History of Guardian Glass
Our entrepreneurial spirit sets us apart
Guardian’s heritage is rooted in anticipating the right technologies for the right places. We started as a windshield manufacturer in 1932, supplying laminated windshields for Detroit’s burgeoning automotive industry. On October 26, 1970, under the leadership of William “Bill” Davidson, Guardian opened a state-of-the-art float-glass plant in Carleton, Michigan. At great risk and with no experience in making float glass, Guardian became the first U.S. company in 50 years to enter the primary glass market.
Leveraging the success of that first plant and our experience developing it, Guardian built float-glass plants first across the United States, followed by Europe, and finally expanding globally in regions as diverse as Thailand, India, Saudi Arabia and Russia. In 1983, we were among the first companies to develop low-emissivity (low-E) glass using the state-of-the-art magnetron sputter coating process. Guardian Glass has developed scores of new products for Guardian and custom solutions for our clients — addressing the needs of architects, fabricators, glaziers and others who use glass.
Guardian is ready to meet the challenges of the coming decades with new products and solutions that meet the needs of our ever-growing product base. It is our great foundation — along with thousands of committed people — that has made the first 87 years possible.
William Davidson is named president
Company goes public and changes name to Guardian Industries Corp.
Permaglass acquisition adds Millbury, Ohio plant
First float glass plant begins operations in Carleton, Michigan
Second float line launches in Carleton, Michigan. This is the only Guardian plant to have two furnaces under one roof
Guardian adds fabrication capability with acquisition of Glass Guard Industries in Webster, Massachusetts
Upper Sandusky, Ohio automotive glass fabrication plant begins operations
Kingsburg, California float glass plant starts operations
Corsicana, Texas float glass plant begins operations
Guardian expands into Europe with launch of float glass plant in Bascharage, Luxembourg
AIRCO acquisition in Carleton, Michigan adds new coating facility strategically located across the street from float glass plant
Guardian celebrates 50th anniversary
Guardian purchases Fullerton, California rolled glass plant
Guardian adds low-emissivity (low-E) glass to product portfolio
Guardian purchases Floreffe, Pennsylvania float glass plant
Guardian acquires Llodio, Spain float glass plant
Guardian becomes privately held after 17 years as a public company
Guardian launches new company-wide HealthGuard program focused on employee wellness
Guardian College Scholarship Program launches in North America to support employees and their children in the pursuit of higher-education
Richburg, South Carolina float glass plant, and a second float glass plant in Luxembourg (Dudelange), start operations
Guardian launches joint venture float glass plant in Maturín, Venezuela
Oroshaza, Hungary float glass plant starts operations
Guardian acquires Consolidated Glass & Mirror Company in Galax, Virginia, expanding fabrication capabilities
Guardian enters Asia with the launch of the Nong Khae, Thailand float glass plant
Guardian Japan Ltd. expands company reach into Japan through distribution center and sales office
Gujarat Guardian Limited (GGL), India float glass plant begins operations
GGL is Guardian's joint venture float glass plant with Modi Rubber in Gujarat, India.
Guardian adds a third facility in Luxembourg with the launch of the Grevenmacher automotive glass fabrication plant
Tudela, Spain float glass plant begins operations
Guardian enters Latin America with distribution center in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Guardian moves from Novi, Michigan to new world headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan
DeWitt, Iowa float glass plant begins operations
Thalheim, Germany float glass plant begins operations
Guardian opens float glass plant in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia
Guardian's joint venture float glass plant in Al Jubail is known as GulfGuard
Guardian adds second float glass plant in Thailand in Rayong
Glass distribution center is established in Argentina
Geneva, New York float glass plant begins operations
Porto Real, Brazil float glass plant begins operations
Guardian opens float glass distribution centers in Veracruz, Mexico and Cartagena, Colombia
Guardian Science & Technology Center opens in Carleton, Michigan
Guardian develops the Sun-Guard series of coated glass products for commercial applications
This would later become Guardian SunGuard® advanced architectural glass
Czestochowa, Poland float glass plant begins operations
Guardian launches the world's largest sputter coater in Bascharage, Luxembourg
Goole, England float glass plant begins operations
Guardian purchases partial ownership of the Egyptian Glass Company float glass plant in Cairo
El Marqués, Mexico float glass plant begins operations
Guardian introduces ShowerGuard® glass, the industry's first temperable, permanently protected shower glass
Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates float glass plant begins operations
Guardian's joint venture float glass plant in RAK is known as Guardian Zoujaj International Float Glass Co. LLC.
Guardian celebrates 75th anniversary
Ryazan, Russia float glass plant begins operations
William Davidson (1922 - 2009)
Tatuí, Brazil float glass plant begins operations
Rostov, Russia float glass plant begins operations
Koch Industries invests in Guardian Industries
Ron Vaupel named President and CEO of Guardian Industries Corp.
Custom Glass Solutions by Guardian is established to serve diverse transportation segments in North America
Kevin Baird named President and CEO of Guardian Glass
Guardian Science & Technology Center completes expansion
Guardian launches new coater at the Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia float glass plant
Koch Industries, Inc. completes the acquisition of Guardian Industries Corp.
One World. Made Better.™
Guardian Glass is the largest business of Guardian Industries. Guardian Industries and its family of companies employ 18,000 people around the world devoted to bringing new ideas to life. We constantly strive to innovate in everything we do, to create more value for our customers and communities.
One team with one ultimate goal: One World. Made Better.™