Volume 10, Issue 3 - May/June 2008

Field of Vision
from the editor

What? Me Worry?
by Penny Stacey

If you’ve been a loyal AGRR reader for many years, the headline above may sound familiar. But, I admit it—even I’d forgotten it.

But this morning, I was looking through our March/April 2002 issue for a photo of Diamond Glass’s headquarters in Kingston, Pa., and I stumbled onto a feature I’d nearly forgotten. It was called “What? Me Worry?” and it was about the recession that followed 9/11 and how it affected auto glass shops (see March/April 2002 AGRR, page 30).

It was published six years ago—and applied so much to today’s market that I couldn’t help but pause.

The feature begins, “Are we or aren’t we? That’s the question business leaders, politicians, economists and the media had been grappling with for about a year.”

Sound familiar? This seems to be the same question we read in the newspaper everyday—though it seems that more often now, the answer is “yes.”

While Diamond president Bill Cogswell was unable to comment on whether market factors had anything to do with the company’s petition for reorganization under Chapter 11, filed April 1 (see related story on page 14), he did comment that on April 1, the company’s debt was due—and it couldn’t be paid.

This theme seems all too common in today’s troubling market. But, there is good news, in my opinion. History repeats itself—as is so evidenced by the “What? Me Worry?” article. We made it out of that recession, and it seems most economic experts agree, the market will rebound—they may not know when, but they know it will.

“Every economy goes through cycles,” commented Jeff Deitrich, a senior analyst for the Institute for Trend Research, during the recent industry conference in Tucson (see related story in March/April AGRR, page 38).But, he warned, if you’re prepared for the economical highs and lows, it will even out.

As we all wait the recession out, what can you do to stay ahead of the curve? Hopefully, this issue will give you some ideas. For example, on page 18, contributing writer Les Shaver takes an updated look at the state of the plastic and laminated sidelites industry—and where it is headed. In the July/August issue, he’ll continue the series with a look at how installers and repair technicians can deal with these new types of glass.

On page 46, be sure to take a glance at our preview of the Independent Glass Association’s Independents’ Days Conference and Spring Auto Glass Show™, to be held May 1-3 in Las Vegas. This conference is sure to offer some ideas for how to stay ahead of the competition and survive in today’s troubling market.

I hope to see you in Las Vegas.

P.S. As always, if you have tips for staying ahead in the market, please e-mail me at pstacey@glass.com so we might feature these in a future issue. 

Penny Stacey is the editor of AGRR magazine/glassBYTEs.comTM

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