September/October  2003

Field of Vision
Penny Beverage     from the editor

pbeverage@glass.com

Welcome to Phoenix

by Penny Beverage

Welcome to Phoenix—the land of the auto glass baby-boomers. JC’s Glass owner Cindy Minon-Ketcherside told me recently that the number of auto glass shops (or should I say, businesses, as many of them are purely mobile) has grown to more than 500 in the last three years.

“Everyone’s getting into the glass industry out here,” she told me. 

It seems that entrepreneurs in Phoenix have discovered something—you don’t necessarily have to have a physical shop to make money. Many of these are setting up businesses outside car washes, gas stations, you name it, and without the costs of rent, mortgage and utilities, they’re making a killing.

Phoenix has become overcrowded with auto glass businesses in recent years. In addition, auto glass installers and repair technicians don’t have to deal with the weather issues most of the world endures; it only rains about 10 days a year in Phoenix and hardly ever snows. Likewise, winter temperatures hardly fall below 70° Fahrenheit.

However, the boom is occurring at the expense of those who have established themselves in the city without true overhead costs to worry about.
 
Businesses such as Minon-Ketcherside’s are now looking beyond the city for additional ways to make it in an area crowded with competitors.

So, this month the industry is heading to this land of auto glass “prosperity” for the National Auto Glass Conference, which will be held just outside of Phoenix in the town of Scottsdale, Ariz., September 10-13. On page 42, you’ll find a preview of what all the industry’s forerunners will be unveiling at the event.

If you are planning to attend this event (or even if you’re not), make sure to read contributing editor Les Shaver’s look at the future of NAGS’s pricing strategies on page 24. The 8-page feature focuses on a serious issue and is sure to be the topic of much discussion in the coming months.

Les also provides a detailed look at automotive glass branding by car manufacturers and how it can affect everyone in the supply chain—from auto glass manufacturers, both OEM and AGR, to distributors, to retailers themselves, on page 34.

Finally, if you’re involved in repair, you won’t want to miss Independent Glass Association (IGA) chief executive officer Tim Smale’s look at a “study” the IGA conducted about repair on page 14. For industry reaction to the study and what it could mean for the repair industry, see page 52.

I’m looking forward to seeing many of you in Scottsdale and discussing some of these issues with you. I hope to see you out on the show floor as I visit booths myself, and I certainly hope many of you will stop by AGRR’s own booth, #502, and say hello.

See you in Phoenix. 

AGRR

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