Professional Carwashing & Detailing

News from the Industry

October 11, 2010

Blendco merges with DuBois Chemicals
Blendco Systems, LLC, manufacturer of a full line of formulated detergents, polishes and protectants for the carwash industry, is now a wholly owned subsidiary of DuBois Chemicals, a specialty chemical manufacturing company based in Sharonville, OH.

DuBois specializes in the areas of metal finishing/paint pretreatment, chemicals, water/wastewater treatment, maintenance/equipment cleaning, and transportation cleaning including trucks, trains and buses.

The newly combined business will operate under the continued leadership of Laurie Sherman and Brent McCurdy, Blendco’s management team.

Sherman said, “Blendco’s partnership with Dubois Chemicals will allow us to access exciting new products and technology for our customers, and DuBois has entrusted us to continue to build our detergent business. Blendco is moving ahead with the same name, the same spirit, and the same mission — to bring the very best in cleaning products to the transportation cleaning industry.”

NASCAR driver will open two washes in Virginia
NASCAR race car driver Denny Hamlin will open two full-service carwashes in his home state of Virginia.

Hamlin is taking over the former Midlothian Speedwash, located in a Richmond suburb, and Fredericksburg Speedwash, about 70 miles north in Frederiskburg. The two washes will be renamed Denny Hamlin’s Speed Wash and feature a racing theme throughout, including unique Hamlin racing memorabilia such as driver suits, race car parts, photos and merchandise.

Service options at the two carwash locations will range from a $6 basic exterior wash to a $30 premium package which includes an interior and exterior cleaning. The washes will offer detailing and hand wax services, and will accept gift cards, prepaid wash packages, fleet discounts, and unlimited monthly washes.

World’s largest carwash chain up for grabs?
IMO Car Wash stands to be sold to the highest bidder after lenders to the world’s largest chain of automatic carwashes reached a standstill with Carlyle Group, the group’s private equity owner.

Professional Carwashing & Detailing first reported there was trouble at IMO in July of last year, when Carlyle announced it wanted to sell the group’s property assets to raise money.

Carlyle adviser Rothschild will prepare an information memorandum about a potential sale of the business.

IMO, the largest known carwash company in the world, operates more than 900 carwash sites in 14 countries. IMO has 300 sites trading as Arc Clean Car Centres across the United Kingdom, but its biggest presence is in Germany where it has 335 locations. Carlyle bought the group in 2006 from JP Morgan Partners.

The company has struggled in recent years, partly owed to an increase in average rainfall and the global recession.

Mace sells another carwash
Mace Security International, Inc., the personal defense and security product manufacturer and formerly one of the country’s largest carwash operators, has signed an agreement to sell its Austin, TX, carwash for $3.2 million.

The book value of the wash is approximately $2.6 million.

With this latest sale, Mace now has agreements to sell all three of its remaining Austin, TX, carwashes. The company has only nine carwashes left for sale now, with six sites in Arlington and Forth Worth, TX, and three in Lubbock, TX.

“We are excited that we are continuing to sell our carwashes,” said Dennis Raefield, Mace's CEO and president.

Like the other Austin, TX, transactions, the sale is conditioned upon the buyer being satisfied with a Phase 2 environmental study that will be conducted on the site.

Employee sent to hospital after inhaling chemical
An employee at the Four Seasons Car Wash was sent to the hospital and suffered from severe burns after breathing in hydrochloric-sulfuric acid.

Jerry Wayne Short, 27, was on the job on March 31 when he breathed in the chemical used at the carwash.

Short was flown to the Floyd Medical Center and was on a ventilator as of April 2. He suffered burns on his face, neck and arms.

Short was also injured while on the job last September when he got some of the acid on his hand and nearly lost his thumb and fingers as a result.

Mike’s opens 38th carwash site
Mike’s Express Carwash, the fourth largest conveyor carwash chain in the nation, washed cars for free for two weeks at its new Michiana, IN, location to celebrate the opening of its 38th carwash site.

The Indianapolis-based chain opened its 37th site last September as part of its celebration for 60 years in business. Most recently the family-owed company was recognized as one of the “best places to work in Indiana.”

Carwash owner pays $270k in back wages
Manuel Lozano, president of Lozano, Inc., has paid $270,000 he owned in back wages to 270 employees of his carwashes.

Workers at Lozano, Inc. carwashes were required to arrive for their shifts on time, but could not clock in until customers were present. Some employees waited up to an hour before being allowed to clock in.

An investigation was conducted between Dec. 10, 2006 and Dec. 6, 2008. Employees working during those times are being asked to contact the Wage and Hour Division in San Jose, CA.