Windshield replacement is not new to any car owner. If you own a car, you must have faced windshield damage.
Which brand should you select for your car windshield, and how much it cost?
The classic answer is – you should select the car glass that your car company recommends. But here is the catch, car company only recommends the original part which is only supplied through their dealership. But these parts are costly, and you may not be ready to pay that much. So are there any alternatives to reduce the cost while maintaining the quality and safety of the occupants simultaneously.
Let’s clear these confusions:
No doubt, original windshield parts are the best in quality and fitting. These original parts are called OEM parts (Original Equipment Manufacturers) in the automotive industry. Such parts bear car manufacturers’ logos and are supplied directly to car manufacturers by OEM glass manufacturing companies. Such OEM parts are supplied directly to the assembly line as well as distributed to the car dealerships as original parts.
These OEM parts are the highest quality standard maintained by any glass manufacturers, passed through rigorous quality checks at the production level, as well as an assembly line. OEM invests a vast amount of money and resources during the development phase of these OEM parts. The result is a flowless car glass with the best optical quality and fitting.
Due to this level of quality standard, the cost of OEM parts is higher compared to any alternative solution.
As far as the Indian car manufacturing market is concerned, AIS and Saint Gobain are the only OEM car glass brands. But there are other manufacturers like Pilkington which don’t supply OEM parts to Indian cars but is one of the largest OEM manufacturers for luxury car glass. You must have noticed Pilkington OEM glasses in Jaguar XF, Range Rover Sports, or Audi Q7.
Other OEM car glass brands that have no manufacturing units in India, yet are widely used by European, Korean, American and Japanese cars are – Carlex, PGW, Guardian, Fuyao, XYG.
OEE Car Glass
Markets and customers are price-sensitive and look for the best possible product that may be cheap but still safe for use. So, OEM car glass manufacturers supply alternative parts to the aftermarket. These parts are called OEE parts (Original Equipment Equivalent). OEM parts and their supply contracts have supply restrictions and are protected under trademark and copyright acts. OEM car glass manufacturers may produce OEM parts, yet they are property of the car manufacturers. So, OEE parts are supplied, which are identical to the OEM parts in optical features but have slight variations to avoid copyright laws.
OEE parts are supplied by OEM car glass manufacturers and have the same quality standard.
These parts don’t have the car manufacturers’ logo. These fit the car the same as the OEM parts but have slight variations like ceramic design, shade band, or maybe the color of the glass.
OEE parts are cheaper than the OEM parts, and the difference may be up to 20% -30%. Both Saint Gobain Sekurit and AIS supply OEE car glass in the aftermarket through their distribution chain and provide warranty for any defects in fitting or quality.
Though you may be tempted to go to the dealership and get the best possible car glass, here is why you should avoid dealership for windshield replacement?
What car glass brands we don’t recommend?
We don’t recommend the third option i.e., Aftermarket parts. The car glass manufacturers who don’t supply glass to the car companies are Aftermarket glass manufacturers. These glasses are never used by car brands like Durasafe, Safex, Benson. These manufacturers manufacture glass by coping with the OEM part and don’t have access to the OEM parts designs. So, these aftermarket glasses are not the same as OEM or OEE parts vis-à-vis quality and fitting. Such aftermarket brand glasses may have an issue like air leakage, water leakage, or cracks due to stress at high-speed.
For a costing point of view, aftermarket car glass can be up to 50% cheaper than the OEM glass. But Auto Glass Masters don’t recommend the use of aftermarket glass. These glasses are not safe to use due to poor fitting and optical quality. It would help if you did not compromise with your safety for saving a few bucks.
Recommendation: Go to the car glass replacement company of your choice. Ask them about the quality of the glass they are using. Ensure that they use glass from an OEM glass supplier. If you are not interested in paying out of your pocket, use your insurance claim.