Looking back to the early 70’s when we first started out marketing and promoting safety film for glass, we would never have imagined that safety film on car windows would become the number 1 after product on the South African Market.
Initially, we first started promoting window film on car windows to reduce the sunlight and make for a more pleasant driving experience. Our advertising campaign carried the message “Fit your car with a pair of Sunglasses”. Car owners were the first to respond, although at a very slow pace. Slowly but surely, more and more consumers started realising the value and the comfort enjoyed by applying a sun control Klingshield window film to their car windows.
The installation of film to car windows was very tricky and the more cars we applied our product to, the better the finish became. It is almost like Gary Player says “The harder you practice, the better you get” !
Back windows were a problem area due to the curvature and these windows were done in three separate pieces, having the joints on the demister lines. Removing side panels also came as an afterthought after experiencing some comebacks with curling film at the bottom of the windows. Because of this, we now remove the panels to ensure that the film goes right to the bottom of the glass behind the panels.
“One piece” technology for back windows was researched and developed and today with the use of a heat gun, we successfully mould the film to the back window and eliminate joins. This was a major breakthrough.
Scratch resistant coating was also developed as the windows of cars were developing fine scratches due to the continual rolling up and rolling down of windows. We now have a scratch resistant coating on all our films, which is almost as hard as glass, eliminating scratching and general wear and tear.
The uprising in 1976 clearly demonstrated to us the need to have a thick combination film to prevent smash and grab attacks. Stonings were also a thing of the day at this time and we quickly realised that double smash and grab sun control films would be a necessity in the market place. It is a matter of having the right product at the right time and smash and grab window film for cars was the product.
With a tremendous amount of effort through the local authorities, we successfully managed in the early 80’s to legalise window tinting with a 35% visible light transmission on all side and back windows.
Dealer Principals in car dealerships soon started realising the necessity of selling cars with shatterproof windows in the current environment.
A training academy was set up at Klingshield and hundreds of people were given the opportunity to learn the trade. New window film companies popped up all over the place, offering smash and grab to dealerships within their vicinities. Vehicle manufacturers soon realised the potential and necessity of safety film for their customers cars.
Citroen and BMW made arrangements to have smash and grab installed on their car windows prior to delivery of cars to their dealerships. Today BMW also have active window film installers applying safety film to their vehicles in their distribution centre. Toyota South Africa have recently given smash and grab window film a parts number and are also enjoying the benefits and financial rewards from having window film applied to their cars.
It is very surprising how few vehicle models actually have safety laminated glass fitted as a standard to their motor cars. Mercedes Benz and Volvo are the only ones who have a few models fitted with laminated safety glass.
Who would ever have thought in the early 70’s that smash and grab would become the number 1 after market accessory within the South African market.
Other benefits of smash and grab include reduction of heat passing through the windows. 65% of the glare is also cut out by the combination solar safety smash and grab products. Fading of interiors of vehicles is also reduced with the application of window film.
Front windscreen window film is the latest technology available for car owners. This product reduces the sunlight from entering in the car, making the cabin comfortable by lowering the temperature.
Within the next 20 years front windscreen film will become as popular as smash and grab. It is just a matter of time. Klingshield will continue its efforts to promote film on cars, homes and offices to increase its market share and make consumers aware of the fantastic benefits available.