Drive & Shine might have the answer to all of that winter grime that’s been building up inside and outside your vehicle the past several weeks.
After months of construction, the local chain has opened a self-service vacuuming facility adjacent to its newest wash at 4035 S. Michigan Street in South Bend. It offers customers the ability to clean the inside of their vehicles in a climate-controlled environment and away from snow, rain, wind, or cold temperatures
But instead of just offering vacuums, the new facility also provides a mat-cleaning machine at each of the 22 bays as well as an air hose that can be used to dislodge interior dust or blow away water that might be hiding around mirrors and other crevices following a wash.
“It’s going to allow customers the ability to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer while cleaning their cars,” said Matt Tehrani, vice president of technology and new product development for the locally-based business.
Haji Tehrani, CEO and president of the company, got the idea for the indoor facility during his travels as board chairman of the International Carwash Association. In Germany, he explained, motorists can be pretty particular about their vehicles, and many people like to do the work themselves.
Though Drive & Shine offers detailing services at a most of its area locations, the newest South Bend location offers the self-service option for those just want to do the work themselves.
For an additional $5, any wash customer can use the equipment for 15 minutes, but it’s free for those who are enrolled in the unlimited Ruby program. That’s because Drive & Shine is always looking for ways to expand relationships with customers by offering discounts and other incentives for those enrolled in its unlimited wash programs.
This location also uses a belt instead of the traditional conveyor to move vehicles through the wash. Unlike other washes, it moves a conveyor for moving of the vehicles through the tunnel. This allows very short profile vehicles to get a wash without the worry of the 4” clearance needed at other locations
Matt Tehrani said he believes the new wash will ultimately draw customers from a wide circle because of the new indoor facility as well as its proximity to U.S. 31 and the Bypass. “I don’t know of another such facility in Indiana,” he said.
The South Bend opening is the latest expansion for Drive & Shine, which just recently opened a detailing center at its original location at 5406 N. Main St. and has more ideas in the works.
“Our goal is to never stop improving,” said Haji Tehrani, who started the business more than 20 years ago. “We’re always looking for new concepts to wow our customers.”