Reno AGRR Market on the Rebound
Reno, Nev., home of Auto Glass Week 2015, is one of the hottest cities in the U.S. right now—and not just because it’s surrounded by a desert.
Two of the world’s most noteworthy companies—Apple and Tesla—have poured in millions to build and expand their locations in the metropolitan area. Such is welcomed news to the local AGRR industry.
“We’re a nationwide company so I know we’re quite a bit slower here than other markets,” says Shahab M., manager of Glass Pro in Reno.
But in a time when Casinos are failing local economies, what’s replacing them offers a glimmer of hope.
“One casino in Sparks just closed and they’re going to make it into an apartment complex,” Shahab says, in order to prepare for Tesla’s gigafactory, soon to be completed. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed [that brings business back],” he says.
Mark Cabangon, branch manager at Mygrant Glass Company, an automotive glass distributor for the Reno-Sparks area, says a worker strike at Oakland, Calif.’s port didn’t help matters either. It started last fall and was only recently settled.
After scrambling for products within the company for its service area, Cabangon says “we finally caught up. “We had orders there from November and didn’t start getting them until the beginning of April.”
And a season without storms, though good for consumers, has been bad for automotive glass businesses.
“There’s an increase of 30 percent after a storm,” Cabangon says. “It’s been pretty dry—we’ve only had one major storm and that’s it.”
Tesla’s gigafactory is sure to bring in the traffic, however—literally and figuratively. The $5 billion investment will employ approximately 6,500 people directly and supply batteries for 500,000 vehicles.
Cabangon also says there are signs of success on the horizon. Following the strike’s end, “we’re comfortable now and our customers have the time to focus on the sales,” and it looks like 2015 will be the strongest out of the last three years, he says.