Auto Glass Can Survive
January 3, 2013
by Casey Neeley, firstname.lastname@example.org
To quote Hank Williams Jr., "The interest is up and the stock market's
down." What are auto glass repair and replacement (AGRR) shops facing
as a variety of fiscal uncertainties head their way in 2013? Mixed
reporting nearing the approach of a looming agreement to shirk the
fiscal cliff has many businesses and markets scrambling to prepare
for the worst.
While portions of the economy appear to be recovering, some AGRR-specific
aspects are not. One of the most visible financial difficulties
facing shop owners appears in the form of acquisitions. Throughout
the last two months of 2012, multiple companies faced several major
In November, ABRA Auto Body and Glass announced its acquisition
Bodyworks and Glass' Stillwater, Minn., location in addition
to its December purchases of five Indianapolis, Ind.-area Collision
Solutions shops, three Collision
Plus Auto Body Repair Centers in Southern Illinois outside of
St. Louis and Ogden Auto Body in Utah. Guardian Auto Glass also
announced in November that it had acquired Good
Shepherd Auto Glass of Edgewood, Md., and formed Guardian Auto
Glass Baltimore, LLC.
Collision and Glass announced three major acquisitions through
November and December which brought its total number of U.S. locations
to 180. Safelite Group, which made multiple purchases of independent
glass shops in November, such as Klein-Dickert
Co. Inc. and Southern
Glass and Plastics, is under speculation for upcoming additional
independent shop purchases in 2013.
Carrying into the New Year, Caliber Collision Centers announced
yesterday its acquisition of ten California-area Hi-Tech
Collision and Glass Centers.
Despite these many acquisitions, D'Ieteren owner of the Belron®
Group and Belron's U.S. subsidiary, Safelite Group, revised its
for 2012 and 2013," reporting it anticipates declines in the
coming year, citing: "The persistent negative trends in the vehicle
glass repair and replacement markets [as] leading D'Ieteren to update
its guidance to a roughly 30 percent decline of its 2012 current
consolidated result before tax, group's share, versus 2011 (versus
roughly -25 percent previously advised) and, in case such trends
were to continue into the new year, despite probably more normal
weather conditions, to anticipate a further decline of roughly 10
percent to 15 percent of its 2013 current consolidated result before
tax, group's share, versus 2012," in the report.
Just how do auto glass shops plan to endure these continued blows
to the industry?
"All we're trying to do is just survive these times; they're tough.
Every once in a while you get some commercial [work] but that's
few and far between. I've been here 32 years and most of [my business]
is repetitious," says Frank Kuneck, owner of Tri-City Glass in Rochester,
Keith Raub, manager of SuperGlass Windshield Repair in Columbiana,
Ohio says his company's business has been mostly impacted by weather
but knows there will be continued work resulting from unpreventable
damage such as rock chips.
"I really have no secret to business; I just get up and try to
go make money," Raub says.
"We're just trying to stay busy and keep the cash coming. We're
trying to move forward. What choice do we have? All we can do is
take the cards we've been dealt and play them," says Jason Barnes,
owner of Barnes Auto Glass and Windshield in Vicksburg, Miss. "I
don't know how badly it's going to affect us yet."
This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/glassBYTEs.com™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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