Tinting, Protecting, and … Replacing?

Dwight Lopez Sr. opened Dwight’s Auto Glass in Southern Arizona in 1986. Today, his son Dwight Lopez Jr. runs the same company, which has expanded to four locations in the 36 years since it opened.

Dwight’s Auto Glass has more than 21 team members.

“It’s good to do both so that we keep the business in-house,” says Dwight Lopez Jr., of his company, which offers film and auto glass repair and replacement services. “That’s what started us. My dad was doing window tinting when he started, and people came in with broken windows. He taught himself [the trade].”

Dwight Lopez Jr. oversees stores in Green Valley, Tucson, and Marana, Ariz., managing a team of eight film installers, eight auto glass technicians and several customer service representatives (CSR). The company’s film mix is an estimated 80% tint and 20% paint protection film (PPF). For Gilbert Quesada though, the owner of All Star Glass in Bosque Farms, N.M., it’s a 50-50 split.

“I’ll tint a couple windows, and down the road, you get a rock chip or need glass replacement,” says Quesada, who estimates that more than half of his jobs feed off each other. “There’s a lot of returning customers here for tint and glass replacement.”

Customers mix and match at All Star Glass.

The multi-skilled installer says repeat glass customers often become repeat window film clients. “A customer will schedule a windshield replacement, and see all of my film and XPEL advertising,” Quesada adds. “It turns into a replacement and film job at that point.”

Quesada’s company has been in business for three years and surpassed $200,000 in sales in 2021. His crew includes his mother, father, and sister. “Sometimes we’re stretched thin trying to do replacement and tint, but it has boosted our business,” Quesada says. “It’s not just one type of income; I’m replacing door glass, replacing a windshield, and then tinting a full [vehicle].”

Auto glass work accounts for 75% of business at Earl’s AutoGlass in Cozad, Neb., with tint comprising the remaining 25%.

“There are not many costs involved with tint,” says Tyler Earl, installer at Earl’s AutoGlass. “You can make a profit quickly by tinting windows, but if you were only doing window tint, you’d have to be pretty busy.”

Tyler is considering competing in the Automotive Tint-Off™ at the 2022 International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ (WFCT), Sept. 14-16 in San Antonio. He works alongside his parents John and Beth and says the company’s offerings keep him on his toes. “You’re working on different vehicles every day,” Tyler says. “I’ll help my dad put a piece of glass in, tint windows, or detail a vehicle. What I’m doing varies.”

Dave Cotter has offered auto glass and tint from the jump.

The tinting combination at Dave’s Glass & Tint in Pocatello, Idaho, is 50% automotive and 50% flat glass (commercial/residential). Commercial film jobs often include substantial tickets, but auto glass projects bring in 75% of the company’s sales. The business reached an estimated $900,000 in sales in 2021 and is projected for $1.2 million in 2022.

Dave Cotter founded the company—which celebrates its 30th anniversary in August—in 1992 and has offered both auto glass and film services from day one. “We have a Toyota Camry where we did paint protection film (PPF), tint, and replaced its windshield.”

Dwight’s Auto Glass reached $3.8 million in sales in 2021 and is projected for $4.2 million in 2022, but Dwight Lopez Jr. isn’t satisfied. The owner plans to take his team to this year’s Auto Glass Week/International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ (WFCT) in San Antonio from September 14-16.

“New products and tools excite me—to see what’s out there,” he says.

Are you interested in learning more about the auto glass side of things? Grab a free subscription to AGRR magazine and the glassBYTEs.com e-newsletter.

XPEL Announces Multiple Acquisitions in North America

XPEL, Inc., a global provider of protective films and coatings, has announced the acquisition of five businesses in the United States and Canada from two sellers.

XPEL’s booth at the 2021 International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ (WFCT) featured an arctic-white Jaguar F-Type.

Shadow Shield: A distributor of paint protection film (PPF) and window film to customers in Canada with locations in Calgary, Alberta and Mississauga, Ontario.

