Auto repair shops hampered by supply chain issues
Donnie Elliott has been fixing cars and trucks for years, but he never imagined he would have trouble getting the parts needed to make repairs.
“I’ve never seen where the things that were so readily available, that there was a dime a dozen, are gone,” said Elliott, co-owner of Elliott’s Automotive.
What do you want to know
- Global supply chain issues affect many industries, including auto repair
- Shop owners say it takes longer to get common items like brakes, motors, mirrors and light bulbs
- Some experts say supply chain issues will ease by mid-2022, while others point to 2023 as the predicted end
As global supply chain issues affect a variety of industries, Elliott says obtaining auto parts has taken a huge hit over the past 18 months. Parts once available like brakes, motors and mirrors, even light bulbs, are suddenly a week’s wait, or in extreme cases even longer than that.
“During the summer months we couldn’t get any exhaust,” Elliott said. “I don’t know why. To this day I can’t understand why we couldn’t get an exhaust.
And these issues at the shop, he says, create a domino effect that hurts drivers.
“We’re working on a truck right now and we can’t get a muffler,” Elliott said. “There aren’t any in the country. They show zero in the country. So what’s this customer doing? He’s gonna get shot. He’s got a loud exhaust, he’s gonna get arrested, he’s gonna get a ticket, but it’s not his fault.
Elliott adds that these shortages, along with fewer people driving during the pandemic, have cost him business. In 2020, he says profits are down 30% and at tax time this year he doesn’t know what 2021 will look like.
“But in all honesty, I don’t really think I want to watch,” he said. “Because if I’m doing it, and it’s down, and I’m not making the money I had before, why stay? Why continue?