The owners of Autoglass, a windscreen replacement company, have announced that they will cut as many as 400 jobs as the soaring cost of fuel is leading to an increase in cautious driving. Bosses claim that demand for replacement windscreens is down by 11% in the last six months alone.
The firm’s owner Belron have told staff that the mild conditions since the snowy period ended, coupled with fuel prices has seen motorists driving much less and more safely than in previous years, causing the massive drop in demand for the company’s products. The 400 job losses will mean 300 permanent staff and 100 temporary employees will be made redundant. Belron say they will provide everyone affected with any support needed during this difficult time. Autoglass helps over one and a half million motorists per year who need a windscreen repair without most of them having to pay the excess on their motor insurance. They have over 100 branches throughout the United Kingdom. The company operates in thirty countries and they are also the owners of Carglass and O’ Brien who provide similar services in Europe and Australia.
A spokesman for the firm said: “As a result of mild weather and fuel prices, there has been less vehicle damage and the industry, as a whole, has seen a lower demand in 2011. As part of a review of resources Autoglass is entering into a 30-day consultation with its staff across the United Kingdom and will be discussing a cost reduction programme which will include a reduction in headcount.”
Autoglass’s biggest rival Auto Windscreens went into administration four months ago, but it is not all bad news in the sector as National Mobile Windscreens have bucked the trend by posting a 20% increase in revenue and have also increased staff by a quarter. The firm who won the Customer Service award at last years Fleet News Awards has had to expand as rival companies struggle in the current climate. They have recently invested heavily in their IT system and are looking forward to a bright future.