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#4607738 - 12/18/17 10:07 PM Windshield Biz Changing???
doitmyself Offline


Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 6226
Loc: MI
About 5 years ago I had my windshield replaced. I did the usual OCD stuff and chose a local independent shop and managed to get an "OEM" windshield (original mfg, but no brand logo).

This time around I noticed huge changes. The mom and pop shops have been taken over by state or national chains. The number of brick and mortar shops is down and there seems to be more mobile installers with internet/national ties.

The quoted prices from all companies were within $15 of each other. Safelight started out $40 more, but then emailed me aggressively, first $30 off, then $40 off.

Sadly, it seems that Chinese glass is getting much more prevalent. Even the big boys like Pilkington seem to out source some of their product. I admit to relaxing my OCD thing this time. I went with a small Michigan based chain and ended up with a "Fuyao Group Automobile Glass Co" windshield (China owned). They just opened a huge mfg. plant in Ohio: https://www.fuyaousa.com/about/ I'm not sure that mine is U.S. made or China made...trying to evaluate the DOT code soon.

Frustrating to see this occurring, but I probably shouldn't be surprised.

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#4607742 - 12/18/17 10:11 PM Re: Windshield Biz Changing??? [Re: doitmyself]
Colt45ws Offline


Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 9648
Loc: Central Washington
I had a windshield put in the 2002 about a year and a half ago by a mom+pop shop locally. They installed a Fuyao glass and its fine IMO.
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2002 Ford Crown Vic PI 207k, Ex-Kootenai County, ID Unit #42
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#4607763 - 12/18/17 11:03 PM Re: Windshield Biz Changing??? [Re: doitmyself]
KneeGrinder Offline


Registered: 11/28/17
Posts: 221
Loc: North of you Idaho
Its been going in this direction for a long long time. When I had My body shop, I gave up doing my own glass because by the time I bought a windshield, the urethane, my labor, the mobil allstar glass co. would do it complete for $10 or $20 more than the cost of the windshield and the urethane! It made no sense to even touch glass anymore! Glass is a pain in the a** anyways, I didn't miss it!
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#4607841 - 12/19/17 03:59 AM Re: Windshield Biz Changing??? [Re: KneeGrinder]
Silverado12 Offline


Registered: 02/26/13
Posts: 3115
Loc: Central Virginia
Originally Posted By: KneeGrinder
Its been going in this direction for a long long time. When I had My body shop, I gave up doing my own glass because by the time I bought a windshield, the urethane, my labor, the mobil allstar glass co. would do it complete for $10 or $20 more than the cost of the windshield and the urethane! It made no sense to even touch glass anymore! Glass is a pain in the a** anyways, I didn't miss it!


That and if you crack a new windshield there goes your profit. I actually did that back in the day when a piece of stainless trim caught the edge of the glass and nicked it. Makes you sick.
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#4607858 - 12/19/17 05:26 AM Re: Windshield Biz Changing??? [Re: doitmyself]
Ethan1 Offline


Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 1632
Loc: 'murica
Some of the independent shops are just as bad as Safelite. I hate to say it, but... at least if you have problems a couple years later, you know Safelite will still be in business frown

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#4607902 - 12/19/17 06:45 AM Re: Windshield Biz Changing??? [Re: Ethan1]
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5257
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
The local place we all went to on Rt.46 was commonly 15% to 40% cheaper than others. It was called, "4 Star Glass".

It is now part of a regional group and has another name.

At least it's still there and has a "non-chain feel".

There'll ALWAYS be an economy to having the place so close so I'm not grousing.

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#4607913 - 12/19/17 06:58 AM Re: Windshield Biz Changing??? [Re: doitmyself]
AZjeff Offline


Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 2650
Loc: PV Az
Stand 30 feet off to the side of your car even with the front tire and look through the glass at an angle. Some of this cheap glass has horrible waves in it. My last used truck had a cheap windshield already and you could see the distortion while driving. Junk.
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#4607956 - 12/19/17 08:17 AM Re: Windshield Biz Changing??? [Re: KneeGrinder]
doitmyself Offline


Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 6226
Loc: MI
Originally Posted By: KneeGrinder
Its been going in this direction for a long long time. When I had My body shop, I gave up doing my own glass because by the time I bought a windshield, the urethane, my labor, the mobil allstar glass co. would do it complete for $10 or $20 more than the cost of the windshield and the urethane! It made no sense to even touch glass anymore! Glass is a pain in the a** anyways, I didn't miss it!


I lurked on what's left of a few professional auto glass replacement forums and the mood does not seem very upbeat. They are being challenged by the new technologies such as recalibrating sensors/cameras after glass replacement. They cite that some vehicles might have over 20 different windshields available as OE. The supply situation is changing. Safelight got out of the glass mfg. side and of course China production is growing. The trend I interpret is that Chinese glass is catching up in quality and is accepted as o.k.. The insurance industry seems to be controlling what they can charge and there have been accusations of TPA's (Third Party Adjusters) attempting to steer/force where consumers get the work done. Like many businesses, you can't just buy a van and equipment and get rich quick.

For people with OCD, my opinion is that it is more difficult today to identify and request a better glass brand. And, it continues to be difficult to identify the shop that has good people that do the actual install. I know that Safelight gets quite a bit of flack, but the shop I visited for a quote seemed to be well run (I went with another shop due to my biases).


