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New name upcoming for Columbus car wash

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Family-owned Mike’s Carwash is splitting into two companies, and the Columbus location is among those that will get a new name.

Brothers Mike Dahm and Bill Dahm, the company’s owners, announced plans to split the company last week.

The change, which is scheduled to be completed in October, is envisioned to create more opportunities for growth.

“Over the last couple of years, as Mike and I talked about the future of Mike’s Carwash, we began to realize the potential for growth and continuing the business well beyond our lifetimes,” Mike’s Carwash CEO Bill Dahm said. “We came to the conclusion that our families’ long-term opportunities increased if we reorganized into two separate companies.”

Sally Grant, Bill Dahm’s daughter, is the marketing director for Mike’s Carwash; and Mike Dahm’s children are poised to assume leadership roles in the new company.

Bill Dahm will operate the 26 car washes in Central Indiana, including the location on National Road in Columbus, under the name Crew Carwash. The domain name Bill’s Carwash was already taken, so Bill Dahm said the Crew name was chosen as a nod to the company’s employees.

Locations in the Indianapolis area, Anderson, Lafayette, Kokomo and Terre Haute also will operate under the Crew Carwash name.

Bill Dahm said the split comes at a time when the company enjoys a strong market position.

“We are having a record year,” Bill Dahm said. “People are coming back and are taking care of their cars, and we think this is the perfect time for this move.”

Mike Dahm will control 15 locations in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, Evansville, Fort Wayne and Mishawaka, which will retain the Mike’s Carwash name.

Bill Dahm said that while the pricing, service offerings and much of the business model will remain the same, there will be some changes that help distinguish the two businesses.

Crew Carwash will keep the company’s traditional red, orange and yellow color scheme, and Mike’s Carwash will update its color palette.

Bill Dahm said any purchases from Mike’s Carwash prior to the switch will be honored by both companies.

“Anything that people have ever bought — a coupon, a ticket, a book — will always be accepted at all of our stores,” he said.

Beginning in October, each company will offer exclusive discounts and coupons, but those dated before the switch will continue to be honored at all locations.

“A large part of our business is prepayment because they get a discount, and that’s the biggest question we have now. So we want to put people’s minds at ease,” Bill Dahm said.

The family patriarch, Joe Dahm, founded the company in Fort Wayne in 1948 with his brother, Ed Dahm. The company, then called Mike’s Minit Man, was Indiana’s first automated car wash.

“We couldn’t be happier, and my dad, our founder, is still alive, and he is really pleased that we could sit down and work out a reorganization that was kind of a win-win for both families,” Bill Dahm said.

Mike’s Carwash will be headquartered in Cincinnati, where Mike Dahm lives. Crew Carwash will retain its headquarters in the northern Indianapolis suburb of Fishers.

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