Fuyao to Launch First U.S. Automotive Glass
FUYAO GLASS INDUSTRY GROUP plans to purchase
the former General Motors Assembly in Moraine, Ohio, to build its first
North American automotive glass manufacturing facility.
The company will invest $200 million in the plant and plans to bring 800
jobs to the area over the next five years.
“I think this is a great opportunity for Fuyao to increase its presence
in America,” says Jamie Browning, contributing editor for AGRRTM magazine.
Browning spent a year with Fuyao in China as a senior technical advisor
from 2011 to 2012.
“I was able to see firsthand their level of commitment to quality during
my time with Fuyao in Beijing. This is a positive step for new jobs in
America by Chinese companies,” he adds.
The company plans to begin glass manufacturing by the end of 2015. The
project still needs to undergo the due diligence process on the building
and gain approval of federal, state and local incentives.
Fuyao is the largest automotive glass supplier in China with 65 percent
of the market and 18 percent of the global automotive glass market. The
company currently has a presence in the U.S., Germany, Russia, Japan,
South Korea, Australia, Brazil, and many other countries in the world.
Fuyao, headquartered in Fuzhou, China, employs more than 18,000 workers
globally and plans to use its new Moraine facility to supply its growing
U.S. customer base, including General Motors, Chrysler, Hyundai, Honda
And globally, the company provides batch OEM supplies for Audi, Bentley,
Volkswagen, GM, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, PSA, Volvo, Hyundai and Chrysler.
Officials from Fuyao North America declined to comment.
Glass Masters “Rebrands” as Auto Glass Now
Despite rumors and online conjecture that Safelite has acquired Glass
Masters and Glass Emporium, Safelite’s public relations manager Melina
Metzger says it is not true. “Safelite, nor our parent company Belron,
owns or has a minority stake in Glass Emporium, Auto Glass Now, Glass
Masters or any of their brand names/affiliates, etc,” Metzger says.
The 60 Glass Masters locations throughout the country have been “rebranded”
under the Auto Glass Now moniker and remain “under the same ownership,”
according to a manager at the company’s national call center who prefers
not be indentified for fear of reprisal.
Auto Glass Now was a related company to Glass Masters, according to the
company call center manager. She says the Glass Masters’ locations “adopted”
the name of the existing company.
Efforts by AGRRTM magazine editors to dig into the company’s ownership
led to a report that lists Gerald Alexander as the president of Auto Glass
Now in 2011.
Calls to the company’s corporate headquarters in Oakland, Calif., for
Glass Masters, which also did business as Glass Pro and Glass Emporium,
were unsuccessful. Editors were referred to the national call center by
the person answering the phone there.
Several Ford F-150 Owners Report Shattering Backlites
More than 20 F-150 Ford owners of the 2010 model year have
complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
that an alleged glitch in their rear defrosters has caused their backlites
to shatter or spiderweb in cracks.
“On a 40-degree morning, I turned the rear defroster on to clear the windows
and mirrors. as I was driving my son to daycare, I heard a large pop and
then smelled burning rubber. I looked and saw the right rear glass shattered
and it was shortened out by the heating element,” reported one owner to
NHSTA on December 15, 2013.
Another owner who wrote to NHTSA on December 9, 2013, reported that “The
truck was outside in 11-degrees. I started the vehicle and turned on the
rear defrost. Within two to three minutes, the left panel (on the driver’s
side) of the three-piece sliding rear window shattered while I was stopped
at a traffic light.”
In another reported instance, the owner says the back light shattered
near where his or her son was seated in the truck.
“The external temperature was -22 degrees and I had the rear window defroster
and heating unit in the diver’s seat turned on. The front defroster was
set to the highest temperature. While driving at 25 mph, my son and I
noticed a burning smell. He was seated in a booster in the rear seat,
passenger side. He advised me that he could hear something behind him
making noise. I looked back and observed smoke coming from behind the
rear passenger headrest where my son was seated. I looked forward to find
a spot to pull over and then heard a loud bang. Looking back, I saw the
rear window was shattered on the passenger side. It is a sliding rear
window with three sections. Only the passenger section directly behind
my son was shattered. The glass remained in place, but shattered. I quickly
pulled over, shut off the truck and removed my son. From the outside,
I can see the plastic lower corner melted where the passenger glass meets
the center glass section. The rubber seal/moulding was smoking and had
melted and dripped down the back of the truck cab between the cab and
the truck bed/box. Inside there is a strong odor of burnt rubber or plastic,”
the owner alleges.
Several of the owners involved in these alleged incidents reported the
situations to dealers and Ford; however, no remedy or “fix” was offered,
they told NHTSA.
