Apogee exits auto glass market; will PPG follow?
Executives from Apogee Enterprises Inc. in Minneapolis announced in February that the company exited the auto replacement windshield market.
The company’s auto replacement glass and services segment consists of Viracon/Curvlite, a U.S. fabricator of aftermarket foreign and domestic windshields based in Owatonna, Minn.
“At this time, equipment to produce the automotive glass has been removed from the facility. We are in the process of moving in new equipment to service the architectural glass market scheduled to be in place in May,” said Christine Shaffer, Viracon’s marketing manager. “The change over will provide Viracon a 15 percent capacity increase in servicing the architectural glass market.”
Viracon will continue to service the RV and bus market, Shaffer says.
This news comes as yet another major player in the auto glass industry is looking into the potential sale of its automotive OEM and replacement glass and services segments.
PPG Director of Corporate Communications Jack Maurer confirmed to AutoGlass magazine that the company is “looking at all alternatives for our automotive OEM and replacement glass services business. Those could include acquisitions, restructuring, strategic alliances and divestiture. We’ve engaged outside advisers to help us consider our alternatives, and that includes the potential sale of our automotive OEM and automotive replacement glass and services operating segments.”
In the 2006 annual report posted on the PPG corporate Web site, company officials reported, “The 2006 earnings of our automotive OEM glass operating segment declined year over year by $9 million, following a decline of $30 million in 2005.”
Read more in the March/April issue of AutoGlass magazine.
By Jenni Chase, editor, AutoGlass magazine