In this week’s Market Focus, we cover Zips Car Wash’s final 2016 acquisition, expo news and several carwash openings.

Zips Car Wash closes 2016 with final acquisition

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Zips Car Wash grew in 2016 to operate 60 carwashes in nine states with the Dec. 31, 2016 acquisition of Splash Car Wash in Conway, Arkansas, according to a press release.

This express tunnel carwash location will offer an expanded footprint for Zips, which means added convenience of an additional location for its Unlimited Wash Club members, the release stated.

“It has been a pleasure working with Splash Car Wash associates, Paul and his team. Everything about this location will make a nice addition to our Zips family of stores,” said Brett Overman, Zips Car Wash chairman and founder. “We plan to rebrand and transition this location to offer our Unlimited Wash Club program in the coming weeks,” Overman added.

Zips Car Wash’s Unlimited Wash Club Program offers unlimited washes for one low monthly fee, the release added, and includes several package options to fit every budget, as well as free self-serve vacuums.

“We are always on the lookout for additional stores that fit our model, either through a single site or multi-site acquisition,” added Overman.

Zips Car Wash acquired 44 additional locations in 2016, which was record growth for the Little Rock, Arkansas-based company, the release noted; Zips Car Wash is now the third largest carwash operation in the country and plans to continue expansion in 2017.

“I was very pleased with the way the transaction was handled by Brett and his team and expect them to be very successful here,” said Paul Stagg, Splash Car Wash representative.

Leadership expert Doug Keeley named as keynote speaker at NAFA’s 2017 Institute & Expo

PRINCETON, N.J. — For 60 years, NAFA has understood that leadership is integral to every organization’s success and is a necessary skill for all professionals to master; with this necessity in mind, NAFA proudly announces that Doug Keeley, CEO and chief storyteller of The Mark of a Leader, will be the keynote speaker for the association’s annual conference, the 2017 Institute & Expo, from April 25-28 in Tampa, Florida, according to a press release.

Recognized as one of North America’s most successful communicators, Keeley will bring his insight and the principles of Five Level Leadership, a core principle of the Mark of a Leader program to attendees in an engaging presentation, the release stated.

His program has impacted companies like ADP, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Disney, Frito-Lay, General Mills, HP, Microsoft, Pepsi-QTG, RBC, Scotiabank, Starbucks, TD Bank, Universal Studios, Xerox and many other corporations, associations and schools, the release stated.

“Doug Keeley will inspire and educate I&E attendees, and he is the perfect speaker to kick off the 2017 conference during NAFA’s diamond anniversary,” said NAFA CEO Phillip E. Russo, CAE. “We are excited to announce that Doug will be the master of ceremonies at our annual Fleet Excellence Awards, introducing the fleet professionals who stood out for their exceptional leadership in 2016.”

NAFA’s Institute & Expo attracts thousands of fleet professionals from throughout the world, the release continued, for four days of cutting-edge education, effective networking and motivation to bring back to the office.

Also in Tampa in 2017, the release noted, NAFA’s International Fleet Academy (IFA) returns as a pre-conference, one-day event on Apr. 24th focusing on the unique aspects of the global fleet management sector.

Joining the IFA this year are two other pre-conference sessions, the release stated: The Sustainable Fleet Pre-con, which educates fleet professionals in proven methods to help them succeed in their sustainability goals, and the Law Enforcement New Product Showcase and OEM Service Concerns session, which will provide law enforcement attendees hands-on experience with new equipment and access to motor vehicle company executives who will share what’s next in the police vehicle technology field.

Each session of NAFA’s 2017 Institute & Expo is developed to strengthen the leader in every attendee, the release concluded.

For more information on the conference’s powerful lineup of education and networking potential, visit http://www.nafainstitute.org.

Crew Carwash to open new facility in Bloomington

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Crew Carwash announced the opening of its newest location in Bloomington, Indiana, at 3430 W. 3rd St. ¾ the company’s first location in the city and 29th location in Indiana, according to a press release.

The new state-of-the-art, $5 million facility will feature several new high-tech amenities, providing customers with a more robust car cleaning experience, the release stated.

Self-service dual hose vacuums will be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the release noted, and the Bloomington location will also include new LED lighting inside and outside the carwash, advanced soap and detergent-delivering technology and an environmentally-conscious water reclamation system that cleans and reuses water during certain parts of the washing process.

In addition, the release continued, the latest Crew Carwash facility has an exclusive automated lane, allowing customers who have purchased the “Unlimited Washes” monthly plan to bypass traditional lines for a quicker, hassle-free experience.

