Volume 11, Issue 5 - September/October 2009
Field of Vision
An Independent View
It seems that whenever I talk to those on the outside about the auto
glass industry and how it works, they are surprised about its intricacies.
Consumers who’ve had to have a windshield or other auto glass part replaced
never seem to grasp how this industry sector works. Even consumer advocate
Ralph Nader expressed shock when he learned about the industry during
an Independent Glass Association Conference in 2007, calling the entire
structure of the industry “just bizarre.”
“Baitman looks not only
Some of his findings are surprising; others are not. You can read an excerpt of Baitman’s report on page 28. He looks not only at how the global economy is affecting the auto glass replacement industry, but also at how shops on an individual level work to combat such changes—and what they see as the industry’s biggest issues.
I think this article will give you a unique perspective—and some fun insight—at the industry in which you work each day.
On page 32, you’ll find another enlightening article—an inside look at Safelite’s manufacturing facility in Enfield, N.C. Whether or not your business utilizes glass from the company, this article provides an exclusive glance at some of the company’s manufacturing processes and quality checks—all of which I hope you’ll find as fascinating as I did.
We’re also here busily preparing for Auto Glass Week™ in Las Vegas. One of the major parts of this is the competitions that take place during the week—the Fifth Annual Auto Glass Technician Olympics and the Fourth Annual Walt Gorman Memorial Windshield Repair Olympics. One question I often hear among readers who haven’t participated in these events is: Why? Why participate? Why take the time? And so we’ve attempted to answer those questions by speaking to the owners of some of the past winners about the impact the company’s technicians’ success has had on business. See page 24 for that story.
I hope to see many of you in Las Vegas at the upcoming events.