We’re all increasingly aware of how the pandemic has affected the supply chain—we see it at the supermarket, lumberyard and even the pet store. Unsurprisingly, auto collision shops are also facing parts shortages, backorders and lengthy shipping delays, making it challenging to keep to normally tight turnarounds on repairs.
While we know this can be frustrating to customers, it helps to understand how pervasive this issue is across all sectors right now. Dealers, auto parts stores, repair shop chains and local mechanics are all facing shortages and delays, though skilled technicians are well equipped to think creatively about repairs while always prioritizing safety.
Why are auto parts so hard to come by?
As the pandemic began, automakers cut back on microchip orders, anticipating a dip in demand. But an increased need for home electronics led to a chip shortage, and automakers never really caught up. Since then, with fewer new cars rolling off the line, new and used car prices have soared.
But this isn’t just a microchip problem. With fewer new cars on the road, people are hanging onto their existing vehicles longer, which of course means a greater need for replacement parts and repairs. Delays have also been created by materials shortages (especially of steel), as well as manufacturing and trucking labor shortages. Shipping delays and a lack of port space further limit stock.
All of this creates an environment where parts that once took a few days to receive from a manufacturer now take weeks, or, in the worst scenarios, months. Even simple parts like oil filters or other items widely available at any auto parts store now may take days or weeks to locate.
What we’re doing to address supply shortages
While it’s challenging to navigate this new environment, we do our best to be creative with repairs, working with our nationwide contacts to secure the parts we need. We’re also proactive about our supplies, doing our best to keep our shop filled so that our technicians can keep doing their jobs.
We know delays can be frustrating to customers, and we truly appreciate how understanding many folks are. It’s unclear when the supply chain will stabilize and parts will be easy to come by again, but in the meantime, car maintenance is key. By staying on top of regular maintenance, you’ll be able to avoid many problems before they become serious. If we spot a potential issue, we’ll also be able to begin planning for your repair, allowing you to drive in the meantime (provided it’s safe to do so). It certainly beats waiting until after a breakdown and finding necessary parts are backordered!
At Bavarian Body Works, we’re working hard to stay ahead of major supply chain disruptions.
We recommend keeping up with your car’s maintenance schedule as the best way to avoid supply chain headaches. Contact us today to schedule your next vehicle maintenance.