Vinyl window sales were relatively flat in 1995, according to the second Plastics News ranking of North American window extruders. Meanwhile, the sales-based ranking does not reflect the biggest news for 1995 - globalization, with European window extruders buying into the U.S. market.
Vinyl Building Products Inc. of Oakland, N.J., entered into a joint venture with Munich, Germany-based vinyl profile extrusion giant Thyssen Polymer. Thyssen acquired 50 percent of VBP, but the owner, Nick Cangialosi said he retained 51 percent of voting control over the operation. Separately, Acro Extrusion Corp. of Wilmington, Del., sold a controlling interest to Belgium's Deceuninck Plastics Industries NV.
Propelling the deals is a maturing European market, where vinyl now dominates in windows. The U.S. market is relatively young, and vinyl continues to gain market share.
The window extruders chart has been expanded to list the number of window extrusion factories and sales for two years, 1995 and 1994. Last year, the chart listed just one year's sales.
A major addition to the chart is Silver Line Building Products Corp. of North Brunswick, N.J. The company, which comes in at seventh place with sales of $41 million, extrudes its own profiles, then fabricates them into finished windows. Silver Line is a major supplier to home center stores, which account for about a third of its window sales.
Other companies that extrude profiles, then fabricate them internally, are Weather Shield Manufacturing Inc. of Medford, Wis.; Milgard Vinyl Extrusion of Tacoma, Wash.; and Insulate Industries Inc. of Auburn, Wash. For those companies, the sales number shown is for extruded profiles only, not total sales of fabricated windows.
Most extruders sell their profiles to fabricators, which fashion them into finished windows.
One company was dropped from the list. Officials of Easco Vinyl in Youngstown, Ohio, refused to provide numbers this year, as they had in the past.
In other changes, Veka Hold-ings Inc. of Fombell, Pa., and Chelsea Building Products of Oakmont, Pa., passed Dayton Technologies (Alcoa) of Monroe, Ohio.
Farther down on the list, Insulate Industries moved up a notch, to 14th, switching places with Houston-based North American Profiles Ltd. This was the first year that Insulate officials provided sales data; previous rankings used an industry estimate, as reflected in the chart.
Window extrusion sales for North America's largest window extruder, Royal Plastics Group Ltd., account for nearly all the sales from Royal's custom profile business. Royal of Weston, Ontario, is a public company.
Although a few companies reported gains of about 10 percent, for most of the industry 1995 was a year of no sales growth, or very little growth, according to the chart.
Those less-than-spectacular results are reflected in the annual window report from the American Architectural Manufacturers As-sociation. AAMA of Palatine, Ill., said vinyl grew by 4 percent in 1994, to 14.4 million units, up from 13.8 million in 1994.
However, those numbers look good when compared with wood and aluminum windows, which - like the overall market - de-clined in 1995, according to AAMA. AAMA predicts that trend will continue in 1996, as vinyl grows by just 2 percent in overall windows, while wood and aluminum continue to decline. Vinyl itself should drop slightly in 1997, then rebound and hit 17.6 million units by 1999.
New construction will remain vinyl's strongest-growing market segment.
In new-home building, vinyl grew 9 percent to hit 4.8 million units in 1995, surpassing aluminum. AAMA thinks vinyl will grow 10 percent in 1996 to reach 5.3 million units.
The remodeling picture is not as rosy.
AAMA said vinyl replacement windows grew just 2 percent in 1995, to 9.6 million units. They will dip slightly to 9.4 million in 1996, then to 9 million in 1997. AAMA predicts vinyl will not be able to crack the 10 million-unit mark in remodeling until 1999.