Safelite Buys Klein-Dickert
November 1, 2012

by Casey Neeley,

The news today that Safelite Auto Glass had purchased the auto glass business of Madison, Wisc.-based Klein-Dickert Co. Inc (KDCI) was met with a range of reactions throughout the industry. The deal, which was finalized yesterday, sells the auto glass assets of KDCI to the world’s largest replacement company. KDCI 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. It has 33 employees.

Since Safelite’s purchase of Auto Glass Specialists a number of years ago, it has had a strong presence throughout greater Wisconsin. Industry analysts say that Safelite continues to pursue companies that have exceedingly high brand recognition, healthy market share and that dominate their region no matter the size of that region. KDCI fits that bill.

“Klein-Dickert’s strong performance and brand recognition made it highly attractive,” says Tom Feeney, president and CEO of Safelite. “We feel the auto glass division of Klein-Dickert can contribute to accomplishing our company’s mission of becoming the ‘natural choice’ for vehicle glass repair and replacement services in the U.S.”

“I cannot imagine a scenario where this could be good for the insurance community assuming you believe in the value of competition,” says Paul Gross, CEO of HSG, a third party administrator. “It is not healthy for an industry to be dominated by one international conglomerate that serves as a first party administrator – administering claims and driving them to its own expanding network of retail glass shops.”

According to Safelite’s release, KDCI’s operations manager Jim Short will play a significant role in the transition. “Short has 34 years of experience in the vehicle glass repair and replacement industry, including managing, purchasing, and internal operations,” read the release. “He began as a technician at Auto Glass Specialists in 1978 and most recently served as the operations manager at Klein-Dickert.”

Short was also named to the board of directors of the Independent Glass Association in 2010.

This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
Subscribe to receive the free e-newsletter.