The Top 100 Manufacturers of 2013

Industry leaders are positioning themselves for growth ahead
John G. Swanson
March 13, 2013
SPECIAL FEATURES | Segments, Channels, Markets & Trends

The industry is poised for growth. Last year, most of Window & Door’s 2013 Top 100 Manufacturers enjoyed the beginning stages of a recovery in the new construction and remodeling/replacement markets. Today, they are leaner and still cautious, but ready for more.

 
 With markets recovering, Simonton Windows was one of several Top 100 Manufacturers that expanded its workforce in 2012.

Our annual rankings present North America’s 100 largest manufacturers of residential windows, doors and/or skylights, based on sales volume. In addition, the Top 100 Manufacturers provides basic information about each company, with updates on recent activities.

This year's Top 100 suggests 2012 was a relatively calm year for many companies, marked by smaller initiatives rather than bold moves. Much of the turbulence following the housing market collapse was absent last year. And while plant closings and layoffs didn't disappear, thankfully, they slowed to a trickle. 

Mergers & Acquisitions
Traditionally, the Top 100 has provided a good overview of merger and acquisition activity within the window and door industry, and there was definitely an uptick over the past year.  One of the biggest deals was Jeld-Wen's purchase of CMI, previously a Top 100 Manufacturer on its own. Already one of the largest door manufacturers in North America, Jeld-Wen's addition of CMI's operations expands its capacity for molded door panels and interior doors, as well as a variety of trim products.  

Masonite also continued to expand its already large footprint in the door business.  On the commercial side, it added Algoma Hardwoods and Baillargeon Doors. On the residential side, it added LeMieux Doors, a wood door manufacturer based in Quebec.

Not all acquisitions were in the door market.  Ohio-based Soft-Lite expanded its product line and dealer base last year, when it bought the assets of Pennsylvania-based Gorell Windows & Doors from a receivership court.

Last year also saw the return of private equity firms to the window and door market.  California-based Altamont Capitol Partners acquired Cascade Windows in Washington state, and Highlander Partners L.P. acquired Florida-based Custom Window Systems at the end of 2012.  Based in Dallas, Highlander said it sees potential for further acquisitions in the industry as well. 

Even more recently, MI Windows & Doors announced it was transitioning to new ownership.  Previously owned by J.T. Walker Industries, MIWD was acquired by a management group this January, along with Shoreview Industries, a private equity firm based in Minnepolis.

 
 Manufacturers started expanding operations again in 2012, including Crystal Pacific Windows & Doors, which opened a new plant in California.

Positive Signs
The number of plant closings slowed significantly last year, surpassed by the opening of new facilities.  Among the most notable openings was the California plant of Crystal Pacific Windows & Doors, a new vinyl window manufacturing company formed by Thomas Chen, owner and founder of Crystal Window & Door Systems in New York City. 

Other expansions included the opening of a new paint facility at Quaker Window Products and a new distribution center for ProVia.  Meanwhile, other Top 100 Manufacturers, including Ply Gem and Simonton Windows, reported they significantly expanded their workforces in 2012.

Signaling that better times are returning to the window and door industry, several companies moved up within the Top 100 sales range categories this year. Among those companies were Soft Lite and Michigan's Wallside Windows. Both vinyl window manufacturers advanced from the Top 100’s $40 million to $50 million sales category  to the $50 million to $100 million category this year.

Advancing from the Top 100’s $30 million to $40 million sales category for 2012 to the $40 million to $50 million category for 2013 were Georgia-based Robert Bowden Inc. and New Jersey's United Window & Door Manufacturing.  Chicago's Armaclad Windows & Doors also made gains, moving up from the $15 million to $30 million sales category for 2012 to the $30 million to $40 million category this year. 

Click here to view the 2013 Top 100 Manufacturers by sales range category 
  
Click here to see an alphabetical list of the 2013 Top 100 Manufacturers, along with product lines offered 

Putting It Together
No list is perfect, and we don’t make any definitive claims about the Window & Door Top 100. In putting this feature together, we start each year with the previous year’s list, contacting individual companies to obtain annual sales information, as well as updates on company developments. We also gather input from a number of industry experts as to what other companies should be on the list, and reach out to those potential listees. In addition to contacting the companies themselves, we use independent sources, such as Dun & Bradstreet, to determine which companies might belong in the rankings.

It is important to note that the Top 100 focuses on the North American industry. While companies such as the Formosa Group, VKR and YKK are included, they are part of the Top 100 because they have residential window, door or skylight manufacturing operations in North America. Their rankings are based on global sales--as are those of the North America-based manufacturers--to reflect their potential strength and influence on the market here. Window & Door does not attempt to rank other global window and door manufacturers that do not have operations here.

Although we provide specific sales data when it’s available, private companies, generally sensitive about releasing sales figures, dominate the industry. A few companies always ask that we not include them and/or refuse to provide any information. We understand the sensitivity of releasing sales figures, and we attempt to respect that by presenting our Top 100 Manufacturers alphabetically in 10 sales range categories. That being said, we do not omit any manufacturer simply because it asks. When we don’t get an official answer, we gather estimates from industry insiders and other sources, and include those companies in the rankings, noting that their sales information has not been confirmed.

It's also worthwhile to note that the numbers presented here are not comparable on an apples-to-apples basis. For some companies, sales volume figures include products other than windows and doors. In other cases, sales volumes consist not only of manufacturing operations, but distribution, retail and installation operations. Despite these limitations, we believe the end result reflects the leading manufacturers in the residential marketplace, at least from a sales perspective. We congratulate those companies on the list, for it is a considerable achievement to have survived the past few years and to now be in a position to thrive in 2013 and beyond.

Our primary mission is to provide valuable, accurate information to our readers. While we admit the Top 100 Manufacturers rankings will never be perfect, we do the best we can with the information available. We always look to make the Top 100 better, so by all means, if your company belongs on the list, contact us so we can recognize you properly. And if your company is on this list, but its information needs updating, please let us know. It is only with the cooperation of individual manufacturers that Window & Door’s Top 100 rankings can be as accurate as possible. Please send any questions or comments about this year’s rankings, and requests to be included next year, to jchase@glass.org.

Complete Report
In addition to online information, Window & Door offers the 2013 Top 100 Complete Report.  Available for purchase, the downloadable PDF includes descriptive information and updates on each company, a comprehensive cross-reference section breaking out companies by products manufactured and materials handled, as well as plant locations, top executives and more.