Market Focus: ISTOBAL opens subsidiary in China - Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Market Focus: ISTOBAL opens subsidiary in China

This week, we cover a new subsidiary and production plant, grand openings, charity drives and an anniversary.

This week, we cover a new subsidiary and production plant for ISTOBAL, grand openings, charity drives and an anniversary.

ISTOBAL opens a subsidiary in China with a production plant

VALENCIA, Spain — ISTOBAL is driving its international expansion plan and opening a subsidiary in China in Jiashan County (Zhejiang province), with a production facility for final assembly of wash equipment in the “China Guigu Science Park,” according to a press release.

Furthermore, the subsidiary has sales offices in Shanghai (Hongqiao).

With this operation, the ISTOBAL Group has 10 subsidiaries worldwide, located in Spain, Portugal, Italy, the U.K., Austria, Denmark, Sweden, the U.S., Brazil and China.

In addition to its main manufacturing plant in Spain and the two assembly and final assembly plants in the U.S. and Brazil, the new 10,000-square-meter (107,600-square-foot) plant in China, located 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Shanghai, has now been added.

ISTOBAL, therefore, enters the Chinese market a year after starting its exports to this country in order to maintain a more direct business relationship with its customers and to enhance its growth.

China is a growing market for technological carwash equipment for the automotive sector and is key to the strategic growth plan of the Spanish group.

The company plans to increase its turnover in China by 50% this year compared to the previous year. 

According to Rafael Tomas, CEO of ISTOBAL, China represents one of the areas with the greatest growth potential for the ISTOBAL Group, together with the U.S., Italy and Poland.

“China now has 1.4 billion inhabitants, 270 million cars, and the carwash sector is relatively new. Demand has started to grow in the past three to five years. This market is already demanding equipment with more technology and reliability. ISTOBAL is established as a provider of innovative 360-degree solutions for the carwash and car care sector in China,” Tomas said.

ISTOBAL China aims to supply wash equipment to the whole of China and subsequently to other countries in Asia Pacific, both for the service stations and private wash facilities sector, as well as for car dealerships, car workshops, transport companies, department stores, car rental companies, public transport companies and other entities that manage vehicle fleets.

The subsidiary already has several distributors and aims to cover the country’s main provinces, both through distribution contracts and direct service.

Key wash solutions for the Chinese market include automatic rollovers, automatic wash tunnels and commercial vehicle wash equipment.

ISTOBAL’s new subsidiary in China, ISTOBAL Vehicle Wash & Care (Zhejiang) Co., Ltd,has been established as a wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE) under a greenfield project, led by Nacho Verdés, ISTOBAL’s expansion manager.

“It’s an exciting project, both in terms of the scale of the project and the expectations and challenges it creates at a logistical, manufacturing and commercial level,” said Verdés.

Chun Pan, who has extensive experience in leading international companies, consulting, corporate strategy, international trade and supply chain, has been appointed CEO of the company. 

The opening of this new subsidiary constitutes a new ISTOBAL operation within its expansion plan for the coming years.

Last December, the group acquired its California distributor, Pacific Pride Carwash, in order to strengthen its presence in North America and to open up new market niches.

ISTOBAL also collaborates with Sinopec, one of the China’s leading oil companies, which already has 60 ISTOBAL machines in its network of service stations.

Collaboration will be extended during 2021 with the plan to install more than 30 more automatic carwash rollovers and tunnels.

Moo Moo Express Car Wash’s 19th location grand opening raises $8,000 for Westerville’s Neighborhood Bridges

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Moo Moo Express Car Wash announced the donation of $8,003.70 to Westerville’s Neighborhood Bridges to help further its mission of bridging the Westerville community with area schools to provide basic needs, remove barriers and seek equity for students, so they can engage and succeed in school and life, according to a press release.

The donations were collected from Moo Moo Express customers at the company’s Westerville North grand opening/free wash week held Jan. 29th to Feb. 7th at the 74 Polaris Pkwy. Westerville, Ohio location.

During the grand opening, Moo Moo Express offered a free signature “Crème De La Crème VIP” carwash ($18 value) to every customer in exchange for a monetary donation to Neighborhood Bridges.

Moo Moo Express also offered discounted retail gift cards with all proceeds donated back to Neighborhood Bridges.

Throughout the grand opening period, Moo Moo Express gave away more than 2,500 free carwashes at a retail value of more than $45,000.

“Neighborhood Bridges serves as a vital link between local school children in need and the Westerville community,” said John Roush, Moo Moo Express Car Wash founder and Express Wash Concepts CEO. “We are grateful that our customers supported our grand opening and were so generous with monetary donations back to Neighborhood Bridges. This money will be used to provide a ‘Personal Care’ pantry for children who need access to basic personal care items, in addition to setting up a donated clothing exchange.” 

Neighborhood Bridges is a 501(c)(3) charity whose mission is “to bridge communities with schools in providing basic needs, removing barriers and seeking equity for students so they can engage and succeed in school and life.”

