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Whistle Express Car Wash’s strategic surge under CEO Jose Costa, expanding footprint and enhancing experiences

Automotive Industries interview with Jose Costa, CEO, Whistle Express Car Wash

 

Whistle Express Car Wash is making waves in the car care industry with its recent acquisitions and strategic leadership appointments, setting the stage for accelerated growth and an enhanced customer experience. With the acquisition of three more independently owned and operated car washes, Whistle Express is expanding its footprint in key markets like Myrtle Beach and Raleigh, bolstering its position as a leading brand in the rapidly consolidating car care industry.

 

The acquisitions from Detrick’s Car Wash and Splash Car Wash not only add to Whistle Express’s growing portfolio but also bring strategic advantages. Myrtle Beach and Raleigh are both bustling markets, offering exposure to high traffic and dense populations. These locations provide Whistle Express with the opportunity to reach key customers, including locals, tourists, young professionals, and families. By expanding into these markets, Whistle Express aims to become the go-to car wash brand of choice for consumers, offering a consistently easy and top-notch experience.

 

To ensure that the acquired locations align with the Whistle Express brand ethos, the company is implementing measures such as upgrading wash technology, installing new signage, and launching a dedicated app. By providing a consistent experience across all locations, Whistle Express aims to differentiate itself in the market and maintain its commitment to delivering an elevated car wash experience.

 

Whistle Express stands out from other players in the market through its focus on customer experience and technology. Leveraging state-of-the-art equipment and eco-friendly practices, Whistle Express delivers a premium car wash experience that saves customers time, money, and the environment. With water reclamation systems that recycle 85% of water used during a wash and eco-friendly soaps and chemicals, Whistle Express is committed to sustainability while ensuring a thorough clean.

 

The Unlimited Car Wash membership program is a key offering of Whistle Express, providing customers with added value and convenience. As the company looks to expand and enhance this program in the future, customers can expect new offerings aimed at further improving their experience and saving them money on car care.

 

With plans to more than double its size in the next couple of years, Whistle Express is prioritizing expansion strategies that focus on successful, well-established wash groups. By leveraging its technology and proven framework, Whistle Express aims to convert brands that have already captured market share and customer respect, ensuring continued growth and success.

 

The majority investment from Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. has significantly impacted Whistle Express’s growth trajectory, providing resources, experience, and management expertise to fuel expansion. With Oaktree’s backing, Whistle Express has stood apart in the express car wash industry, leading to consistent operational excellence across its portfolio of locations.

 

As CEO, Jose Costa envisions Whistle Express Car Wash as a dynamic brand that maintains an entrepreneurial spirit while fostering loyal, local customer and employee relationships. By empowering individual sites to build upon their uniqueness and leveraging the support and vision of a larger brand, Whistle Express is poised for continued growth and success in the new era of opportunity.

 

Automotive Industries interview with Jose Costa, CEO, Whistle Express Car Wash

 

Automotive Industries: Hi Jose, with the recent acquisitions of three more car wash locations, what strategic advantages do you believe these additions bring to Whistle Express Car Wash’s portfolio, also could you elaborate on the significance of expanding Whistle Express into markets like Myrtle Beach and Raleigh?

 

The more we grow our Whistle Express footprint, the bigger we become in terms of name recognition and market share. Our goal is to be the go-to car wash brand of choice for consumers, which is lofty considering there is little brand loyalty in the industry. But by being accessible in more locations and providing a consistently easy and top-notch experience, we are confident we can get there.

 

Both Myrtle Beach and Raleigh offer exposure to high traffic, dense markets. Raleigh is located in the booming Research Triangle, with young professionals, students and families settling there. Myrtle Beach has a large population of locals and retirees, but also gives us a touchpoint with hundreds of thousands of vacationers annually. And who doesn’t want a clean car after a day full of salt and sand?

 

Automotive Industries: Whistle Express is known for its commitment to providing an elevated car wash experience. What specific measures are being taken to ensure that the acquired locations align with this brand ethos?

 

We’re very excited about the launch of our app and efforts to quickly convert each brand we acquire to a Whistle Express. We feel it’s important to give that consistent experience across the board and want to be known for doing so.

 

Automotive Industries: The car wash industry is experiencing rapid consolidation. How does Whistle Express differentiate itself from other players in the market, particularly in terms of customer experience and technology?

 

Whistle Express leverages technology and innovation to deliver a premium experience that saves customers time, money—and their car’s paint job. Customers can take advantage of the brand’s Unlimited Wash Club Membership Program, plus free supplies and amenities including microfiber towels, vacuums and mat cleaning stations to save money while getting their cars squeaky clean.  We also take a very localized approach to giving back, partnering with local organizations to donate $1 per car during opening weekends to connect and engage at the hyperlocal level while doing some good in our new neighborhoods.

Automotive Industries: Can you discuss the role of technology in Whistle Express’s operations and how it contributes to both efficiency and environmental sustainability?

 

We want customers to enjoy a car wash without worrying about their environmental footprint. At Whistle Express, our water reclamation systems recycle 85% of the water consumed in a wash. Our state-of-the-art technology use 91% less water than the average home wash – so our customers benefit while our environment benefits. Further, all soaps and chemicals used during the wash process are ecofriendly and biodegradable.

 

Automotive Industries: The Unlimited Car Wash membership program is a key offering of Whistle Express. How do you envision expanding and enhancing this program in the future?

 

We’re always looking for ways to add more value to the member experience. I can’t disclose aby details right now, but don’t be surprised to see some new offerings from us in the near future.

 

Automotive Industries: With plans to more than double its size in the next couple of years, what expansion strategies is Whistle Express prioritizing to achieve this ambitious goal?

 

We are always looking for successful, well-established wash groups to convert. We have the technology and proven framework to run a successful wash anywhere, and look to do so with brands that have already captured market share and customer respect.

 

Automotive Industries: Whistle Express recently received a majority investment from Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. How has this investment impacted the company’s growth trajectory, and what opportunities does it create moving forward?

 

Oaktree’s resources, experience and management expertise have been invaluable to us as we continue to expand our presence in the fast-growing express car wash category. With their backing, we’ve stood apart in the rapidly growing express car wash industry due to the hands-on approach we take with each location, unified by a management structure and training program that leads to consistent operational excellence across the portfolio.

 

Automotive Industries: As CEO, what overarching vision do you have for Whistle Express Car Wash, and how do you plan to lead the company into this new era of growth and opportunity?

 

Despite our growing portfolio, our leadership team and I strive to maintain an entrepreneurial, “small-company” spirit. By encouraging our acquisitions to foster loyal, local customer and employee relationships, each individual site is empowered to build upon its own uniqueness, while also benefiting from the support and vision of a larger, dynamic brand.

 

Thanks,

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