Some glass retailers are viewing the recent Mitchell International’s National Auto Glass Specifications Inc. (NAGS) price changes as business as usual.
Others, however, are calling the changes the largest seen since the decade-old rebalancing of its benchmark pricing that took effect February 2005.
As previously reported, the weighted average for all windshield parts dropped 5.1 percent since the last Benchmark Calculator, and the weighted average for the top 500 windshield parts dropped 5.13 percent.
For Dave Duensing, the latest changes don’t raise much of an alarm.
“I don’t see a whole lot of difference, because the market has become so saturated here,” Duensing said from his shop, Texan Glass & Solar Control in The Woodlands, Texas. “My cost doesn’t go down. I’ve seen some parts drop $10-$20, but nothing major. It seems like one more way the insurance companies are trying to get the better end of it.”
Linda Rollinson’s perspective differs.
“It’s the biggest drop I’ve seen, in the parts that are common to me,” says Rollinson, whose Superior Auto Glass of Tampa Inc., operates in Tarpon Springs, Fla.
“Don’t tell me it was only 8-12 percent.”
Rollinson says she has seen prices for some windshields go down nearly $300. For example, she cites NAGS Part No. FW3185GTYN, a windshield for a Toyota 4-Runner, which went from $734.15 to $431.65. Similarly, the FW3485GBYN went from $715.85 to $324.10, and the FW3473GBYN went from $720.20 to $319.70. These parts fit a 2012 – 2017 Toyota Camry base model.
“My products haven’t changed, so why is there such a drastic drop in prices?” Rollinson said. “That’s what I’d like to know.”
The NAGS price listings have long been a source of intense interest for retailers. In 2005, the rebalancing of the benchmark prices resulted in across-the-board reductions of about 68 percent.
“NAGS’ benchmark will be significantly reduced to more accurately reflect retail market price levels and correct for the artificial inflation caused by the truckload list price methodology used prior to 2002,” NAGS officials reported in late 2004 when the shift was pending.
This was the information company’s third foray into price correction, which some saw as a further attempt to hone the NAGS price into two components – labor and materials. Prior NAGS revaluation, costs for parts and labor were reflected together in one NAGS pricing. The pre-rebalancing NAGS prices anticipated high discounts and had a profit margin built into them—even after such discounts.
The latest changes show an average price change for all parts of -4.62 percent.
But Rollinson says she has seen no drop in her costs and has to make up the deficit in raising her labor costs.
“I have to make up for it somewhere,” she said.