G4: Industry insiders talk glass

What is your holiday wish for the glass industry in 2009?
December 1, 2008
AUTO : BUSINESS

Commercial

Michael Downs, president, Downs Glass, Sarasota, Fla.
“My first wish for the commercial glass industry is that it will move further into solar energy with regard to surface and transparent energy. The amount of solar energy through glass with the correct electrode plating is insurmountable.

My second wish is that the impact-resistant glass industry continues to grow with the help of the architectural community testing different colors, designs and coatings married within one system. The higher-end commercial market lends a big ear to these products.

My third wish is that we as Americans go back to buying and using American made products.”

Retail

David Drexler, vice president, Drexler Shower Door Co., Atlanta
“My holiday wish for the glass industry is that there will be continued growth in the use of glass in residential, commercial, art, auto and green applications. I am also hopeful that U.S. companies will continue to expand their role as innovative leaders. With international pressure on the industry like never before, we cannot rest on our laurels. To remain competitive, we must create new and exciting applications, and show the world how glass will be used in the next century and beyond. Ultimately, our long-term success will come from innovation, not just production.”

Auto

Jay Sampson, president and CEO, Safety Glass Co., San Antonio
“My wish for the U.S. auto glass industry in 2009 is the same as my wish for every individual in the country in 2009: renewed confidence and economic prosperity.

For most, 2008 was a rollercoaster ride driven primarily by exorbitant fuel costs and the trickle-down effect they created, which was felt just about everywhere by pretty much everybody. Of course, suppliers passed the added costs on to us retailers, and we in turn had to pass what we could on to the already weary consumer. It’s been a bumpy ride. But as fuel costs seem to be heading south (for now), we have started to see a modest turn in consumer confidence. Maybe our suppliers will give back some of the increases that they attributed to rising fuel costs…you think?

Happy Holidays to all and a prosperous New Year!
 

Fabrication

Ron McCann, director of sales, Viracon, Owatonna, Minn.
“Clearly, we would all like to see the uncertainty of  market conditions stabilize. My personal wish is for the glass industry to work together and take more initiative to influence the exorbitant supply of uncoated insulating glass that continues to enter the marketplace and shift supply to solar-control glass products. For a small initial investment, solar-control glass offers significant environmental benefits.“