America Says It Will Now Focus on "Core Strength" as It
Exits Auto Glass Business
June 18, 2009
Vitro America, which is selling its auto glass distribution business
to Pittsburgh Glass Works (PGW), effective June 24, will now focus
on its "core strength," the architectural glass and aluminum
business, according to a letter faxed to auto glass distribution
"Over the years, both [architectural glass and aluminum and
automotive replacement glass] have become much more complex, requiring
full dedication and commitment by all employees involved in order
to maintain continued success," writes Charles Witherington,
vice president and general manager of the company.
He continues, "It has become increasingly difficult to be a
leader in both businesses. Therefore, Vitro America has made the
decision to exit the auto glass distribution business, and focus
our efforts 100 percent in Architectural Glass and Aluminum. We
have always viewed the latter as our core strength, and will now
be able to commit all personnel and resources to the Flat Glass
business in the future."
Vitro has sold all of its auto glass inventory to PGW, which will
take over the business next Wednesday. After this date, Witherington
notes, Vitro America will not be able to take any returns-and therefore
any product that shops don't intend to use should be returned by
"PGW is focused solely on the automotive business, and is positioned
better than any other distributor to service your auto glass needs,"
At press time, officials from Vitro America had declined to comment,
but advised the company soon would be issuing a press release regarding
the changes. It is not yet known how Vitro America's retail locations
in its Binswanger Glass division will be affected by the sale.
As shop owners learned of the news yesterday, many questioned what
the future might hold in store as the inventory transfers to PGW.
"This is not good news for us and many other glass shops throughout
the Southeast as PGW's wholesale prices have been steadily rising
and we get caught in the squeeze while trying to compete ...,"
said one Southeastern auto glass shop owner who wished to remain
anonymous. "Things are changing."
Others suspected the transition could have a positive impact.
"I think that PGW customers will benefit from the additional
inventory," says Larry Diesbach of Bachman Auto Glass. "Lately
PGW's inventory in certain areas, mainly in Richmond, Va., [has
seen] low levels of stock. Perhaps this was in preparation for the
handling of the Vitro inventory
I hope that this helps the
inventory out drastically."
How do you expect the sale of Vitro America's auto glass distribution
business to PGW to impact your business? Please e-mail your thoughts
HERE for full text of letter from Witherington.
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