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Dow's Jentoft Clarifies Recent News, Says Adhesive Business Remains Unchanged

In the wake of the announcement that Dow Automotive is exiting the automotive sealants business in North America, Latin America and the Asia Pacific, Phil Jentoft, commercial manager for the aftermarket, took the opportunity to speak with™/AGRR magazine about the changes and to clarify that the aforementioned exit does not affect the company's aftermarket or glass bonding (auto glass adhesives) businesses.

GB: There's been a lot of confusion about Dow lately-what would you like our readers to know?
PJ: There was an announcement made by Dow at the beginning of this month that it was exiting the automotive sealers business and that has nothing to do with the automotive glass bonding market, neither aftermarket nor OEM. We have no intentions of exiting the aftermarket business or the glass-bonding business whatsoever.

GB: Dow has been in the news a good deal of late announcing cutbacks-are any cutbacks planned that you're aware of on the auto glass adhesive side?
PJ: On the aftermarket and OEM side, not that I'm aware of. We don't have any plans to cut back. As a matter of fact, we've just built two new automotive glass bonding adhesive plants, one in Europe and one in Midland, Mich. … We've made significant investments in our North American operations as well, specifically in our packaging systems. … We're definitely in this long-term. We have no intentions of exiting the glass bonding business.

GB: It has also been rumored that Dow may merge or be bought by another company-can you comment on whether this is a possibility? Are these rumors still circulating?
PJ: I'm probably not the best person to comment on that. I think those types of things will always be flying around. Dow just announced a joint venture with a company in the Mideast recently.

GB: Are there any changes resulting from the automotive sealant business exit that would affect auto glass customers?
PJ: Nothing. Our people are in place. Our operations in Dayton are remaining untouched. We don't anticipate any changes organizationally.

GB: What do you think next year will bring for Dow and the industry as a whole?
PJ: You know, my hope for 2008 is that we see some growth within the glass replacement market, [and] that we see some price stabilization for the glass shops. They've been under a lot of pressure for the last several years and we've been trying to do some things to help them out through marketing and education to hope them run their operations more efficiently. We just want to see a happy, healthy industry moving forward.

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Jentoft recently sent a letter to the company's aftermarket and glass bonding customers assuring them that the exit from the sealants business has nothing to do with the automotive aftermarket or glass-bonding businesses.

CLICK HERE for the full text of the letter.

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