Volume 13, Issue 4 - July-August 2011

AGR Reports
breaking news

Coast to Coast Exits Auto Glass Business
Coast to Coast Auto Glass has ceased doing business in the auto glass industry, according to spokesperson Jigna Patel.
“Coast to Coast is no longer in the auto glass business,” said Patel in an interview with AGRR™ magazine in early May. Patel served as corporate counsel for the company and also works with a Foothill Ranch, Calif.-based company called Innovage.

Patel declined to comment further on the company’s status or what led to the exit from the auto glass business.
According to DNS Auto Glass Shop and Auto Glass Shop LLC president Jeff Searles, his company has purchased some of Coast to Coast’s assets and hired some of its former employees. However, he says the companies have no other affiliation.

“After Coast to Coast went out of business, we did acquire a fleet of vehicles from them and some smaller, minor assets,” says Searles. “Additionally, we have hired some employees who had prior work history with Coast to Coast, but that has been the extent of our interaction.”

Just before Patel confirmed that the Coast to Coast had exited the auto glass business, the company reached a settlement with a former New York-based installer, Raymond Nelson Mejia, who filed suit against the company in November seeking overtime pay, according to court documents. Though terms of the settlement were not disclosed, Mejia had alleged that, as an installer for the company, he regularly worked more than 40 hours per week in a nonexempt position, but that Coast to Coast “refused to pay him time and a half for overtime, often paying him on a ‘piece rate’ basis with no additional premiums for overtime work performed.” Mejia also claimed that he worked a shift of more than six hours extending over the noon day meal timeframe and that the company “failed to provide [him] at least thirty minutes for the noon
day meal.”

Sun Capital Affiliate Buys Binswanger ACI Assets at Auction
American Glass Enterprises was approved as the top bidder in the purchase of the assets of Vitro America LLC and three other indirect Vitro subsidiaries, including Binswanger Glass and ACI, through an auction in early June in Dallas. The company’s bid was approximately $61 million, according to court documents, and the deal was completed on June 17.
American Glass Enterprises is an affiliate of Sun Capital.

Belron Canada Opens Distribution Center in Airdrie, Canada
Belron Canada recently opened a new distribution center in Airdrie, Canada, and Safelite sent out its first shipment of auto glass from the facility in March 2011. The facility will serve the western half of Canada and the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.

Company officials say the new distribution center is approximately 100,000 square feet and carries about 90,000 units of inventory covering roughly 9,000 SKUs. The Airdrie distribution center also is the first facility at which the company has implemented parent company Belron’s global warehouse management system, designed to automate inventory control and operational functions within the facility.

In addition, Safelite recently opened new retail operations in Sandy, Utah, and Baytown, Texas.

Tornado Destroys Kryger Glass Distribution Center in Joplin, Mo.
A tornado ripped through the town of Joplin, Mo., in late May, destroying Kryger Glass’s distribution center and fleet there, according to a statement from company president Bill Kryger.

The company’s headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., is about three hours away and was unaffected by the tornado.

“Kryger Glass is a strong company and we will survive this,” adds Kryger. “We ask for our customers’ support and loyalty as we go through this crisis.”

AG Distributors Sells Inventory to Mr. Windshield
AG Distributors has sold the last of its inventory to Mr. Windshield, which has locations in both Lewiston and Moscow, Idaho.

The Boise, Idaho-based company had closed its doors last August, according to co-owner Steve Theisen, prior to the recent inventory sale.

“The pressure got to be too much,” says Theisen of the company’s exit from the business. “We were the little guy trying to compete against the big guys.”

Theisen and his partner, Moe Stark, opened the company in 2001, and later added locations in Salt Lake City and Spokane, Wash., but closed both of those in the three years prior to its final closure.

“The Pilkingtons and PPGs of the world kept pushing on price and [we] really couldn’t compete on price,” says Theisen.

The company initially held an auction in February, but had 8,000 units of glass remaining, which were sold to Mr.

Theisen offered the following advice for independent shops working against some of the same pressures he fought against.

“Find a niche and run things tightly,” he says. “If we had been running things tighter before the economy turned on us, we’d probably still be in business. We just didn’t go into the downturn with any reserves. We had three locations within less than three years but we didn’t have any time to get those locations rooted before the economy turned.”

While Mr. Windshield acquired the majority of the company’s assets, Theisen and Stark retained the rights to the AG Distributors Name and the business itself. However, Theisen says he doesn’t anticipate a return to the auto glass

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