In just four years, Neighborhood Bridges has grown to serve students and families in 29 communities in Ohio and Alabama.

In 2020, Neighborhood Bridges was successful in directing impact to more than 112,000 children and families.

Turtle Wax® celebrates 75th anniversary

CHICAGO —The original car wax that put Turtle Wax® on the map was developed in founder Ben Hirsch’s bathtub, according to a press release.

The company at that time was called Plastone, which later evolved into the celebrated Turtle Wax brand it is today.

From its humble Chicago roots to distribution in more than 120 countries, Turtle Wax products continue provide car enthusiasts with formulas to meet their ever-changing needs.

To kick-off car care season, Turtle Wax is celebrating its past while laying the groundwork for the next 75 years with the announcement of The Healy Family Scholarship Program and Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Graphene Paste Wax, a new paste wax featuring the brand’s patent pending graphene technology — one of the top, new ingredient trends in car care.

“It’s been an incredible journey over the last 75 years, and I’m so lucky to have had a front-row seat to it all,” said Denis John Healy, executive chairman of Turtle Wax. “The fact that we continue to expand to new channels and territories — yet stay true to our values — and make sure our products continue to be easy to use, are grounded in technology and always come at a great price is a testament to the foundation built by my grandparents and parents. I’m honored to continue their legacy and excited for what we have in store for 2021 and beyond.”

An important part of its commitment to setting the standard in car care is supporting the future generation of car detailers and giving them ample resources to succeed, and that starts with training, which is paramount to growing this industry.

The Healy Family Scholarship Program will support training and educational opportunities for future detailers and chemists.

To start, the brand is donating $75,000 worth of trainings led by a Turtle Wax International Detailing Association (IDA) Recognized Trainer over the next three years to support and further their careers without the worry of financial investments.

The Wash Tub to host 3-day blood drive

SAN ANTONIO — To help alleviate ongoing blood shortages, The Wash Tub will be hosting a three-day blood drive in partnership with South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC), according to a press release.

Events are Tuesday, March 9th; Thursday, March 11th; and Friday, March 12, 2021.

These events will provide a convenient opportunity for The Wash Tub customers to donate blood.

The Wash Tub, along with South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, will provide all donors a Full Service Car Wash voucher, $10 Rudy’s gift card, $10 Amazon gift card(in-hand) and earn points that can be combined to equal more savings with additional eGift Cards from Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks or more than 100 other retailers and restaurants — even STBTC merch like T-shirts, face masks and tumblers.

All donations are by appointment only.

The Wash Tub’s Full Service Car Wash, at a retail value of $20, includes a complete interior vacuum, soft cloth wash, towel dry, complete wipe down of dash and console, and all windows cleaned inside and out.

The following measures and protocols will be in place:

  • Donations are by appointment only
  • Staff and donors are required to wear masks
  • Adequate social distancing is provided at check-in, waiting areas and donor beds.  

Donors can also save time by filling out their health questionnaire online before their appointments (click here).

Donors may register online to donate at any of the seven locations below:

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Blanco, 1 to 6 p.m. — Registration Link:

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Culebra, 1 to 6 p.m. — Registration Link:

Helotes, 1 to 6 p.m. — Registration Link:

Leon Springs, 1 to 6 p.m. — Registration Link:

Potranco, 1 to 6 p.m. — Registration Link:

Friday, March 12, 2021

New Braunfels Hwy 46, 1 to 6 p.m. — Registration Link:

Sunset, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Registration Link:

Two Chattanooga-area carwashes are expanding

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — According to, Storm Car Wash and Surf’s Up Car Wash are expanding in the Ooltewah area and are scheduled to open in the next couple of months.

Storm Car Wash is adding a new $5 million location on Hunter Rd. and is expected to open in April; Surf’s Up Car Wash is constructing a $3.8 million site at the intersection of Lee Hwy. and Standifer Gap Rd., which is due to open in late March.

“There is a lot of population growth in the Ooltewah area and we’re right off Interstate 75 with this new location,” said Tommy Maynard, owner of Storm Car Wash.

The Storm site will feature a belt conveyor.

“We also feature the region’s only ‘Buff-N-Dry’ that actually [removes] the remaining water from the hood, windshield and roof, leaving a spot-free shiny car,” said Maynard.

At Surf’s Up’s grand opening this month, owner Jon Woodward said they will offer up free washes.

“We try to keep the latest in equipment to make sure we are state-of-the-art and offer the best customer experience we can,” said Woodward. “The cost of building these units continues to go up, but we’re hopeful this will be a good new location.”

Both Storm and Surf’s Up offer monthly memberships.

Maynard said he has nearly 3,000 members.

The new washes will usually be staffed with four to six employees at a given time.

Storm Car Washes are usually open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., although they stay open until 9 p.m. in the summer.

Surf’s Up Car Washes are open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. during standard time and from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on daylight savings time.

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