Volume 15, Issue 1 - January/February 2013

AGR Reports
breaking news

The New Year Brings Numerous Acquisitions

Consumers weren’t the only ones who were shopping during the holiday season. In an acquisition bonanza, Safelite Auto Glass acquired the assets of Giant Glass Co. of North Andover, Mass., Southern Glass and Plastics of Columbia, S.C. and Klein-Dickert Co. Inc. (KDCI) of Madison, Wisc., all in the last five weeks of the year.

In November 2012 Safelite purchased KDCI’s auto glass assets. KDCI, a replacement company, was a dominant player in Wisconsin for many years and has auto glass locations that service the greater Madison, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, Green Bay and Marinette areas.

Also in November 2012 Safelite reached an agreement to acquire a majority of the vehicle glass division assets of Southern Glass and Plastics.

Alan Epley, outgoing owner of Southern Glass and Plastics, told AGRR™ magazine, “This was a business decision for me. I’m 65 years old and I’ve been in auto glass for 35 years; it was time to retire. I’ve been very impressed with how professionally Safelite has handled the acquisition and I feel that our employees are in good hands.”(See related story on page 36.)

Safelite’s third major asset acquisition occurred in January 2013 when the company bought the high-profile Giant Glass. Sellers Dennis Drinkwater and Lance Cramer, who will continue to work with the company under Safelite, expressed satisfaction with their decision. Safelite wasn’t the only company in acquisition mode. Texas-based Service King Collision Repair Centers has purchased three locations of Waco, Texas-based Wade Auto Body and Guardian Auto Glass acquired Good Shepherd Auto Glass of Edgewood, Md. Guardian’s acquisition comes as a part of a contract with three of Good Shepherd’s owners along with the addition of a fourth partner and the formation of a new company: Guardian Auto Glass Baltimore LLC (GAGB).

In related acquisition news, Minneapolis, Minn.-based Abra Auto Body and Glass acquired the assets of the Stillwater, Minn., office of Schoonover Bodyworks and Glass and purchased three Collision Plus Auto Body Repair Centers in Southern Illinois outside of St. Louis. Abra also acquired Ogden Auto Body in Utah and completed 27 total acquisitions in 2012.

The Boyd Group, parent company of Gerber Collision and Glass, also reached an agreement to acquire the assets of The Recovery Room of Central Florida Inc. which owns 11 collision repair centers in Orlando, Fla. In addition, Boyd continued expansion by opening a new Gerber Collision and Glass location in Las Vegas, Nev., bringing the group’s total number of Nevada locations to four and its U.S. total to 166.

2012 Hyundai Recall Issued for Exploding Sunroofs

A voluntary recall on certain model year 2012 Hyundai Veloster vehicles has been issued through the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA).

According to the recall, the panoramic sunroof assembly is in question for possible “weakening” during factory installation. According to the issued recall, “If the assembly was weakened at the factory, the panoramic glass panel may break while the vehicle is in motion leading to personal injury or a vehicle crash.”

An estimated 13,500 vehicles manufactured between November 1, 2011 and April 17, 2012 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico will be affected by the recall. In an exclusive interview with AGRR™ magazine, Jim Trainor, product public relations senior group manager for Hyundai Motor America, says the defect has been determined to have occurred during the installation process.

“There was an intermittent malfunction with the assembly and loading robot and occasionally there was contact with the robot loading arm and the sunroof glass,” says Trainor. “That contact in some cases caused damage to the glass which is what lead to the fracture of that glass in the field.”

NHTSA opened an investigation into the sunroofs this past October after receiving numerous complaints from consumers stating the vehicle sunroof had spontaneously exploded.

All of the consumer complaints issued for incidents that occurred while driving note that the sunroof did not shatter from impact of road debris or other items.

While no accidents have been cited resulting from the sunroof defect, several consumers did report minor injuries sustained from the breakage.

Hyundai is encouraging owners to return the car to the Hyundai dealer for inspection and replacement.

For more on this topic, see the article on page 16.

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