Safelite Group (formerly Belron US) has the answer to what blew into your windshield. The company, an operating segment of global auto glass repair giant Belron, is one of the largest auto glass repair providers in the US. It fixes and replaces windshields through a network of facilities in all 50 states, operating under the names of Safelite AutoGlass, AutoGlass Specialists, and Elite Auto Glass, among others. In addition, Safelite Group makes its own replacement windshields, distributes materials and tools to other auto glass repair companies, and operates Safelite Solutions (which handles fleet and insurance claims processing). Founded in 1947, the company was acquired by D'Ieteren, Belron's parent, in 2007.
Safelite Group is focused on expanding its nationwide base through acquisitions. With about 20% of the market share in the US, the company sees much opportunity for growth, especially in the mid-Atlantic states. To this end, Safelite in mid-2008 acquired bankrupt Diamond Glass of Pennsylvania for about $50 million. At the start of 2009 the firm completed its purchase of another Pennsylvania-based glass repair chain: Cindy Rowe Auto Glass, which runs a dozen locations in the Harrisburg area. Strengthening its presence in the western and Midwestern regions of the US, Safelite bought the vehicle glass repair and replacement assets of IGD Industries (formerly Iowa Glass). IGD's assets included about 80 stores spanning more than 15 states under the banners of Auto Glass Center, Arnie's Auto Glass Center, and JC's Glass, among others.
Streamlining efforts have also been a given at Safelite as its network has continued to grow. From late 2008 to late 2009 the company cut nearly 300 jobs, including some 160 positions at its corporate headquarters.
As part of brand-building efforts, the firm changed its name from Belron US to Safelite Group in 2010. The move helps to align the company's corporate name with the brands that customers see, reinforcing recognition. – less