Volume 12, Issue 6 - November/December 2010


AGR Reports
breaking news


Guardian Forms Joint Venture to Serve Automotive Retail Glass Market

Guardian Industries has formed a joint partnership with a company called LRST LLC. The joint venture was formed “to manage and grow its retail auto glass business,” according to a company statement.

LRST LLC was formed by four equal partners—former Pittsburgh Glass Works (PGW) executives Jim Latch and Marc Talbert, along with former GlasPro/Elite Auto Glass founders Jerry Ray and Neil Smith. The new joint venture will be named Guardian Auto Glass LLC.

Guardian will have the majority ownership in the new Guardian Auto joint venture company.

“We see the new joint venture enhancing Guardian’s current operations as well as key in developing a nationwide presence,” says Mike Morrison, president of Guardian’s Automotive group. “Guardian is focusing on growing all its businesses and we anticipate greater and stronger opportunities in the automotive retail glass (ARG) segment as a result of this strategic decision.”

With the formation of Guardian Auto, the new retail joint venture will be managed and operated by the LRST partners.

Latch was involved in the creation of LYNX Services and had responsibility for PPG’s ARG distribution and services business. Talbert was president of PPG Auto Glass and also had responsibility for PGW’s ARG distribution business.

Ray and Smith were two of the founders and owners of the 34-store GlasPro/Elite retail business that was purchased by Belron in 2005. They previously partnered in the formation of Western Windshields.


Safelite Fined $52,000 by Texas Dept. of Insurance
Safelite Glass Corp. recently was fined $52,000 by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) for allegedly providing continuing education (CE) courses in the state after its provider registration and course certifications had expired.

According to the final consent order, Safelite initially registered as a continuing education provider (for insurance courses) in May 1993, and, as the state of Texas began using Sircon for administration of the CE program, Safelite registered as a Sircon provider from September 2007 through September 2009, with its registration expiring on September 3, 2009. It re-registered as a provider on December 16, 2009.

In addition, the TDI alleges that registration for four of the CE courses Safelite teaches also had expired prior to September 2009. TDI claims that each of the four courses was taught between October 2007 and February 2009, before the company re-registered the courses on March 31, 2009.

Though the company did re-register the courses, TDI alleges all four courses were taught numerous times between October 2009 and November 2009, before the Safelite re-registered as a CE provider in December 2009.

“The situation in Texas was caused by an unfortunate administrative error—one we’re taking strong measures to prevent in the future by working with a compliance liaison and submitting quarterly compliance reports to the Texas Department of Insurance,” says Safelite spokesperson Melina Metzger.

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