consulting company that also operates carwashes, has acquired Hutch’s Car Wash and Quick Lube, a portfolio of four family-owned properties that includes three carwashes and a quick lube.

The assets are situated in the San Francisco Bay area and are separate operating businesses, family-owned for two generations. They are:

  • Hutch’s Car Wash, 1367 A Street, Hayward, CA;
  • Hutch’s Quick Lube, 1360 B Street, Hayward, CA;
  • Hutch’s Self-Serve Car Wash, 494 Rousseau Street, Hayward, CA; and
  • Hutch’s Car Wash, 17945 Hesperian Boulevard, San Lorenzo, CA.

These acquisitions, along with current ownership of Wilshire West Car Wash and Quick Lube in Santa Monica, CA, and La Quinta Car Wash, in La Quinta, CA, bring the total number of businesses in Pro Wash’s portfolio to six.

ProWash Consulting, LLC, was most recently selected by Procter & Gamble to help usher Mr. Clean Performance Carwashes into the industry.

PECO and D&S sign joint manufacturing agreement
D&S Car Wash Equipment Company, a manufacturer of in-bay automatics, self-serve equipment and industrial vacuums, and PECO Car Wash Systems, a supplier of conveyorized tunnel carwash equipment, have announced a joint manufacturing agreement between the two companies.

Effective immediately, both manufacturers will be able to provide select products through each other’s distribution network.

“[This agreement] effectively grants our national distribution network instant access to a well-established tunnel line, thus ensuring continued growth in two different industry segments,” said Jon Jansky, president of D&S, headquartered in High Ridge, MO.

The companies will also share cross marketing responsibilities at trade shows and participate in joint research and development projects.

“This alliance will enable us to grow our brands, but more importantly, it affirms our commitment to our collective customer base,” said JR Rietsch, president of PECO, based in Auburn Hills, MI.