The shortage of automotive glass requires creativity to

2021-11-13 06:47:39 By : Mr. Shaofeng Zhang

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. economy continues to suffer. Unemployment benefits are provided for those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, but now restaurants cannot find enough employees to operate for customers. The prices of many household necessities have risen. And now auto glass shops are struggling with a shortage of glass. The customer now wants to replace the windshield and side lights. But where is the replacement glass?

Don's Mobile Glass ordered glass before the shortage. Courtesy of Jacques Navant

"I hope it will disappear," Rick Valentine, owner of Intermountain Auto Glass in Boise, Idaho, said of the glass shortage. For Valentine's Day companies, buying glass is "trying luck." He said his employees must be creative and ship glass from other parts of the United States when necessary.

The problem is to get the glass from the manufacturer and ship it out of the shipping port. "It's just not enough parts," he said. He has about 100 customers, and they have been waiting for the glass for three or four months. Intermountain employees check with suppliers every day, and when they find out what the customer needs, they ship it to Boise.

Despite the challenges, Valentine stated that his store is not as affected by the shortage of glass as other auto stores, because his store provides ADAS services and high-end products, and manufacturers give priority to shipping glass to new cars for replacement. "Our suppliers tend to keep these windshields moving," Valentine said.

"I think this situation will continue for at least six months," Valentine said of the glass shortage. The ship was waiting in the port of Los Angeles, and there were not enough workers to unload the cargo. Valentin said there are 20 times more containers waiting to be unloaded than usual.

Jacques Navant, technical director of Don's Mobile Glass in Modesto, California, said his company is lucky because it can buy glass directly from the manufacturer. He said: "People on the West Coast will get glasses earlier than people in other parts of the country."

However, he knew that dozens of Tesla cars were waiting for used cars that needed new windshields. Commuters trade their Teslas, and their roofs and windshields are often damaged due to the wear and tear of mileage. "The windshield and roof are clearly the main safety features [needs repair]," Navant said.

Don's Mobile purchased the car from a local car rental point just to obtain the glass and install it in the customer's vehicle. "This is an opportunity for glass shops and a headache," Navant said of the shortage of glass. Business is good for stores that are ready for out-of-stocks, but not for stores that are not ready.

Navant said that Don's Mobile has sufficient inventory. In early 2020, an employee found a shortage of tools and shower doors, so the company stocked them. They also stockpiled automotive glass, and now glass companies across the United States are calling to request inventory.

A perfect storm of various factors has caused a shortage of glass: labor issues, the COVID-19 pandemic. "I don't think we can point out one thing [as a cause]," Navant said. He believes that before manufacturers catch up, supply will become increasingly tight in the next one and a half years. "I think we will have an interesting year and a half in the future."

Navant said: "Just try to think forward and buy as much glass as it is available." He added that everyone in the automotive glass industry should keep a clear head, maintain a positive attitude, and engage with each other," Until the world returns to normal".

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