Guardian Forms Joint Venture to Serve Automotive Retail
Guardian Industries has formed a joint partnership with
a company called LRST LLC. The joint venture was formed “to manage and
grow its retail auto glass business,” according to a company statement.
LRST LLC was formed by four equal partners—former Pittsburgh Glass Works
(PGW) executives Jim Latch and Marc Talbert, along with former GlasPro/Elite
Auto Glass founders Jerry Ray and Neil Smith. The new joint venture will
be named Guardian Auto Glass LLC.
Guardian will have the majority ownership in the new Guardian Auto joint
“We see the new joint venture enhancing Guardian’s current operations
as well as key in developing a nationwide presence,” says Mike Morrison,
president of Guardian’s Automotive group. “Guardian is focusing on growing
all its businesses and we anticipate greater and stronger opportunities
in the automotive retail glass (ARG) segment as a result of this strategic
With the formation of Guardian Auto, the new retail joint venture will
be managed and operated by the LRST partners.
Latch was involved in the creation of LYNX Services and had responsibility
for PPG’s ARG distribution and services business. Talbert was president
of PPG Auto Glass and also had responsibility for PGW’s ARG distribution
Ray and Smith were two of the founders and owners of the 34-store GlasPro/Elite
retail business that was purchased by Belron in 2005. They previously
partnered in the formation of Western Windshields.
Safelite Fined $52,000 by Texas Dept. of Insurance
Safelite Glass Corp. recently was fined $52,000 by the Texas Department
of Insurance (TDI) for allegedly providing continuing education (CE) courses
in the state after its provider registration and course certifications
According to the final consent order, Safelite initially registered as
a continuing education provider (for insurance courses) in May 1993, and,
as the state of Texas began using Sircon for administration of the CE
program, Safelite registered as a Sircon provider from September 2007
through September 2009, with its registration expiring on September 3,
2009. It re-registered as a provider on December 16, 2009.
In addition, the TDI alleges that registration for four of the CE courses
Safelite teaches also had expired prior to September 2009. TDI claims
that each of the four courses was taught between October 2007 and February
2009, before the company re-registered the courses on March 31, 2009.
Though the company did re-register the courses, TDI alleges all four courses
were taught numerous times between October 2009 and November 2009, before
the Safelite re-registered as a CE provider in December 2009.
“The situation in Texas was caused by an unfortunate administrative error—one
we’re taking strong measures to prevent in the future by working with
a compliance liaison and submitting quarterly compliance reports to the
Texas Department of Insurance,” says Safelite spokesperson Melina Metzger.
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