News from the Industry
Gov. Schwarzenegger renews Carwash Worker Law
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed AB 236, a bill to renew the state’s “Carwash Worker Law,” into law on Sunday, Oct. 11.
The law was passed by the state assembly and senate in September. It requires carwashes to register with the state and to document their payroll, and workers may file wage and/or retaliation claims with the Labor Commissioner when their employers violate employment laws.
The law was co-sponsored by the California Labor Federation and the CLEAN Carwash Campaign and authored by Assembly member Sandre Swanson, who was interviewed in the August issue of Professional Carwashing & Detailing.
Amnis LLC acquires Kim Supply Inc.
Amnis LLC has acquired Kansas City, MO-based Kim Supply Inc., a carwash equipment and chemical supplier.
The new ownership will continue to do business as Kim Supply and will “maintain the current levels of superior service and quality,” a company press release stated.
“What attracted us to this organization was Kim Supply’s excellent reputation, true commitment to customer satisfaction, substantial customer list, and talented and experienced staff,” said new owner Kyle VanGoethem.
Kim Supply was founded in 1954 by Orville Kimsey as an agricultural equipment manufacturer and wholesaler. In 1965, his son and eventual CEO, Tim Kimsey, began to shift Kim’s emphasis towards supplying the budding carwash market.
The company shifted to the leadership of Linda Kimsey upon the untimely passing of her husband Tim in 2007.
Mr. Clean gets first green light for IL site
A proposal for Illinois’ first Mr. Clean Car Wash was approved by the North Riverside Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals on Oct. 7.
The full-serve carwash business was approved under a conditional use permit. Two village commissions recommended the approval. The proposal was scheduled to go before the village board after this issue had gone to press.
North Riverside Village Administrator Guy Belmonte said the franchise, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Procter & Gamble Company, anticipates building carwashes in the Illinois cities of Schaumburg, Arlington Heights and Chicago.
Currently, there are 16 Mr. Clean Car Washes in Cincinnati and Atlanta. As PC&D previously reported, the company earlier said it intends to focus its expansion in six key markets: GA, OH, IL, KY, NC and TX.
Belmonte said the property, which used to house a furniture store, will bring in less sales tax than it did before and will bring in retail tax revenue thanks to the oil lube portion of the business. According to Belmonte, the carwash could be open by next July.
Recently, PC&D reported that Mr. Clean Car Wash intends to have its first Texas franchise in Round Rock, just outside Austin, open by spring 2010.
Mike’s Car Wash is a 2009 Top Small Workplace
Family-owned and operated Mike’s Car Wash, Inc. has been named a 2009 Top Small Workplace by the Wall Street Journal and Winning Workplaces, an organization that helps small and mid-size firms improve their workplaces.
The award, which was handed out to only 15 companies, recognizes exceptional companies that foster teamwork, high productivity and innovation while helping their employees grow professionally and personally.
Hundreds of interviews with Mike’s employees, customers, business partners and service providers were conducted before the company was selected for the honor.
“We are honored to receive this award,” said Billy Schaming, chief operating officer of Mike’s. “This award belongs to our employees. They make our company special. We survey our employees and every year the number one answer to the question ‘What do you like best about your job?’ is ‘the people I work with.’”
Mike’s Car Wash, Inc. was founded in Fort Wayne in 1948. Today the company is among the five largest conveyor carwash chains in America with 37 sites in Indiana and Ohio.
Quick Quack opens 14th location
Quick Quack Car Wash has opened its 14th express exterior carwash in the northwest section of the greater Houston area.
A week-long Grand Opening celebration for the business began Oct. 9 and included free washes for the first 100 customers each day.
The Sacramento, CA-based chain has sites in Texas, California, and Colorado. It is among the 50 largest conveyor carwash companies in the nation.
Services at the carwashes start at $4.99 and include free vacuum access. The company takes pride in choosing environmentally-friendly soaps and using a reclaim system to reduce the amount of fresh water used per car.
Istobal to close German subsidiary
Istobal, a manufacturer of carwash products and systems based in Spain, plans to close its German subsidiary before the end of the year, according to a report from an online magazine for the German gas station market. Istobal has maintained operations in the German market for five years and has 500 wash systems in the country. The report said industry insiders assume the service for these machines is ensured through independent service companies.
Spain was particularly hurt by this year’s financial crisis, and it is suspected this has affected the Istobal's domestic operations.
The company did not give any comment.