Volume 33, Number 3, March 1998


USG Auto News & Products


Essex To Be Exclusive Marketer of FlexiTrim™

Essex ARG of Dayton, OH, and Creative Extruded Products, Inc. of Tipp City, OH, have announced that Essex is the exclusive marketer of the Creative line of FlexiTrim universal windshield moulding to the automotive aftermarket in the United States and Canada. Distribution of the mouldings by Essex will begin the first quarter of 1998.

ASA Takes A Stand On DRPs

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) has taken a stand on Direct Repair Programs (DRP), agreements whereby an insurance company purchases repairs directly from a repair provider. In a recent petition statement issued by ASA, the organization announced that its members believe it is the consumer’s right to choose the repair facility of their choice. The ASA also stated its position that it is the choice of each individual facility to decide whether or not they want to participate in DRPs. The statement included the ASA’s commitment to continue to fight unfair claims practices, regardless of whether or not they were connected to DRPs, and set forth the organization’s recommended criteria for DRP-type programs.

Glass Subcommittee Meets in San Antonio

The Collision Industry Electronic-Commerce Association’s (CIECA’s) Glass Subcommittee met in San Antonio, TX, this fall to review the 811 invoice guideline in its attempt to narrow electronic data invoicing (EDI) standards for the glass industry. The subcommittee approved it for submission to the Washington Publishing Company (WPC) for posting to the X12N website. The next step for this document will be presentation to CIECA members for voting. In addition, the subcommittee has begun review and further development of the assignment for glass. It is working with 272 First Notice of Loss, which has already been adapted into CIECA guidelines for salvage assignments and rental reservations.

Auto Glass Shop Owner Charged With Insurance Fraud

Bruce Greenbarg, owner of Windshield Wizard in Butler, PA, allegedly defrauded Erie Insurance Co. of more than $132,995. Greenbarg is charged with 173 counts of insurance fraud and 173 counts of theft by deception for allegedly submitting 173 fraudulent claims to Erie Insurance Co. for work that was not authorized or claimed by 85 policyholders.

Benteler A.G. and Fabricom S.A. Brussels Sign Cooperation Agreement

Bentler A.G. Bielefeld and Fabricom S.A. Brussels have signed an agreement to jointly develop and market auto glass manufacturing technology. The companies say they hope this union will enable them to offer more complete factory lines and better coverage of the market. They add that customers will benefit with shortened delivery times and eliminated interfaces between production line equipment.

Hollandia Sunroofs and Vermeulen Announce Joint Venture

Brighton, MI-based Hollandia Sunroofs and Vermeulen Hollandia b.v. of Haarlem, the Netherlands, have announced a joint venture to open a new distribution facility in Florida. Scott Greenhalge has stepped down as president and CEO of Hollandia Sunroofs to pilot the new venture, called Southern Hollandia, Inc. Chris Connolly replaced Greenhalge as president/CEO of Hollandia Sunroofs in January 1998.

Keystone Automotive Buys Bud’s Bumper

Keystone Automotive Industries has acquired Bud’s Bumper Service, Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, FL. The company says the addition of Bud’s Bumper Service, which has annual sales of two million dollars, is consistent with Keystone’s strategy of acquiring automotive collision parts facilities in areas it has not yet penetrated. Keystone distributes its products to collision repair shops throughout the United States.

Nissan To Reorganize Its Glass Parts Distribution System

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. says it will attempt to generate more competition by changing the way glass parts are supplied, according to a Reuters report. Under the company’s new distribution system, one supplier will provide parts for a particular car model to Nissan plants all over the world. Nissan expects this plan to produce a yearly surplus of about 100 billion yen, while also producing quick distribution. The company plans to use this system for about one-third of the automobiles it produces. Nissan typically orders parts from a variety of makers to meet the specifications in different markets worldwide.

CARA Collision Opens Ninth Location

CARA Collision and Glass of St. Paul, MN, says it opened its ninth location in July, just ten months after opening the doors of its first repair shop. The business offers mobile glass repair and 24-hour emergency glass service, in addition to more usual services.

Rick Johnson, manager of the newest location, in Fridley, MN, remarked that business was booming after three weeks in business. He added, "We’ve expanded the menu of services to include auto glass repair and replacement, paintless dent removal and stolen and recovery repair."

Japanese May Be Allowed To Fix Their Cars

A Japanese government advisory panel has recommended that restrictions that limit automobile owners’ ability to fix and service their own vehicles be lifted, according to the Specialty Equipment Market Association. The Transport Ministry plans to follow the council’s recommendations and submit a bill that would revise the Road Vehicle Law. This would pave the way for do-it-yourself car repairs for the first time in Japan’s history.

Autostock Reports Solid Second Quarter

Autostock Inc. of Montreal, Canada, reported a $2.5 million (CD) net income for the second quarter ended June 30, compared with a net income of $2.01 million for the same period in 1996, an increase of 24 percent. Sales were $32.8 million, a substantial increase over restated sales of $30.3 million in 1996.

Net income for the six months ended June 30 was $3.57 million compared to net income of $1.7 million in 1996. Included in the six-month results is net income of $837,000 from discontinued operations of Mobilair Communications.

Study Shows Windshield Coating Can Improve Driver Performance

The results of a report released by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute suggest that the use of hydrophobic windshield coatings has the potential to greatly improve driver visual performance in rainy conditions. Titled The Influence of Hydrophobic Windshield Coating on Driver Performance, the study was sponsored by a consortium of 27 international sponsors through an industry affiliation program at the university. The study, sponsored by companies including Visteon, Pilkington-Libbey-Owens-Ford and PPG Industries, indicates that these coatings can improve an operator’s visual acuity by nearly 34 percent over an untreated windshield. Additionally, a driver’s response time to identify a small target was improved by 25 percent, from four seconds to three seconds. One second in response time represents about 58 feet of travel distance at 40 miles per hour.

AP Technoglass Awarded

AP Technoglass of Plymouth, MI, has received nine awards from five major customers. The awards came from General Motors’ Saturn Division, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota, with each OEM gearing attainment criteria to satisfy its own individual cost timing and performance needs.

USGAuto Products

Headlight Protection and Repair System From Glass Technology

Durango, CO-based Glass Technology has developed a headlight protection and repair system for headlights, fog lights and other vehicle lenses. According to the company, the new product, called PermaShield, can be installed in less than five minutes and protects the headlight from rock and stone damage. The company also claims that PermaShield provides permanent repair to damaged headlights.

Rhino Introduces Armadillo

Miami-based Rhino Vehicle Armoring Systems has introduced the Armadillo, a lightweight, bullet-resistant kit that can be installed to protect vehicles, helicopters, boats and airplanes. According to the company, the kit can be installed in a few hours and provides protection from various objects including bullets, rocks, iron bars and vandals.


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