Welcome to the 2020 Top 50 U.S. Conveyor Chain List. This is our publication’s annual account of the leading tunnel operators in the professional carwashing industry.
This segment of the market has undoubtedly changed in recent decades. Based on our research, it was 2001 when an operator at Benny’s Car Wash in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, looked at the conveyor model at the time and thought they could do this better and more efficiently while maintaining quality and consistency without increasing labor. Technology and other equipment, system and chemical advancements soon popularized the express exterior model, and it has changed the industry and the way all wash models serve customers forever.
But, customers and operators were not the only ones who took prompt notice of express washing and other significant changes, such as the emergence of subscription-based platforms, occurring in the market over recent decades.
Not only have more loyal and new customers visited professional carwashes more frequently since then, but significant private equity investor and entrepreneur interest has also flooded the market.
As highlighted by last month’s cover story, 11 out of the top 20 conveyor chains are now backed by private equity or larger investors.
Furthermore, four out of the top five conveyor chains on our list are now backed by such interests after Zips Car Wash announced its partnership with Atlantic Street Capital and Quick Quack Holdings LLC announced an expansion in capital partnership with TRI HoldCo Inc. earlier this year. The remaining chain in the Top 5, Autobell Car Wash, has been privately owned and operated by the Howard family since its inception in 1969.
There is plenty of number-crunching and reaction to this year’s list in the pages ahead.
But now, let’s get to know these chains and the others in our Top 50 list.
First, we start off with those familiar five.
1. Mister Car Wash
The Mister Car Wash brand is anchored in quality, friendliness and its commitment to creating memorable customer experiences. Mister Car Wash’s people are what make it successful and allow it to achieve these high standards. The company continues to focus on recruiting and retaining top talent, developing best-in-class training programs and investing in employee benefits to cultivate a positive company culture. The Mister Car Wash brand is about inspiring potential and giving both its employees and customers the motivation to be their best.
2. International Car Wash Group (ICWG)
The International Car Wash Group (ICWG) is the world’s largest local carwash, cleaning more than 46 million cars a year. It operates over 900 locations in 14 countries across the U.S., Europe and Australia, with 220 U.S. venues. The company was founded in Germany in 1965 under the IMO brand, the name still used at its non-U.S. locations. ICWG operates in the U.S. under the Car Wash USA Express, Goo-Goo Express, Supersonic Car Wash and Mister B’s brands. ICWG is committed to operational excellence and innovative customer service.
3. Zips Car Wash
Little Rock, AR
ZIPS Car Wash is among the fastest-growing express carwash models in the country with over 15 years of experience in offering good, clean fun to customers across 18 states at over 200 stores. ZIPS is revolutionizing the carwash industry by utilizing technology to offer a unique, custom experience for its loyal fans. The growing ZIPS family continues to invest in and develop its team with creative training methods, a higher standard of growth, community partnerships and laser-focused customer care. ZIPS’ strong community partnerships show its intense pursuit to change the way consumers view and interact with the carwash industry.
4. Quick Quack Car Wash
Founded in 2004 in Sacramento, California, Quick Quack Car Wash is a fast-growing chain of exterior-only, express carwash locations in Arizona, California, Texas, Utah and Colorado. Quick Quack is regularly recognized for its community-building efforts as well as its environmentally friendly business practices. In addition to a big, yellow mascot duck named “Quackals,” Quick Quack is best known for unlimited carwash memberships, amazing team members and customers who “Don’t Drive Dirty!”™
5. Autobell Car Wash
Surpassing 50 years of service, Autobell® Car Wash remains unwavering in its focus on customers and the cars they love. Founded in 1969 in Charlotte by the late Charles Howard Sr., Autobell is privately held and operated by subsequent generations of the Howard family. Now operating in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland with consistent expansion, Autobell continues its commitment to team member training and development, customer service, environmental protection and conservation, community relations and charitable support.
|Rank||Organization Name||City||State||Website||No. of|
|6||Tidal Wave Auto Spa||Thomaston||GA||www.tidalwaveautospa.com||63|
|7||Tommy’s Express Car Wash||Holland||MI||www.tommys-express.com||55|
|9||Golden Nozzle CarWash||Worcester||MA||www.goldennozzlecarwash.com||47|
|10||Wash Depot Holdings Inc.||Fort Lauderdale||FL||www.cleancarfeeling.com||46|
|11||True Blue Car Wash||Tempe||AZ||www.truebluecw.com||43|
|13||Crew Carwash |
Raceway Express Car Wash
|14||BlueWave Express |
GO Car Wash
|San Rafael |
|15||Super Star Car Wash |
|16||Express Wash Concepts||Etna||OH||www.expresswashconcepts.com||31|
|17||Cobblestone Auto Spa |
Sam’s Xpress Car Wash
|19||Brown Bear Car Wash |
The Wash Tub
|20||Splash Car Wash||Greenwich||CT||www.splashcarwashes.com||26|
|21||Rich’s Car Wash |
Surf Thru Express Car Wash
|22||Clean Streak Ventures |
|23||Russell Speeder’s Car Wash||Norwalk||CT||www.russellspeeders.com||23|
|24||WhiteWater Express Car Wash||Houston||TX||www.whitewatercw.com||22|
|25||Frank’s Car Wash||Columbia||SC||www.frankscarwash.com||20|
|26||Champion Xpress Car Wash |
Hoffman Car Wash
Kaady Car Wash
ScrubaDub Auto Wash Centers
Wash N Roll
|27||Francis & Sons Car Wash |
Washman Car Washes
Zax Auto Wash
|28||Fast Eddie’s Car Wash & Oil Change |
|Swartz Creek |
|30||Quick N Clean |
Time to Shine Car Wash
|31||Royal Car Wash |
Editor’s note: The information provided in the 2020 Top 50 list was compiled based on last year’s list, submissions, internal research conducted with our team and our industry partners, and by investigating carwashes’ websites. Carwashes included in this year’s list may or may not have been confirmed by their owners in 2020. Further, this year’s list includes 2020 year-end location projections, and actuals may differ, as this information is subject to change. If you believe your conveyor carwash chain should be included in Professional Carwashing & Detailing’s annual Top 50 list, be on the lookout for the 2021 Top 50 submission request, or email Associate Publisher – Editorial Rich DiPaolo at [email protected] for more information.