Craft Talk 3/30/2015 – Savannah Car Wash, Michael Wakely

Savannah Car Wash (Abercorn Street)  – Opened in 1996 as Savannah Car Wash and Quick Lube.  It was built by Mike Houston, a car wash operator from Warner Robbins.

I bought it in October of 2004 and converted the Quick Lube to a Jiffy Lube. I started a separate company called SCW Management Company, Inc. as an operating company for the car wash. I subsequently sold the Jiffy Lube business in 2012 and now lease the Jiffy Lube Center at Savannah Car Wash to Heartland Automotive – the largest Jiffy Lube Franchise.

We built and opened a second Savannah Car Wash in May of 2014 on Pooler Parkway on a 2-acre lot across from the new outlet mall. It’s a 10,719-foot facility with 145-foot conveyor, 9 detail bays, and $750,000 dollars of state of the art equipment. We recycle and filter 100% of our water. We spent about $100,000 on a reclaim system of three 3,000 square foot concrete tanks and a water-recycling machine from a Chicago company called SoBrite technologies. The average person washing a car themselves uses 140 gallons of water. The average car wash uses 30-40 gallons a car in water. In the Pooler Savannah Car Wash, we use 5-7 gallons per car to wash a car. Because of our extensive recycle system our water is clean enough for almost all of the wash process, we only use fresh water for rinsing.

We had an awesome General Contractor that used a lot of companies in EAS in the construction of the new Savannah Car Wash. Of the $2 million in building cost – Executive Association Members represented $616,924.92 …EMC Engineering, Yates Astro, Atlantic Waste, OECI Electrical, PCM Masonary, McCarthy Inc., Bonitz of Georgia, Jerry Beets and Associates, Boaen Mechanical, Omega Steel (Chatham Steel), SignMart, Capitol Materials, Gaster Lumber, Doyle Chemical, Grind It (Hank’s Company), & Ferguson Enterprises…. the $.92 cents went to Nino.

The new Savannah Car Wash was featured on the Front Cover of “Auto Laundry News” in November 2014. You can see Dave Rock’s Masonry on the front-page, Sean Boaen’s HVAC on the inside cover, Nino’s electrical on the third page, and Kevin McCarthy’s doors on page four.

We are a full service “Flex Service” soft cloth car wash. We provide different levels of wash, from a Deluxe Wash for $20 dollars to Manager’s wash at $35 dollars that includes a spray on wax.

We have a full Detail Department that does interior cleaning, carpet shampoos, hand waxes, and headlight cleaning.

We started a service called a “Fast-Pass” three years ago that allows for one price for unlimited washes over a month. We place an RFID sticker on your car; you skip the line, and go straight to the ATM station that processes your RFID sticker, and gives you a receipt for service. It is billed monthly to a credit card.

We benefit from some really long-term employees Mike Decaire (Operations Manager) 17 years, Pedro Cardenas (Store Manager – Abercorn Street) 15 years, and Jimmy Wilson (Store Manager – Pooler) 18 years. It generally means I’m great guy to work with and I pay too much!

People we do business with regularly: Pro-Legal Copies, McCarthy Inc., Yates-Astro, Vaden Body Shop, Georgia Power, Industrial Medicine, Gary Oetgen Agency, Jerry Beets, Gilbert & Ezelle, Savannah Jobs, Southpoint Media, Doyle Chemical, Atlantic Waste, In any event, WTOC, F.P.Wortley, McBride Heating/Air, and Northwestern Mutual.