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Benton Harbor, Michigan, is home to Whirlpool’s global headquarters year-round and, thanks to its location on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, an influx of tourists each summer. That translates to a lot of vehicles and potential business for the car care and carwash businesses managed by Joey Andrews.
“My parents started the Victory Lube business in 1991, and we have locations in Benton Harbor, Niles and Three Rivers,” Joey says. “They built their first carwash, attached to the Niles Victory Lube, in 2001, and the Benton Harbor carwash in 2005.”
From the beginning, the Andrews family has been a Mark VII customer, with the latest unit, a ChoiceWash XT®, installed in Benton Harbor earlier this year.
“Technically, this is our third Mark VII,” Joey explains. “Our Niles location opened with a Mark VII, and we replaced that with one of the first-generation combination washes. It’s been a pretty solid system, so when we needed to replace a Ryko machine in our Benton Harbor location, we put in a ChoiceWash XT.”
Joey notes that their quick lube and carwashes enjoy a symbiotic relationship— each helping build and sustain volume at the other. That fact makes wash quality and cost-effective operation—always prime factors in selecting equipment— even more important.
“The ChoiceWash has been fantastic,” Joey says. “It’s more energy efficient, it uses less water, the wash quality is high—all the important factors. It’s much faster than our previous unit, so we can move more cars through in the same amount of time.
“The visual aspect is great and a big part of the experience,” he continues. “You can sit in your driveway and hose down your car, but it’s not particularly fun. The flashing lights caught my attention the first time I went through, and if it’s making me look up from my phone, it will have that effect on other people as well.”
As they move into their busiest season, the new ChoiceWash XT will earn its keep.
“Though we have good volume in the winter as customers come in to wash the salt off their cars, this is a big tourist area, and traffic really picks up as the weather warms,” Joey says. “We’re pretty excited for spring and summer to see what it can do.”