From acquisitions to divestments to lawsuits and consumer complaints over shattering backlites, 2014 was a big year for the AGRR industry. News from PGW, LYNX, Carlex, Guardian and others dominated the top-ten list of most clicked on glassBYTEs.com™ stories for the year.
So which story came in with the most clicks for 2014? Ironically, it was a story first introduced in 2013—“Several Ford F-150 Owners Report Shattering Backlites to NHTSA.” From the time the story went live in December 2013, complaints continued to come into the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Just look at the comment section on the article to see what consumers are reporting. Editors wrote a follow up article in December 2014 offering an update on this alleged issue—“Complaints About Shattering Ford F-150 Backlites Continue.”
Following close on shattering backlite article’s heels was “PGW Sells LYNX Services.” Pittsburgh Glass Works (PGW) announced its insurance and services division, which includes LYNX Services, GTS and Glaxis, along with other information technology services, was being sold to Solera Holdings of Westlake, Texas.
Continuing on, China-based automotive glass manufacturer Fuyao also grabbed attention when the company announced it was acquiring a former General Motors plant in Ohio. In the article—“Fuyao to Purchase Former Ohio GM Plant for First North American Glass Manufacturing Facility”—company chairman Cao Dewang said the goal of the “investment in Moraine [is] to better service our important OEM customers in the United States and North America.”
The industry’s fascination with acquisition news was also apparent in the next top story—“Central Glass Group to Expand Carlex Business by Purchasing Two Guardian Subsidiaries.” Central Glass officials said the acquisitions will provide wider OEM and aftermarket production capabilities and an expanded line of products for distribution to the aftermarket, advanced solution capabilities and a broader customer base of global original equipment manufacturers. Carlex will also have the ability to expand its presence in Europe through the deal, according to officials.
The story taking the fifth spot on the list was related. In the story titled “Guardian Sells Two Automotive Glass Subsidiaries; Retains Custom Glass Solutions,” the industry learned of Guardian’s decision to reduce its automotive glass footprint. However, the company retained a foothold in the marketplace with Custom Glass Solutions and the RV automotive glass claims administration business.
Coming in sixth on the list is “Glass Masters “Rebrands” as Auto Glass Now.” In this story the industry learned that the 60 Glass Masters locations throughout the country have been “rebranded” under the Auto Glass Now moniker and are remaining “under the same ownership.”
A lawsuit that could have potential implications for the AGRR industry grabbed the seventh spot on the list. Readers tuned in to “Florida Repair Shops File Antitrust Lawsuit Against State Farm, Other Insurers.” A group of Florida collision repair shops filed an antitrust lawsuit against State Farm and dozens of other insurers, alleging the insurers use their direct repair programs to “illegally control and depress” repair rates and that if the shops don’t comply, customers are steered away.
Turning up eighth on the list was the headline, “Dina Dwyer-Owens Is Stepping Down as CEO of The Dwyer Group.” Mike Bidwell, president and chief operating officer, moved into the CEO position.
The ninth spot goes to “AP Technoglass Windshields to Be Manufactured by Safelite.” AGC Automotive Americas announced a licensing agreement with Safelite Glass Corp., allowing Safelite to manufacture, distribute and sell replacement windshields under the AP Technoglass brand. AGC noted that it will continue to produce AP Technoglass as well.
And rounding out the list of top ten most clicked on glassBYTEs.com™ articles was another article about Fuyao in which the company announced it is purchasing a PPG glass plant. In “Fuyao to Expand U.S. Footprint by Purchasing PPG Glass Plant,” readers learned that PPG Industries was selling all the assets of its Mt. Zion, Ill., glass manufacturing facility to Fuyao Glass America Inc. Fuyao announced plants to rebuild and retrofit the facility’s two production lines to manufacture automotive glass.
Stay tuned to glassBYTEs.com™ for all the news in 2015. Happy New Year!