Study Says U.S. Demand for Advanced Flat Glass Products to Reach $7 Billion in 2014; Use of Head-Up Display Windshields Projected to Rise
January 3, 2011

U.S. demand for advanced flat glass products is projected to increase 9.1 percent annually from a weak 2009 base to 745 million square feet in 2014, valued at $7.0 billion. This is according to a recently released study, Advanced Flat Glass from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

U.S. Advanced Flat Glass Demand
(in millions of dollars)

 

% Annual Growth

Item
2004
2009
2014
'04-'09
'09-'14
Advanced Flat Glass Demand
5067
4045
7000
-4.4
11.6
Safety & Security Glass
3407
2389
4195
-6.9
11.9
Solar Control Glass
1215
1142
2060
-1.2
12.5
Other Advanced Glass
445
514
745
2.9
7.7

According to the report, the growth in flat glass products represents a significant improvement over the 2004-2009 period, when advanced flat glass consumption suffered from the combination of a weak economy, crisis in financial markets, the bursting of the housing bubble and a sharp downturn in motor vehicle production. Going forward, a rebound in residential construction and motor vehicle production from low 2009 levels will spark strong growth in demand for advanced flat glass products, according to the report."

The study says safety and security glass accounted for nearly three-fifths of demand in value terms in 2009, reflecting the widespread use of these products in motor vehicles (laminated windshields and tempered window glass) and in nonresidential construction (laminated security glass and tempered fire-rated glass). Growth in demand will be paced by safety glass used in vehicular markets and laminated hurricane glass, the study says.

Freedonia estimates that electrochromic mirrors comprise the largest smart glass product category and will post outsized growth due to a strong recovery in vehicle production and growing market penetration. Other smart glass products, such as electrochromic windows, suspended particle device windows and liquid crystal display windows, will make some market inroads, although demand is predicted to remain relatively small through 2014. Demand for other advanced flat glass products is projected to increase 7.7 percent annually. The largest single product, heads-up display glass, will post strong growth as advanced display systems become more widely used in vehicular markets.

glassBYTEs.com™ spoke today to a few industry representatives about their outlooks on the study.

“This report does match up to what we’ve been finding in our research,” says Max Perilstein, chief marketing officer at Vitro America, the parent company of Binswanger Glass. “We’re very excited about this news because it solidifies the business plan we have going forward. We have been following the trends very closely and have been making the moves necessary to take advantage of the change in markets.”

Officials at Guardian Industries also are optimistic.

“Guardian is bullish on the North American glass industry and reports like this one only serve to underline our measured optimism,” says Earnest Thompson, director, Guardian marketing and brand management. “There remain challenges, but trends over the next few years are positive. The companies making sound business decisions today are in an excellent position to enjoy new growth in advanced glass products across the board during the coming years.”  

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