Industry Reaction to Belron Buying Elite

The news here on glassBYTEs™ last Friday that Belron is buying Elite Auto Glass is the third step in a trend that has materialized over the last couple of months in which medium sized regional auto glass operations get purchased.

And Dan Trower, president, AGS Corp., which operates five shops in various markets in Illinois, thinks there is more to come. "I find it very interesting," he stated. "And if you look at JC's Glass and Auto Glass Service being bought, it tells you something about the industry."

Belron CEO Gary LubnerTrower points to the article in the September/October 2004 issue of AGRR® in which Belron CEO Gary Lubner said the company would be back in the U.S. market. Look at what they've done, he advised.

"It's a very smart move on their part. They're buying low and in a good position. I think they'll be able to get their ducks in a row," Trower stated.

Robert Tunmire, president and chief executive officer of The Dwyer Group, the Waco, Texas-based company which owns the Glass Doctor and Harmon AutoGlass operations, agrees with Trower. "It's a natural trend you see in the service industry as a whole," he explained. "And you're going to see more of it because running a business is becoming more complicated."

As the biggest player in the field, is Safelite worried? "We had anticipated that Belron may re-enter the U.S. market at some point. It's really too early to anticipate how this will impact the auto glass industry," Dan Wilson, president and CEO, Safelite Group, told glassBYTEs.

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