In this edition of Market Focus, we cover an anniversary, a fiscal report, new hires, grand openings and an acquisition.

Ascentium Capital exceeds $1 billion in funded volume during fiscal year 2017

KINGWOOD, Texas — Ascentium Capital LLC, the nation’s largest private-independent finance company, announced it surpassed $1 billion in annual funded volume for the first time in the organization’s history, according to a press release.

As reported in Carwash eNews, Ascentium Capital recently formed a strategic customer financing program with DRB Systems  and with PECO Car Wash Systems.

The company manages $1.9 billion in assets and has funded $3.7 billion since 2011, the release continued.

Ascentium Capital experienced other key accomplishments during 2017, the release noted:

  • Ranked as the Top Private Independent Finance Company in the U.S.
  • Recognized as Best Business Lending Platform with FinTech Breakthrough Award Designation
  • Completed eight small-ticket equipment securitizations since inception
  • Awarded Houston Business Journal’s Fast 100 based on growth

“These significant milestones are celebrated with gratitude for our employees, clients and business partners,” commented Tom Depping, CEO at Ascentium Capital. “This represents our unwavering commitment and focus on providing customers with unmatched opportunities that our financing products and services deliver.”

Ascentium Capital has over 300 employees, including a national salesforce of 125 finance professionals, the release noted; the company will expand the size of the sales team in 2018, continue to enhance the Ascentium University sales training program and invest in strategic technology initiatives.

Richard Baccaro, Ascentium Capital’s chief sales and marketing officer commented, “Our customized financing programs empower organizations. We continue to seize market share in the small and middle ticket marketplace, and our record-breaking year was made possible by the continued strength of our brand, financial product offering and the relentless commitment of Team Ascentium.”

As a direct lender, Ascentium Capital LLC specializes in providing a broad range of financing, leasing and small business loans, the release stated; the company’s offering benefits equipment manufacturers and distributors as well as direct to businesses nationwide.

Ascentium Capital is backed by the strength of leading investment firm Warburg Pincus LLC, the release concluded.

For more information, please visit AscentiumCapital.com.

CSI® Announces the hiring of new Lustra® Regional Sales Manager

DE PERE, Wis. — Cleaning Systems Inc. (CSI) proudly announced the hiring of Anthony DeMatteo to the position of Lustra® Regional Sales Manager covering Florida, according to a press release.

DeMatteo, originally from the New York area, transitioned to the Florida area about 15 years ago and has over 20 years of experience in the carwash industry, the release continued.

DeMatteo has covered all the bases from site management and equipment representation to, most recently, 10 years on the chemical side, the release stated.

The company is excited to add DeMatteo to an already strong team and looks forward to expanding the level of service and working to grow with its partners in Florida, the release noted.

DeMatteo was quoted as saying, “I am excited to join the CSI – Lustra team.  CSI is known as an industry leader in quality products and its technological innovation. I look forward to the opportunity to grow relationships in Florida.”

Dave Krause, president and CEO of CSI, was quoted as saying, “We are excited to welcome Anthony to the Lustra Division Team. We are confident that with his industry and chemical knowledge, he will be a great asset to our customers.”

PECO appoints Midwest territory manager

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — PECO Car Wash Systems is pleased to announce the appointment of Josh Hicks as Midwest territory manager.

Hicks comes to PECO with a wealth of carwashing experience as a previous territory manager for Major Brands Oil Co., heading up its Simoniz chemical division, the release continued.

In addition, Hicks was involved and managed the family carwash in Michigan growing up as his first career as a young man, the release noted.

Hicks will be responsible for increasing PECO’s presence in the Midwest by supporting PECO’s strategic decision to sell solely through distribution, the release stated.

Hicks will work with PECO’s current Midwest distributor network by strengthening and deepening its relationships by providing outstanding support, developing new business opportunities and driving revenue, the release added.

Further focused on penetrating the market and increasing PECO’s market share, Hicks will relentlessly hunt for new distribution, national and regional accounts opportunities and expand PECO’s brand across new industries, according to the release.

Hicks has over 15 years of territory sales and store operations management skills that will be advantageous to end users and distributors in securing carwash equipment and operating carwash tunnels, the release noted; his most recent experience includes extensive business consulting that led to generating 50 percent growth in new business at Major Brands Oil Co.

Hick’s background in selling chemical and running carwashes will be invaluable to PECO’s current distributor network and new investor prospects, the release added.

