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.

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