Shadow Tint: An installer of paint protection and window film operating in Calgary, Alberta.

North 1 Technologies: A software company providing software and patterns for cutting paint protection film to customers around the world under the FilmWraps brand.

In the United States:

One Armor: An installer of paint protection and window film in Phoenix, Ariz.

Tint Net: A high-volume installer of automotive window film providing on-site service serving mostly mid-range new car dealerships in Arizona.

The combined purchase price of these acquisitions is approximately $20.1 million (USD) and is subject to customary adjustments, including working capital adjustments. These acquisitions closed on October 1, 2021.

On a full year basis, these combined acquisitions would add revenue of approximately $17.0 million. After integration, the company expects full-year post-synergy earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of approximately $4 million which the company expects to occur on a run-rate basis beginning in Q2 2022. The company also expects to incur approximately $0.3 million in acquisition and integration related expenses and is funding the transaction with existing cash on hand and available credit facilities.

“XPEL remains a willing buyer of businesses that expand upon our core strategies, from sellers that are looking for their next journey with a winning and dynamic team,” says Ryan Pape, president and CEO of XPEL. “These acquisitions are consistent with our go-to-market strategy and our desire to add top talent to the team.”

How the Industry is Surviving COVID: All this and More Will Take Place During WFCT Preview Day

When Chris Robinson, owner and founder of The Tint Guy, announced that he was fighting COVID-19 in the hospital, a collective shudder went through the window film industry followed by a collective sigh of relief a few days later.

“Thank you to everyone for the thoughts, prayers and gifts while I was sick. I am at home now resting with my family and working to get back on my feet. I have never experienced anything in my life that I felt I could not control and this was certainly an eye opening experience. I plan to take my health way more serious in the future starting today,” said Robinson in a post on November 10th.
COVID has affected the window film industry in more ways than can be counted, but when they affect a business owner like Robinson, it’s a double hit. Company owners must focus on their health and recovery while still caring for and tending their business, which supports them, their families and employees.
Robinson will share his own account of how he met these challenges during a session entitled “How the Window Film Industry is Surviving COVID,” as part of the International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off (WFCT) Preview Day, to be held online Thursday, January 14 from 1-5 p.m. The event is free to everyone in the window film industry. You can register and get more information here.

“In truth, we miss everyone,” said Deb Levy, publisher of Window Film magazine, the show’s sponsor. “We knew that by moving the show until June 7-9th, 2021 in Orlando, Fla. we would delay everyone being able to get together, so we decided to add a Preview Day online this winter.”
WFCT Preview Day includes seminars and sessions as well as trade show booths and a preview of the competitions to come. “WFCT Preview Day uses a neat platform,” says event director Tricia Lopez. “Attendees will get the feel of real seminars, will be able to ask questions, stop by interactive booths with live video chats and even network in the hallways. We hope everyone stops by.”

SCHEDULE FOR WFCT Preview Day Thursday, January 14
To register, click here.

1:00 p.m.  – 1:30 p.m.
WFCT Preview Day Welcome

Come for an overview of all that the WFCT Preview Day has to offer!

Moderator: Debra Levy, publisher WINDOW FILM magazine

1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Virtual Trade Show Floor Open

Chat with Sponsors in real time and see their latest products.

1:30 p.m.  – 2:30 p.m.  
How the Window Film Industry is Surviving COVID

Join a panel of window film shop owners who will share what they learned from COVID, and how those lessons will help lead them into the future. What were the most important items they learned from the crisis? How did they motivate themselves in difficult times? What worked and what didn’t? What changes will last beyond the pandemic and how are companies preparing differently for the next big crisis? And what happens when you, the owner of the business, gets sick?

