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Prime Shine grows to 17 car washes in California, earns prestigious business award

Sep 28, 2016
California’s largest independently owned car wash company continues to grow. And with that success has come additional community recognition in the form of a prestigious business award.

Prime Shine now has 17 car washes in San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties after opening its second facility in Manteca on Sept. 1. Two more sites still in the development stage are expected to launch in 2017.

Prime Shine also recently received the first-ever Excellence in Business Award from The Modesto Bee newspaper, which is part of the McClatchy Company. The judges selected Prime Shine out of potentially thousands of other companies in the retail/wholesale/general business category.

Prime’s Shine’s expansion and community recognition comes as the company celebrates its 25th anniversary. Starting from a single location in Modesto in 1991, Prime Shine has grown into one of the 15 largest car wash companies in the country.

“When we began, we said our goal was ‘to change how people think about washing their cars,’ ” said Evan Porges, Prime Shine’s president and the son of company founder Norm Porges. “Our success is a testament to how our employees have allowed us to achieve that.”

Prime Shine intentionally did things differently, right from the start, and continues to implement new ideas today:

*  It installed state-of-the-art water conservation, filtration and recycling systems decades ahead of the California drought and long before they became industry standards. Nearly 95% of the fresh water at every Prime Shine facility is captured for potential reuse. Each wash uses only about 25 gallons of water, saving millions of gallons every year in comparison to people washing their vehicles at home.

*  It combined a high-quality wash with affordable, flexible choices for consumers. Vacuums remain free of charge and its Unlimited Wash Program starting at only $19.95 per month/per vehicle provides even more value for users.

*  It has been at the forefront of environmental sensitivity, with investments in solar energy, recycling and energy-saving technology, and even landscaping intended to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. Solar panels provide up to 20% of the power at Prime Shine’s newest locations.

*  Prime Shine has instituted Prime Shine University, its internal training and development program specifically designed for Prime Shine employees to become better people and better leaders.

Before the drought, Prime Shine already applied less water than most of it competitors. In the past five years, it has further reduced water use without sacrificing wash quality. It has modified other processes, including cleanup to use blowers instead of hoses to clean out wash tunnels. Prime Shine is proud to be one of only a few members of the International Carwash Association’s Water Savers environmental certification program in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

“We take our responsibility toward our environment and water usage very seriously,” Evan Porges explained. “The drought certainly has given us another reason to continue to evaluate and improve on what we do.”

Prime Shine’s convenience, affordability and eco-friendly approach are just part of its appeal to consumers. From the beginning, customer service also has been a priority. Prime Shine employees – regardless of their role – are known for their smiles and their eagerness to help others.

“It’s not easy to become a Prime Shine employee,” Porges said. “We want to hire people who embrace our philosophy and make the right decisions because they want to not because it says to in a manual. Our customer service philosophy starts with our employee service philosophy; treat the employees with respect and take care of them and they in turn will take care of the customer.”

Prime Shine now has 180 employees, a far cry from the small staff at the first Modesto facility 25 years ago.

Building a company that enjoys widespread popularity and a strong brand reputation across Central California took vision, hard work and determination. That’s why Porges modestly takes pride in the Excellence in Business Award.

“There are many, many great businesses in our region that could have been honored,” he said. “We are grateful and humbled to have been chosen. We remain committed to our employees and our customers; we never take them for granted.”

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