Price increases on tinted, coated products go into effect

By Jenni Chase and Sahely Mukerji, Glass Magazine
June 21, 2010
COMMERCIAL, RETAIL, FABRICATION : BUSINESS

Price increases on tinted and coated float glass products go into effect this month as primary float manufacturers look to pass on increased operational costs. Pilkington North America, Toledo; PPG Industries, Pittsburgh; and Guardian Industries Corp., Auburn Hills, Mich.; recently announced price hikes, citing increased material, transportation and labor costs as reasons behind the increase.

In a May 21 letter to customers obtained by Glass Magazine, Scott Follett, director, marketing and new product development, Performance Glazings, PPG, announced the following increase in pricing, effective June 7:

  • 7 percent increase on all Vistacool and Solarcool coated glasses
  • 11 percent increase on Atlantica, Azuria, Caribia, Graylite, Graylite II, Optigray, Pacifica, Solarblue, Solarbronze, Solargray and Solexia glasses.

Follett pointed to increased raw material and operational costs as reasons behind the increase. "We have continued to aggressively pursue cost-reduction initiatives focused on counteracting inflationary market conditions. Despite these efforts ... PPG has experienced significant increases in the cost of raw materials associated with the production of our glass substrate products, as well as labor, healthcare and transportation-related costs. As a result, we find it necessary to increase pricing on our primary glass products," he said in the letter.

In a May 19 letter to customers, Stephen Weidner, vice president, marketing and sales, Pilkington North America, announced that the company would raise prices on the following tinted float products, effective June 15:

  • Uncoated Grey, Bronze, Blue-Green and Green float products up 8 percent
  • Uncoated Arctic Blue and EverGreen float products up 4 percent.

"Although we have been very diligent in improving our efficiencies and reducing excess overheads, Pilkington has been experiencing increases in raw material and transport costs," Weidner said in the letter. "Thus, we need to increase pricing to justify continued capital investments in order to meet the future needs of the market."

Similarly, Guardian Industries implemented a price increase. In a letter to customers obtained by Glass Magazine, Martin Powell, vice president, sales and marketing, Guardian, announced the following price increase, effective June 14:

  • 11 percent increase for CrystalGray, PrivaGuard (Dark Gray), SMG III (Dark Green), Green, Bronze and Gray

"Guardian has worked diligently to increase the efficiency of our manufacturing and administrative processes in an effort to offset the increased costs," Powell said in the letter. "We have made great strides in becoming a more efficient supplier, but find increases in our costs are outpacing our ability to improve our process efficiencies."

The trickle-down effect has begun, with Vitro America, Memphis; Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope, Santa Monica, Calif; and Wholesale Glass Distributors, Memphis, raising prices in response to the primaries' move, according to letters to customers obtained by Glass Magazine.

“The price increase is a reflection of our industry, which is very depressed right now," said Ralph “Chet” Day, president, Wholesale Glass Distributors, in an interview. "It’s a necessary evil, from the float level to our level. It’s basic economy; it’s supply and demand and everybody wants a share of the pie. We are quoting jobs that are much cheaper than a year ago. The price increase will make things better for all us fabricators. And our customers understand.”