Field of Vision
from the editor
by Penny Stacey
The quality OEM versus aftermarket parts debate certainly is not
a new one in the industry, but in recent months it’s become an increasingly
prevalent controversy in both the auto glass and collision repair industries.
Just this month, it has achieved new visibility with the release of a
Consumer Reports article encouraging consumers to demand OEM parts in
On page 18, you’ll see an inside look at this issue from the perspectives
of several industry experts who offered their insights into the differences,
the possibilities for making “OE-like” products and more. You’ll also
see a call from an industry executive for aftermarket parts manufacturers
to come forward and prove their products live up to the standards set
by OE manufacturers (see page 6).
But it seems many are silent on the subject. During one of my interviews,
I asked one industry expert why he thinks manufacturers and others are
so tight-lipped on the issue.
“OE manufacturers often use different or looser specs for aftermarket
products,” says Russ Corsi, who worked for PPG for many years and now
serves as an industry consultant.
But what Corsi and others suggest, as you’ll see in the article, is that
installers do have a duty to make sure that the products they install
are safe for the consumer.
But what happens when insurers are pushing cheaper, aftermarket products?
What do you do then? And, how do you determine what’s safe?
often use different or looser specs for aftermarket products.”
I’d like to hear your thoughts on this. I hear from readers who struggle
with glass quality on a daily basis. But how are you dealing with these
problems? And how do you choose whether to use OE or aftermarket glass
in any given installation? Is it up to the consumer, or the insurer or
some other entity?
I’m looking forward to learning your thoughts on the topic, and hope to
feature them in a future article written about the installer’s perspective
on the OEM versus aftermarket issue. Hopefully, together we can get to
the bottom of the issue—and can remove the hush that seems to strike the
industry when the topic arises.
Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or give me a call at 540/720-5584, ext. 148.
P.S. In other news, the dates have been set for next year’s Auto Glass
Week™ event, which will be held in Memphis, Tenn., September 15-17. Turn
to page 20 for the dates and details, and be sure to watch the event website,
for more information.
Penny Stacey is the editor of AGRR magazine.
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