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#4607957 - 12/19/17 08:18 AM Re: Windshield Biz Changing??? [Re: doitmyself]
HoosierJeeper Offline


Registered: 11/23/16
Posts: 1276
Loc: WI
x2, that's how the Safelite one was that I had in my 05 Durango. My 09 Grand Cherokee needed one too back in 2015 and some local place did it and used Pilkington.
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#4607963 - 12/19/17 08:31 AM Re: Windshield Biz Changing??? [Re: doitmyself]
kschachn Offline


Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 9418
Loc: Upper Midwest
I had the third windshield installed in my Sienna and the place used Fuyao glass. The optical quality is much better than the second windshield, whatever that one was. Even down in the corners there is little to now distortion.

When I saw it was Fuyao glass I looked up the company and found this article. Apparently they have the largest glass factory in the world in Ohio:

Fuyao Glass
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#4607984 - 12/19/17 08:49 AM Re: Windshield Biz Changing??? [Re: doitmyself]
Claud Offline


Registered: 02/11/14
Posts: 593
Loc: Margate England
Remember when we went to a locally owned store for fruit and vegetables, another to buy meat, and yet another for bread and cakes?. Now we go to big, often national, chain supermarkets.
A lot of purchases are from faceless online businesses rather than a bricks and mortar store nowadays.
We took our cars to the local mom % pop repair shop for any servicing or repairs. Now more and more we use faceless chains for tires, exhausts, oil and filter changes, glass (often they come to you), it's the modern way.
Whether it's a good or bad thing can be debated from many points of view, but I think the old ways are dying out.

Claud.

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#4608027 - 12/19/17 09:34 AM Re: Windshield Biz Changing??? [Re: AZjeff]
Joenpb Offline


Registered: 07/04/11
Posts: 336
Loc: San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: AZjeff
Stand 30 feet off to the side of your car even with the front tire and look through the glass at an angle. Some of this cheap glass has horrible waves in it. My last used truck had a cheap windshield already and you could see the distortion while driving. Junk.


Agreed. I changed the windshield on an Altina a few years back and noticed it was like looking through a fish bowl at an angle while I was driving. Went back right away and rescheduled another install, when I pi ked the car up it was worse. To their credit Allstars glass looked through their inventory and found some old stock that looked oem. The whole process was quite a hassle though.

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#4608042 - 12/19/17 09:47 AM Re: Windshield Biz Changing??? [Re: Ethan1]
RichardS Offline


Registered: 01/14/17
Posts: 623
Loc: Melbourne, Florida
Originally Posted By: Ethan1
Some of the independent shops are just as bad as Safelite. I hate to say it, but... at least if you have problems a couple years later, you know Safelite will still be in business frown



That's the basic approach I've taken, recently. Lots of small, pop up shops to do the things I can't. Every single one of them them offers a warranty on parts and/or labor, but what happens in 5 years when the economy ranks again and I have a warranty claim?

As much as I hate it, sometimes it's just less stressful to go with a chain.
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#4608083 - 12/19/17 10:25 AM Re: Windshield Biz Changing??? [Re: doitmyself]
ctrcbob Offline


Registered: 01/01/06
Posts: 614
Loc: Mount Dora FL, Penfield NY, R...
A few years ago, I cracked the windshield of my 2009 Genesis. Insisted I wanted an OEM replacement. My Hyundai dealer (who like most dealers) does not do windshield replacement.

Dealer ordered the OEM replacement, and it arrived in a Hyundai carton. (All Hyundai OEM parts come in a Hyundai carton). Dealer then got his local glass shop to change it. I paid a little more, the difference between what insurance pays and what it ended up costing, but I was very happy with the whole thing.

I believe in OEM.
_________________________
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Mount Dora FL,
Penfield NY
Roswell NM

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#4608142 - 12/19/17 11:09 AM Re: Windshield Biz Changing??? [Re: ctrcbob]
bdcardinal Online   content


Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 11008
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA
Originally Posted By: ctrcbob
A few years ago, I cracked the windshield of my 2009 Genesis. Insisted I wanted an OEM replacement. My Hyundai dealer (who like most dealers) does not do windshield replacement.

Dealer ordered the OEM replacement, and it arrived in a Hyundai carton. (All Hyundai OEM parts come in a Hyundai carton). Dealer then got his local glass shop to change it. I paid a little more, the difference between what insurance pays and what it ended up costing, but I was very happy with the whole thing.

I believe in OEM.


That is what we do for Ford and Mazda glass. Funny part is I get a ton of calls from glass shops around town asking for glass part numbers, then they never order them. I know what they do, they bill out a OEM part number but install aftermarket. So our new policy is to purposely give them the wrong number in a certain pattern, or just tell them the owner does not allow us to give out part numbers, which is more accurate.

Glass is a giant pain. When we order from Ford it gets drop shipped by Carlite, who makes Ford's glass. Sometimes it takes a week or more to show up and when it does it is usually just the glass, no packaging or protection. They usually get left leaning against the building. If we are lucky and they come in a box they are usually dropped off the back of the truck so they sound like a giant Lego box.
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