Industry Response to NAGS New Prices
Having been in effect for just about three weeks, the Spring 2007 National Auto Glass Standards (NAGS) pricing calculator appears to have had a minimal impact on the auto glass industry.
When asked about the price changes, most of those interviewed replied that the price changes don't heavily affect their business.
"I've seen a couple of prices change ever so slightly," said Clyde Stephens, owner of Visions Auto Glass in Perham, Minn. "I haven't seen anything major, but I haven't looked real close at all the major numbers."
Karl Anderson, owner/operator of Anderson's Auto Glass in Williston, Vt., noted that the NAGS prices don't affect his business. " That's because I really don't use the NAGS any more," Anderson said. "The pricing is so difficult, with all the net parts even the NAGS hours, labor times are way off-base."
Anderson noted another reason for not using the NAGS pricing structure -- inflation.
"Just this morning I did some numbers crunching between the 1990 NAGS and a job that we would do today for the same vehicle, a Toyota pickup truck. In 1990 if we did it through Safelite it was going to be $240 installed and nowadays it's going to be $248. A whole $8 raise in 20 years," said Anderson.
Stephens also noted that the pricing of some of the more popular parts were reduced further than others. The most notable to Stephens was privacy glass. "NAGS calculated some of these more common parts, such as the Dodge minivans that have privacy glass those cost us more and we've found that just because they're more common NAGS dropped the prices but our suppliers haven't." he said. "It really seems that a lot of prices in NAGS don't make sense."
Stephens is not alone in his observation. Neil Duffy, owner/operator of Auto Glass Menders in San Jose, Calif., noted the same problem. "I've been in the industry for 25 years, I think I should know what I should pay and I don't have a clue anymore," said Duffy.
Additionally, Duffy alluded to the speed with which insurance companies and other industry outlets react to any NAGS price updates. "Our fax machines buzz within days, or maybe even within hours of the posting of the new NAGS prices with the new discount rates given by insurance companies," said Duffy. "Sometimes it's the day before, but certainly within the week... so I mean, you tell me if there's a connection."
Stephens voiced a common sentiment. "The funny thing is, the insurance
industry wants to use NAGS for the pricing when it suits them, but when
the OEM price is cheaper, they want to go by that. Whichever way benefits
them is the way they go."
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