Core to Hick’s values is his commitment to establishing long-term, trusted business relationships with customers and industry leaders by focusing on understanding his clients’ needs and repeat business, the release noted; Hick’s excitement and drive to welcome industry change, open to new ways of doing business, will help drive PECO’s market penetration and brand awareness, the release stated.

“I grew up in the carwash business. My family has owned a wash since I was one years old, and I can remember traveling to PECO growing up. I pride myself in producing an exquisitely clean vehicle, and with PECO Car Wash Systems, I can continue on achieving just that. I have a passion for carwashes, and I’m looking forward to growing with PECO,” Hicks said.

Gate Petroleum opens first carwash

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — According to www.jacksonville.com, the first of Gate Petroleum’s new carwashes opened on Jan. 10th on Collins Rd.

To celebrate the opening, Gate is giving away free washes through Jan. 19th, the article continued.

The express carwash features a 125-foot tunnel and free vacuums, the article added.

In 2016, Gate announced that it planned to opened a chain of at least 20 standalone carwashes in the area, the article concluded.

Satori’s Star Wash opens

MANITOWOC, Wis. — According to www.htrnews.com, Satori’s Star Wash, a 27/4 touch-free self-serve carwash, recently opened on N. 30th St.

The new carwash, opened by Satori’s Auto Service, boasts a unique rocker arm radial sprayer, a state-of-the-art undercarriage and side blast, a two-step pre-soak and wash, and a four-part drying system, the article continued.

Currently under renovation, the 10,000-square-foot vehicle sales showroom is being renovated to open in the spring, the article added.

Satori’s Auto Service has operated since 1997 and also runs a full service mechanical repair shop, an auto body and collision repair center and a Hertz Auto Rental office, the article concluded.

Four Seasons Car Wash installs first dual belt conveyor in Minnesota

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — According to www.dl-online.com, Four Seasons Car Wash upgraded its wash in September 2017 by installing a dual conveyor belt, the first one to be installed in Minnesota.

The new conveyor belt will allow Four Seasons to wash up to 100 cars in about an hour, compared to before, when being five or six cars behind in line meant waiting for about 30 minutes, the article continued.

“A lot of people love it because it’s quick,” said Derek Parks, general manager at Four Seasons.

The carwash made other modifications as well; it is now eco-friendlier, reusing some of its water for the pre-rinse, and it has installed more driers at the end of the wash (including a couple heated ones for the winter), the article noted.

The carwash offers four packages: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum, and customers can purchase unlimited wash memberships, the article added.

Part of the profits from the membership purchases go toward the Detroit Lakes Booster Club, the article concluded.

Big League Car Wash opens with a grand slam

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas — According to www.herald-zeitung.com, Big League Car Wash opened just after Thanksgiving.

Owner Daniel McCutchen named that carwash after his previous occupation as a professional baseball player of 11 years, the article continued; he started with the New York Yankees, made his Major League debut as a pitcher for the Pittsburg Pirates, pitched for the Texas Rangers and played for the Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles and San Diego Padres.

However, after 11 seasons, McCutchen decided to retire to spend more time with his family, and he started his carwash project around 14 months ago, the article noted.

“I always had a business mind and knew I wanted to do something business, so I looked at a few different options,” McCutchen said. “This was a good one. I tell people I played so long so I could have a really cool car wash theme.”

In creating Big League, McCutchen said he wanted to provide people with a quick and enjoyable way to keep their cars clean, the article added.

The carwash features a tunnel that can wash about 90 cars per hour, and it has 23 free vacuums with compressed air and towels, the article stated.

“I wanted something that’s a stress-free environment,” McCutchen said. “We’ve had someone who’s come in and detailed their car for two hours. (The customer) won’t feel pressure from someone waiting. We went overboard on how many vacuum places we had but just for that reason.”

Big League offers season ticket passes, which are monthly passes for various packages offering customers a daily carwash; the passes use RFID tags stuck to the car, the article added.

McCutchen also takes a hands-on approach with the carwash and enjoys talking to customers not only about the carwash but also about baseball, the article noted.

“I’ve had so much positive feedback from people when they find out that not all of these businesses are outside corporations where you don’t know the owners,” McCutchen said. “Maybe it’s a little overboard for a carwash, but I want people to feel good when they come here and know that I’ve put everything into this.”