Big changes afoot in the local car wash industry. A huge Flagship Car Wash is under construction across from One Loudoun near the intersection of Russell Branch Parkway and Loudoun County Parkway. Now comes word that Flagship has bought three other well-known Loudoun car washes and is converting them to Flagships as well.
The three car washes in question are: the Ashburn Car Wash at the Ashburn Farm Market Center (also called Junction Plaza); the Dr. Car Wash at Pipeline Plaza in Ashburn; and the Dulles 28 Auto Wash next door to the Dulles 28 Centre.
We are told all three of those locations are currently closed while they undergo retrofitting to bring them into the Flagship fold. The locations are currently full-service car washes, meaning your car moves through a tunnel to wash the exterior before team members clean the interior of your car. All three are being transitioned to express car washes with free vacuums. This means your car will go through the tunnel for the exterior wash, but then customers can pull into a vacuum bay where they can clean the interior of their car on their own.
Included in the retrofitting is adding flat belts to each car wash tunnel — a flat moving conveyor belt that a driver can easily pull onto to be carried through the car wash. Additional vacuum stations will be added as well.
The main Flagship Car Wash under construction on Loudoun County Parkway will be a full-service car wash. Flagship’s owners describe it as a “hub and spoke” type business model. The main full-service Flagship being the hub and the smaller express washes in your neighborhood being the spokes.
The move is part of a major expansion by Flagship. The brand currently has 14 locations in the greater Virginia-Maryland-DC region and is under contract to purchase an additional 12 car washes. They also own and are purchasing properties where they plan to build additional car washes. All total, current plans call for 50 cars washes bearing the Flagship name.
While details on exact locations haven’t been released, we are told they are working on two additional Flagship car wash locations in Leesburg.
The three express locations (Junction Plaza, Pipeline Plaza, Dulles 28) are expected to re-open in September. Meanwhile, the main Flagship hub by One Loudoun is aiming to open sometime in November.
Regular readers of The Burn may recall that the big Flagship location has touted that it will be pioneering robotic arms cleaning the interior of customer vehicles. (See our original story here.) The robotic arms are not expected to be in place at the November opening, but Flagship’s owners plan to have a fully functioning robotic arm on display in the car wash’s lobby, demonstrating how it will clean interior surfaces such as rugs, dashboards and doors.
(Image at top: Flagship Car Wash)