Prime Shine Car Wash, which grew from a single location in 1991 to become California’s largest independently owned car wash operator, has been acquired by an Arizona- based company.
The buyer is Mister Car Wash of Tucson, which has more than 250 car washes and 30 oil change express locations in 21 states. The Prime Shine acquisition represents Mister’s second investment in California. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Prime Shine operates 19 car washes in 12 cities – Modesto, Ceres, Turlock, Manteca, Lodi, Oakdale, Riverbank, Atwater, Patterson, Merced, Tracy and Los Banos.
“Finding the right company to continue our legacy was important to us,” said Norm Porges, the founder and chairman of Prime Shine. “We spent considerable time vetting potential buyers for one that would match our people-first culture and passion for washing cars.”
Porges began the company in Modesto with the goal of changing how Californians think about washing their cars. Prime Shine has been recognized numerous times for its commitment to business leadership, employee excellence and environmentally sustainable practices such as filtering, recycling and conserving water; solar energy; and LED lighting.
In 2013, Prime created Prime Shine University, its internal training and development program designed for its employees to become better members of the community and better leaders.
“We are honored to be entrusted with one of the industry’s best businesses,” said John Lai, president and CEO of Mister Car Wash. “The Porges family has built a business that is grounded in service and giving back, and is a pillar within the Central Valley community.”
Nearly all of Prime Shine’s 200 employees will be offered the opportunity to stay with the new company. The locations will continue to operate as Prime Shines while Mister Car Wash works to rebrand them. All pre-paid washing programs will continue.
“We know our employees, customers and communities will be in good hands with Mister Car Wash,” said Evan Porges, Prime Shine’s president and CEO. “We’ve seen their track record of integrating businesses and knew they would be the people to continue the Prime Shine legacy.”
Both Norm and Evan Porges are quick to credit much of the company’s success to their employees, who are known for their friendliness and focus on customer service.
“We have much love and respect for our associates and how hard they’ve worked,” said Norm Porges.
From the outset, Prime Shine combined a high-quality wash with affordable, flexible choices for consumers in a comfortable and inviting location. Vacuums remain free of charge and its monthly Unlimited Wash Program provided even more value for users.
Long before drought gripped California, Prime Shine emphasized water savings and reuse. Nearly 95 percent of the fresh water at every Prime Shine facility is captured for potential reuse. Each wash uses only about 30 gallons, saving millions of gallons of water every year in comparison to people washing their vehicles at home.
Prime Shine is one of only a few members of the International Carwash Association’s Water Savers environmental certification program in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. It has been recognized throughout the industry for its conservation efforts.
The company’s commitment to philanthropy – via the Prime Shine and Porges Family Foundation – benefitted many organizations and programs within its service territory. Norm and Evan Porges expect to continue their involvement in community causes.
The two also helped develop the Champions of the American Dream program at California State University, Stanislaus, which honors the entrepreneurial and community spirit of innovative leaders from the Central Valley.
Prime Shine received the 2017 and 2018 Best Places to Work Central Valley designation. Other awards and recognition have included 1994 Modesto Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year, recognized by Gov. Pete Wilson in 1997 for contributions made after devastating floods, the Sam Walton Community Leader Award (1999) and the Western Carwash Association Community Service Award (2008), and the Stanislaus Partners in Education Business/Education Partnership in Education (2017), among many others.