The Korea Herald


Come In Wash speeds up global expansion

After successful launches in US, Asia, Korean car wash specialist now looks to Middle East

By Moon Joon-hyun

Published : May 1, 2024 - 16:21

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Come In Wash's warehouse in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province (Come In Wash) Come In Wash's warehouse in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province (Come In Wash)

Come In Wash, a Korean company specializing in automated car wash systems, is speeding up its global expansion through its patented “no-touch, no-brush” car wash technology.

Established in 2019, Come In Wash rose to prominence at home with its innovative technology that relies only on high-pressure water jets to clean vehicles, without the need for brushes. Since then, this technology has gained international acclaim with expansions into the Philippines, Japan and the United States.

Come In Wash holds three patents for its automated car wash technology. Its patented car washing method uses water warmed to 50 degrees Celsius and high-pressure steam to ensure vehicles are cleaned effectively while avoiding damage to the paintwork. Customers can select from four different washing programs based on the level of dirtiness and the vehicle type, ranging from vans and buses to sedans and SUVs.

The latest in its lineup of innovations, the "Poseidon 5 Ultra" model can remove over 90 percent of water used during the wash, significantly reducing waste. The company also employs a nano-bubble technology that avoids chemicals to reduce environmental impact and is in the process of securing a patent for this technology in collaboration with a Japanese patent holder.

The company launched its first overseas office in Los Angeles in 2022. In Japan, it has teamed up with major businesses such as the Times parking lots, the Eneos gas stations, and Mitsui Outlet Park.

“The US market holds tremendous promise. There’s some skepticism among drivers about whether a touchless, brushless car wash can truly get the job done. However, I’m confident that they’ll be pleasantly surprised by our advanced, no-scratch technology, which works wonders on everything from sedans and SUVs to trucks,” said Yang Suk-won, CEO of Come In Wash.

This year, the company aims to expand its network in the Philippines and to open offices in Thailand and Vietnam.

More recently, it has been exploring potential partnerships in the Middle East and Europe.

In March this year, the company finalized a memorandum of agreement with Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Group and startup accelerator NmoHub to install 1,000 units of its car wash machine. The companies have already established a joint venture with plans to run the machines at gas stations nationwide from July this year.

Officials from Come In Wash, Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Group and NmoHub, a Saudi startup accelerator, meet in March to finalize their partnership. (Come In Wash) Officials from Come In Wash, Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Group and NmoHub, a Saudi startup accelerator, meet in March to finalize their partnership. (Come In Wash)

The company said the new collaboration in Saudi Arabia will be an important testing ground for the company's latest "Poseidon 5" machine.

“Drivers will be captivated by our facility’s appearance even before they enter, and they’ll be equally impressed by the pristine condition of their car when they leave. We’re excited to roll out our unmanned 24/7 car wash technology that provides immediate assistance for any issues,” Yang added.

Currently, Come In Wash operates over 500 units at more than 200 locations in Korea alone, featuring 24/7 service, automated payment systems, rest areas and maintenance services. Recently, the company partnered with HD Hyundai Oilbank, one of Korea's top gas station providers, to expand its operations to a total of 600 units at 300 locations.

The company also partnered with other Korean partners E1 Energy and Shinhan Bank to further develop its network and secure financial backing.

In December 2022, Come In Wash established a production facility in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, dedicated to manufacturing automotive washing machines for export. The company invested over 10 billion won ($7.23 million) to purchase and refurbish a 33,000-square-meter site. This plant now produces a range of automatic car washing machines intended for markets in North America, Europe and the Middle East.

The product line features models such as "Zeus," designed for large vehicles, and the "Poseidon 2" and "Bloom" models, which cater to smaller vehicles, including compact SUVs and minivans. Additionally, the facility includes a warehouse that supports the logistics and distribution of these machines.

Come In Wash also boasts a credit rating of AA-, distinguishing it as the only car wash business to conduct external audits. It also holds a top-tier cash flow rating of CR-1, indicating robust cash reserves and liquidity. The company manages all aspects required for partnership, from business licensing to the installation and maintenance of its systems.

Furthermore, Come In Wash prioritizes corporate social responsibility by actively hiring vulnerable or older individuals and engaging in various social contribution activities. It has been recognized with several awards from Korean governmental bodies, including the Ministry of Science and ICT, the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, and the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy, for its environmentally friendly car wash detergents.