Volume 9, Issue 1 - January/February 2007

A Homerun at NACE

Auto Glass Expo @ NACE new addition to world's largest collision repair event

The auto glass industry had an increased presence at the International Autobody Congress & Exposition, NACE 2006, which was held November 1-November 4, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, during Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW). 

Sponsored by the Automotive Service Association (ASA), the world’s largest collision repair event annually draws an estimated 30,000 people. It features a variety of educational sessions addressing the needs of all industry segments, as well as an exposition with approximately 500 exhibiting companies. 

A new addition at this year’s exposition, and growing testimony to the increasingly common interests of the two industry segments, was the Auto Glass Expo @ NACE (AGX), sponsored by AGRR magazine.

The first-time AGRR exhibition consisted of more than 40 exhibitors in 60 booth spaces. Most of the exhibitors were participating in the NACE show for the first time and the enthusiasm by the participants was extremely high. Ray Asbery, Equalizer Industries Inc., looked out over the show floor and said that this was just what the industry needed. “The number of attendees and the excitement is wonderful,” he stated.

Bud Oliver, director of product operations for NAGS, said it was the first time the company had exhibited at the show, although its parent Mitchell International, which supplies information and technology for the collision industry, always does. “When we heard there was going to be a glass pavilion, we said, ‘What a great idea.’”

Donovan Trana, AutoglasSolutions, Wilton, Iowa, was also exhibiting for the first time at NACE and he echoed the sentiment that the Auto Glass Expo @ NACE was “a great idea.”

Not only was Burco Inc. exhibiting at the NACE show, but it was also the largest exhibition space that the company has ever taken, said Jim Mervenne.

Chad Kreutz, national director for Glass.Net, Walla Walla, Wash., said he was very satisfied with the number of people who were stopping by his company’s booth.

Both Jeff Cothery of Reid Manufacturing and Brent Deines, president of Delta Kits, were enthusiastic about the event and reported having a good show.

While AGX has given the AGRR industry a highly visible profile at NACE, its success is another indication that the two industry segments seem to share a growing number of concerns and there is more crossover. Gary Hart, president and CEO of eDirectGlass, reported that he’d talked with a number of collision people and “They think this is great because they’re getting more into glass.”

Bob Nilsson, A.N. Designs, said it most emphatically, “This is the show to be in. They told us there were 1,000 glass people pre-registered for the show. What was the last time you saw an attendance figure like that?”

Some of the AGRR industry exhibitors who were on the trade show floor but not part of the Auto Glass Expo @ NACE section, such as Kerry Wanstrath, of Glass Technology, Durango, Colo., said that next year they would be part of the AGRR group due to its high visibility.

In addition to AGX, NACE was also the site of the second annual Auto Glass Technician Olympics and the first annual Walt Gorman Windshield Repair Olympics.

Plans are already underway for an expanded Auto Glass Expo @ NACE next year. The event will be held October 31-November 3 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Information on AGX is available at http://autoglassatnace.com. 

NACE Education
The AGRR industry put on a substantive educational program during NACE. The auto glass educational sessions, sponsored by AGRR Magazine, which were part of the NACE program, included the following:
• A presentation on limiting liability in auto glass installations, presented by AGRSS, with Cindy Ketcherside, JC’s Glass, Joel Timmons, Glass America, and Carl Tompkins, SIKA Corp.
• A discussion of how to correct corrosion problems in auto glass installations by Dale Malcolm, Dow Automotive/Essex ARG.
• An overview of the new cars and the challenges they bring in auto glass installations with Glen Moses, Safelite Autoglass Corp.
• A discussion of the windshield repair industry with Paul Syfko, president of the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA).
• A hands-on presentation explaining in detail the steps in an auto glass installation with Bob Beranek, Auto Glass University.
Auto glass on-floor educational demos held during NACE included:
• Windshield removal and replacement, sponsored by EFTEC Aftermarket, with Gilbert Gutierrez, Equalizer Industries, and Jay Beranek, Auto Glass Consultants.
• What you need to know about airbags, sponsored by Equalizer Industries, with Mitch Becker, ABRA.
• Windshield removal and replacement, sponsored by Dow Automotive/Essex ARG, with Dale Malcolm.
• The evolution of tools in the AGRR industry, sponsored by AN Design and Gold Glass Group, with Mark Daniels, AN Design.
• A discussion of the technology terms used in the AGRR industry with Gary Hart, eDirectGlass.
• Windshield repair procedures, sponsored by Equalizer Industries, with Donovan Trana, AutoglasSolutions.
• Proper windshield replacement, sponsored by PPG Industries, with Robert Rossey, PPG, and Bob Beranek.

AGRR
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