“The dealer is telling me that the glass is not covered under the extended
warranty,” writes one owner in a complaint.
Another owner writes, “The truck is still at the shop and they cannot
identify the issue. I fear that if only the glass is replaced that this
issue will reoccur.”
Several of the owners shared photos of their damaged rear backlites with
NHTSA does not have an open investigation of this reported issue and Ford
officials had not responded to a request for comment.
Sponsorships and Contestant Registration Open for Auto
Auto Glass Week™ (AGW) 2014 will be held in Baltimore on October 7-9,
2014. All of the major automotive glass groups are coming together to
bring you one momentous event at the Baltimore Convention Center and Renaissance
Baltimore Harborplace Hotel.
The 2014 event will bring together the Auto Glass Safety Council, Independent
Glass Association, National Glass Association, National Windshield Repair
Association and AGRR™ magazine in one convenient location.
The AGW Exhibition/Extravaganza will once again be bustling with excitement
with our full line-up of sponsors, as well as AGRR™ magazine’s Auto Glass
Technician Olympics (AGTO) and Windshield Repair Olympics (WRO) in Honor
of Walt Gorman.
Contestant registration includes admission to all seminars, workshops,
social events, one ticket to the Gala Awards Reception and Ceremony, and
access to the Exhibition/Extravaganza where the competitions will be held.
The annual event will bring together all aspects of the automotive glass
industry. Tools, mouldings, adhesive systems, automotive glass and more
will be on display, discussed in seminars and incorporated within demonstrations
and the two high-energy competitions.
The competitions will be held October 7-9 as part of Auto Glass Week.
Champions will be announced Thursday evening, October 9, at the Gala Awards
Reception and Ceremony, which will be held from 5-7 p.m. at the Renaissance
Baltimore Harborplace Hotel. The registration deadline for contestants
is August 15, 2014. There is no on-site registration to compete.
In the AGTO, first place will receive $10,000, a gold medal and trophy,
as well as bragging rights as the “World’s Best Auto Glass Technician.”
Second will take home $1,000 and a silver medal and third will receive
$500 and a bronze medal.
First-place winner for the WRO will receive the grand prize of $10,000,
a gold medal and trophy, as well as bragging rights as the “World’s Best
Windshield Repair Technician.” Second place will receive $1,000 as well
as a silver medal and the third-place winner will get $500 and a bronze
If you are interested in sponsoring and holding a booth space at the 2014
AGW, contact Holly Biller at 540/602-3251, or by email at email@example.com.
For more information on how to register, compete, or become an AGW Sponsor,
Safelite Group to Acquire Assets of Guardian Auto Glass
Safelite Group has acquired substantially all of the vehicle glass repair
and replacement assets of Guardian Auto Glass LLC, a joint venture of
Guardian Industries Corp. and LRST LLC.
Additionally, Safelite Group also acquired the vehicle glass insurance
claims management assets of Guardian Glass Network, not including its
RV glass claims management operations. The acquisition is part of an international
deal of the Belron Group, which includes the purchase of the vehicle glass
business of Guardian in Spain.
Guardian Auto Glass currently includes approximately 253 employees in
60 retail locations throughout the U.S. Guardian Auto Glass provides vehicle
glass repair and replacement services in 12 states with a heavy emphasis
in Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and Florida. Guardian Auto Glass’ management
team is assisting in the transition.
Guardian Glass Network operates its vehicle glass claims administration
operation in Worthington, Ohio, and has 21 employees, 13 of whom will
join Safelite Solutions. The remaining Guardian Glass Network employees
will continue to operate the RV glass claims program.
“Safelite is committed to its retail auto glass and insurance claims businesses
as demonstrated by its dynamic growth in recent years,” says Mike Morrison,
president of Guardian Automotive. “Our people are joining another established
brand with a history of growth and a long term focus on the retail automotive
Carlex Notifies Customers of Non-Safety Issue
Carlex has alerted its customers about a non-safety related quality issue
on some Carlite DW001529 GTY/GBY product, which might show an increased
rate of cracking during installation.
“The issue is limited to a small percentage of windshields produced by
DOT 287 with date codes 2AB, 2AC and 3E,” explains Don Michelotti, Carlex
executive vice president.
“These windshields can continue to be installed in the field as there
is no safety issue with the product. Although the rate of cracking is
very low, it exceeds Carlex’s internal quality standards.
Michelotti stresses that the affected product is safe to install, saying
it “was validated with safety testing at the time of manufacture per industry
standards and retested by Carlex to confirm that all products meet or
exceed all FMVSS and ANSI safety requirements.”
Once a root-cause analysis has been completed and corrective action has
been taken by the sub-supplier, Carlex will resume manufacturing.
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