Volume 12, Issue 5 - September/October 2010

AGR Reports
breaking news

Company News
Xinyi to Increase Annual Production Capacity by 1.2 Million Units of Auto Glass

Hong Kong-based Xinyi Glass Holdings Ltd. has announced that it will increase its annual aftermarket auto glass production capacity by 1.2 million units later this year. The company attributes its decision to increase production to “the strong surge in market demand.”

“As the automobile glass market continues to show strong momentum in the third quarter this year, export price and sales volume of automobile glass continue a noticeable growth uptrend,” writes the company in a statement. “Pushed up by robust market demand, the [Xinyi] Group’s order backlog is at its record high level of [more than] three months.”

The company plans to open a new aftermarket auto glass line to open in Shenzhen, China, later this year, with an annual production capacity of 800,000 units. The line is scheduled to begin production during the fourth quarter. In addition, Xinyi officials say an additional production line with an annual capacity of 1.2 million units of glass is scheduled to be put into place in the first quarter of 2011.

Once these are both into place, Xinyi officials say it will have a total annual aftermarket automobile glass production capacity of 13.5 million units of glass.

In other news at Xinyi, the company announced in early August that it had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Pittsburgh Glass Works to explore “a potential formation of a joint venture or other cooperative effort to manufacture automobile glass products and to manage sales and service parts of automobile glass to OEM customers in China and export to global OEM customers.”

The companies say the joint task force will study the possibility “with the intent of concluding preparatory work regarding the possible venture on or before December 31, 2010.”

“The effort could result in the manufacture of automotive glass products to serve automotive manufacturers in China and for the export of such products from China to global OEM markets,” reads a press release from the two companies.

PGW spokesperson Robert McCullough says the two companies have worked together in the past.

“Well, there has been a commercial relationship with the two organizations for a period of time and it looks like a natural evolution,” says McCullough. “I think that’s why the next three or four months we’ve decided to work together to see where this is going to pan out.”

McCullough was unable to comment on exactly what the joint venture might entail.

“That’s exactly what we’re going to be figuring out,” he said. “We’re going to have to sort that out.”

In a busy month for the Hong Kong-based company, Xinyi also has reached a settlement with Saint-Gobain in the ongoing patent infringement suit; under the terms of the settlement, all proceedings were terminated “without admission of any infringement liability on either side,” and the companies also “have entered into license agreements on other patents of Saint-Gobain for the use by the Group for its production and sales purposes” (see related story in January-February 2010 AGRR, page 12).

Belron Reports Total Number of Jobs is Up 17 Percent for First Half of 2010
Belron parent company D’Ieteren reported recently that its total number of repair and replacement jobs is up 17 percent for the first half of the year—for a total of 6.3 million, up from 5.4 million in the first half of 2009.

The company also reported a 19.8 percent increased in sales, which totaled $1,884.5 million U.S. dollars (1,484. million Euros), up from $1,572.8 million U.S. dollars (1,239 million Euros) in 2009. The sales consisted of 11 percent organic increases, a 3 percent trading days adjustment, 2 percent acquisitions and 4 percent currency translations.

Belron reported an operating result for the first half of 2010 of $172.2 million U.S. dollars (135.4 million Euros), up 14.7 percent from the first half of 2009, during which the company’s total operating result was $150.0 million U.S. dollars (118 million Euros).

In Europe, Belron experienced 20 percent sales growth for the first half of the year, made up of 14 percent organic growth, 3 percent trading days adjustment, 2 percent acquired growth (due to acquisitions in Turkey and France) and a positive currency impact of 1 percent due to the stronger British pound, according to the D’Ieteren report. Though the company also cites favorable weather in Europe as a benefit to its half-year results, other factors are noted as well.

In addition, as part of the report, the company announced that Belron is “initiating” the opening of a new operation in Russia. Further details have not been released about the opening.

AGRSS Council Inc. Launches Re-Designed Website

The Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards (AGRSS) Council Inc. has re-designed its website, www.agrss.org. The new website highlights the Council’s latest news, includes safety news updates and a variety of user-friendly features for its users.

The new site also features access to AGRSS-related documents, from the Standard to the Code of Ethics to adhesive manufacturers’ instructions; a variety of informative videos and webinars; and the ability for AGRSS-registered companies to download the AGRSS-registered logo via password access.

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