(source: NGA press release)
The National Glass Association has announced that its board of directors passed a resolution urging reform of industry benchmark pricing systems at its October 2004 meeting. According to the NGA press release, the resolution recognizes the urgent need for accuracy, consistency and up-to-date information in any and all reference lists used as the basis for negotiation by individual sellers and buyers in transactions involving replacement auto glass.
The Board expressed its concern that current benchmark lists do not consistently reflect current manufacturers' pricing schedules. This situation can, and has, led to unfair pricing that acts to the detriment of vehicle owners, insurers, and the auto glass replacement installers.
The NGA Board reminded its members and customers that proper automotive glass replacement serves a vital role in assuring vehicle safety on American highways. The windshield, along with seat belts and airbags, plays a crucial role in the vehicle's safety restraint system as well as roof crush resistance in rollovers and, in some cases, proper airbag deployment.
The release continues, "After reviewing concerns voiced by auto glass replacement retailers nationwide, the National Glass Association has concluded that the industry suggested price list may reflect manufacturer-level pricing inaccurately or arbitrarily. Further, the list may have led to aberrations, omissions or uncertainties in suggested benchmark prices commonly used as the basis for negotiations of transactions at the retail level.
"The NGA also agrees with its members that a significant number of the most common replacement auto glass parts may be reflected improperly in the current NAGS benchmark price list. The NGA believes this situation is a result of the failure to employ a consistent formula based upon manufacturer-level pricing; failure to update the list as the manufacturers' prices change; and / or other failings, leading to unfair pricing to the detriment of vehicle owners, insurers, and installers.
"The NGA Board of Directors resolution urges reform of any and all reference lists used as the basis for negotiation by individual sellers and buyers so that the lists consistently reflect current manufacturers' pricing schedules.
"The NGA recommends industry consideration of the "Chicago Group" approach in which a suggested retail price list would be based consistently and exclusively upon manufacturer-level pricing and would expeditiously reflect changes in manufacturer-level pricing."
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