“As we continue to grow our statewide footprint, there was no doubt in our minds that we wanted to be a part of the Bloomington community,” said Sally Grant, executive vice president of Crew Carwash. “We’re eager to provide the residents of Monroe County with a world-class carwash experience and award-winning service.”

Crew is currently hiring for management positions as well as full and part-time associates at its new Bloomington facility, the release added.

New employees earn a starting wage of $10 per hour, and applicable college students have the opportunity to take advantage of the Crew Carwash Tuition Assistance program, providing up to $2,500 per year, the release stated; in addition, candidates should be passionate about delivering exceptional customer service and eager to gain future leadership skills.

Those interested in learning more about Crew and its job opportunities can visit crewcarwash.com.

Consumers can connect with Crew on social media at Facebook.com/Crew-Carwash@Crew_Carwash on Twitter, and @CrewCarwashInc on Instagram.

Abandoned self-serve to become express carwash

BRADENTON, Fla. — According to the Brandenton Herald, an old self-serve carwash at 2710 Manatee Ave. East that has been abandoned for some time will be demolished and reopen as an express carwash under new ownership upon approval for a special permit required to make substantial changes to the existing site.

Christopher Gratz, the city’s development services and zoning manager, said, “They have provided a more-than-adequate landscaping plan and the site plan has a nice-looking feel to it,” Gratz said. “It will be an improvement to what’s already there.”

The original carwash was built in 1996, and the new one will be completely automated and include free vacuums, the article stated.

In Gratz’s report to the city council, he wrote, “The site is ideally located for a carwash. It is a corner property on a heavily traveled commercial corridor, and large enough for a modern automated carwash to function properly.”

No detailed site plan or construction timetable has been provided at this time, the article noted.

Southpoint Motors adds two new businesses

ROCHESTER, Minn. — According to postbulletin.com, Southpoint Motors, a used vehicles dealership at 10 Seventh St. NE owned by Troy and Lauri Buhr for 17 years, recently opened two side businesses: Southpoint Auto Care and Southpoint Detailing.

“Customers kept asking us about repair shops and detailing, so we figured we were missing out on a big growth opportunity,” said Troy Buhr.

Southpoint Detailing opened in November at 517 Second Ave. NW in the former White Wing Auto Appearance Center property, the article noted; it has three detailing bays and two employees, and Buhr is looking to add a third employee.

Southpoint Auto Care opened in mid-December at 2027 East River Rd. in a building behind On Point Auto Service with three technicians and one service manager at the new repair center, the article stated.

“We can do everything from replacing engines to the most serious diagnostics,” Buhr said. “And we are doing it at the internal prices that we would charge ourselves.”

Buhr hopes to build a 12-bay facility in 2018 that will house both the detailing and repair businesses together, the article noted.

Tidal Wave Auto Spa to open new location this summer

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. — According to the Rocky Mount Telegram, Tidal Wave Auto Spa is expected to open its 13th location early this summer in Rocky Mount on 1615 Benvenue Rd., which will be its first North Carolina facility.

Tidal Wave Auto Spa has locations in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, and the carwash is owned by SHJ Construction Group, a design-build firm, located in Thomaston, Georgia, the article noted.

Alyson Ford, marketing specialist for SHJ Construction Group, said, “We’re excited to be in Rocky Mount. We’re looking forward to opening, being part of the community and providing good customer service. We are an express, exterior car wash. Customers also have the option of receiving free vacuum or interior cleaning.”

The cost of the Rocky Mount location is estimated to be around $960,000, the article stated.

Tidal Wave plans to hire 12 to 14 employees, the article noted, as well as a carwash manager who will be required to go through training in Georgia.

Optimus Car Wash and Detail Center holds ribbon-cutting

BRADENTON, Fla. — According to the Brandenton Herald, Optimus Car Wash and Detail Center at 5150 Cortez Rd. West held a ribbon-cutting ceremony after opening on Dec. 3, 2016.

The carwash offers express washes, full service washes, interior cleaning and detail services, the article stated.

For more information, call 941-251-6393 or visit optimuscarwash.com.

Jeff’s Express Car Wash to open second location

LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Jeff’s Express Car Wash announced that it is breaking ground on its second location, located at 1075 West Sunrise Blvd., just minutes from downtown Ft. Lauderdale, according to a press release.

The carwash will feature a two-story building, a 100-foot conveyorized tunnel, 20 free vacuum spots, three automated pay stations and prices starting at $3, the release stated.

Jeff’s Express expects to complete construction in the fourth quarter of 2017, the release noted.