Car repair delays continuing

Wait times on car repairs and acquisition of auto parts are continuing as supply chain system delays continue.

Whether it be related to the pandemic — which has become a common excuse for issues regarding supply and material shortages and service delays in many sectors of the supply-and-demand system — or other factors, the most commonly heard word during the last several months is a simple noun: delays — or variations of it.

The shortages haven’t escaped the auto repair business.

Whether it be the need to replace the alternator under the hood or the hood itself following an auto accident, the consumer may as well sit back and remember the old Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared.

Or be prepared to wait.

William Rhodes, the CEO of AutoZone, the largest retailer of aftermarket automotive parts and accessories in the United States, was quoted saying recently in a national business news outlet, Bloomberg, that this is the most difficult supply chain environment environment that he has ever seen.

Local parts supply retailers agree.

“It’s terrible, twice as bad as things were just a few months ago,” J.J. Gordon, a parts department employee at a local auto dealership, said Thursday.

An employee at another Carrollton car dealer was overheard making the following comment from his office when a receptionist was being queried about the delays:

“The parts are on the ships stacked up waiting to be unloaded in Savannah.”

Whatever the reason for either the slowdown in getting served in a restaurant because of the shortage of cooks and servers or waiting for 4-6 weeks instead of the “normal” 10 days to two weeks to get your damaged auto back on the road and out of the rental car, consumers are having to — using on old military phrase —hurry up and wait.

“We are working 12 to 14 hour days to keep up,” the service manager at a Carrollton dealership said this week.

“Things are improving as far as delivery of parts,” he said, “and our backlog is decreasing as deliveries slowly catch up. But it’s a slow go.”

And then there is another factor., at least according to a management level employee at another retailer.

“It’s hard to find people who want to work...or stay working,” he said.

“But that is another story,” he added.

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