Speakers: Chris Robinson, CEO of The Tint Guy Window Tinting; Jeremy Dobbins, CEO of ClimatePro; Jeff Franson, president and CEO of Window Film Depot
Moderator: Tara Taffera, editorial director of WINDOW FILM magazine

2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
What’s Coming at WFCT

Learn what the latest is and what to expect from the extensive line-up that will be shared at WFCT in June. Receive a quick overview of the current state of the industry and what you should be eyeing for the future as well as a preview of some of the brand new products and services you’ll be seeing.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Learn What it Takes to be a Winner in the Film Business

Join moderator, Holly Biller, as she interviews a panel of competitors some newer to the competition circuit and some long-standing veterans. Hear how they prepare for competition day, what tips and advice they would provide a newcomer and what it takes to become a champion.

Speakers: Les Helton of Performance Window Tinting, Sal Hurtado of Sal’s House of Tint and Chris West of CCA Motorsport
 Holly Biller, vice president of media services at Key Media and Research

New Dates Announced for the 2021 International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ – Moving to June 7-9, 2021

The International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ (WFCT) has been rescheduled from January. The new dates are June 7-9, 2021 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The city and venue have remained the same, only the dates have changed in an effort to give more time for the COVID-19 pandemic to mitigate.

WFCT is the only worldwide event that brings together all segments of the window, security, decorative and paint protection film industries under one roof for quality education, networking and exciting competitions. Vendors, manufacturers, company owners and technicians join together at this international event each year.

“We are pleased to announce these new dates and that two award-winning venues, The Rosen Centre Hotel and the Rosen Plaza Hotel remain our host hotels,” said director of exhibits/events, Tina Czar. “Our city partners worked hand-in-hand with show management to lock-in new dates to be proactive with the current global concerns surrounding the Coronavirus,” said Czar.

Attendees and exhibitor/sponsors will be able to secure rooms for the group rate of $179 USD for the Rosen Plaza Centre and the Rosen Plaza Hotel per night single/double, plus tax and fees. When booking your stay at either hotel, please use Group Code “AGWFCT.” Hotel registration will open December 1, 2020.

“We know the window film industry is a close knit group” said senior events director, Tricia Lopez, “that hasn’t been together for a while. That is why we are adding a virtual WFCT Preview Day on January 14th. Visitors will be able to attend a sampling of the seminars that will be at WFCT in June, visit sponsor booths and interact with other attendees.” There is no charge to attend the WFCT Preview Day. To register, visit wfctevent.com and click on the “Free Preview Day” button on the home page. “We want to bring everyone together in advance of the actual live event which will have some amazing new enhancements,” said Lopez.

For more information, or to register, please visit wfctevent.com. Contracts for exhibit space are now available. To reserve a booth display space, please contact Barry Atkins at batkins@glass.com or 540/602-3268.

Orlando and Host Hotels are Prepared and Ready for January!

Orlando venues are continuously updating their safety measures to be prepared and are ready to receive and eager to host attendees at the International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™. Theme parks, attractions, hotels and restaurants have implemented health and safety protocols across the city. Orlando provides wide-open spaces for entertainment and outdoor dining.

Visit with confidence while you attend the 2021 International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off (WFCT) on January 12-14, 2021. The three-day live event will take place at the Orange County Convention Center. WFCT is the only worldwide event that brings together all segments of the window, security, decorative and paint protection film industries under one roof for quality education, networking and exciting competitions. To register or for more information surrounding the event visit wfctevent.com or, if you are unable to attend in person, virtual attendance is available as well.

The host hotels, the Rosen Plaza Hotel and the Rosen Centre Hotel have the appropriate health protocols in place. To ensure everyone’s safety, prior to check-in guests must pass through a temperature-screening station. Once guests are safe and cleared, they will be asked to wear a colored band which indicates they have been checked and are safe to proceed throughout the property.

Click here to view a short video that provides more details on the new safety measures. Plan now to visit the city of Orlando in 2021 and benefit from the International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ education and networking opportunities by registering at wfctevent.com.