The company intends to provide a finished glass product, called Vanceva(TM) Laminated Glass, using its clear and advanced color and/or metallic technologies. Initially, the company will supply glass for the restyle market, with products specifically designed for the Dodge Magnum, Hummer H2, and Classic Design Concepts' 2005 Ford Mustang panoramic glass roof. Subsequent offerings in the aftermarket industry will target automotive fleets, law enforcement vehicles and other specialty vehicles.
"The aftermarket industry just can't be ignored," said Diane Romine, Solutia Automotive's market development director for aftermarket products. "This industry is experiencing tremendous growth -- over 3 percent in 2003 -- with even greater expectations for 2004. Solutia's Vanceva technology puts us in a position to make laminated glass products available to a diverse group of buyers."
The aftermarket industry generated sales of about $244.6 billion, according to the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association.
Solutia's performance films division has been the leader for over 60 years in supplying the plastic glass interlayer known as polyvinyl butyral, or PVB, to the automotive industry under the Saflex® brand name. Solutia has continually refined Saflex, and, more recently, has added to its product portfolio with the development of advanced interlayers, offered under the Vanceva(TM) brand name. Products in this portfolio include its advanced acoustic, color, metallic, solar management, and image variations. With the addition of these products, Solutia has successfully expanded the use of its interlayers to include side, roof and rear windows, and the combination of side laminated glass and an acoustic windshield. Vanceva products can be found in the windshield and side glass of the popular Buick Rainer and LaCrosse as part of Buick's QuietTuning system, the windshields of the GMC Envoy and the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, the side glass of the Volvo XC70, and the panoramic glass roof on the Porsche Targa.
As it explored potential opportunities for expansion, Solutia determined that there is a need within the aftermarket industry for a visually distinctive glazing product that is robust enough to weather the elements, while offering the enhanced benefits inherent to laminated glass:
Superior Interior Sound Control -- Vanceva Laminated Glass reduces noise entering the vehicle by up to six decibels in the most sensitive hearing range (1000 - 6000 Hz). Conversely, it also keeps the good sound in, enhancing the listening experience for passengers.
Solar protection -- Vanceva Laminated Glass screens up to 95 percent of the sun's harmful UVA and UVB radiation that can cause vehicle interiors to deteriorate. The product has an ultraviolet protection factor of 50+ (SPF).
With the addition of a metallic interlayer, Infrared Radiation is also significantly reduced, resulting in a cooler, more comfortable interior.
Enhanced Vehicle Security -- Vanceva Laminated Glass takes up to ten times longer to penetrate than standard tempered glass, thereby deterring opportunistic thieves looking for an easy target.
Initially, Vanceva Laminated Glass will be marketed to retailers with the ability to install aftermarket glass. Cost of the glass system will vary depending on the product selected and the number of windows replaced. Typically, in an SUV such as the Hummer H2, the entire vehicle's window set would be replaced. The approximate wholesale cost of this configuration or that of a Dodge Magnum would be $1,300.