Auto repair has not been unscathed by the current pandemic. Fortunately, COVID-19’s economic impact on the auto repair industry is not disastrous, although it has posed challenges to our business in Oak Park, MI. Our solutions will keep us afloat and available for your body and paint repair needs. Here are the six most common impacts to the auto repair industry at this time:
- Remaining open: Auto repair is considered an essential business, and for that reason, we can remain open. This allows us to be here for our customers and ensure that we can at least attempt to continue making money. However, other changes in our situation have made maintaining our bottom line challenging even if we stay open.
- Business is down: As people telecommute and stay home more, they are less likely to face car repairs or be involved in accidents. Travel restrictions reduce the demand for our services, and sales decline. States with shelter-in-place orders face the greatest declines. CollisionWeek recently surveyed repair facilities and discovered only 9 percent of shops experienced increased sales in the last few months. There are frequently more traffic accidents in spring, but that may not be the case this year.
- Few layoffs: Despite the reduced business, most shops are not downsizing their workforce. Only 18 percent of shops indicated a need to do so, and they are located in states with strict shelter-in-place policies. Small business loans and paycheck protection have helped reduce this possibility, but also there is always work to do around the shop, whether it is estimates, repair or simply sanitizing areas for customers.
- Supply chain issues: There is disruption in the supply chain, and auto repair faces the effects of this as well. Factories temporarily closed, and that resulted in fewer parts being available for purchase. Projects that may have once taken days to complete could now take a couple of weeks as we wait for the parts. This issue is present with both OEM and after-market parts.
- Providing protective gear: Shop workers require N95 masks and other protective gear, especially if they interact with customers. Since medical workers receive this gear first, it is often difficult to equip staff properly. Fortunately, cloth masks are easier to find and adequate for staff and those who interact with people in well-ventilated areas. It also helps that, with warmer weather, estimates can be completed outside.
- Confidence: While this is a challenging time, we are confident that we will emerge successful. Only about 9 percent of shops feel they may need to close for good, but most of us expect the latter half of 2020 to be financially easier. There will be a new normal where we will need to be careful and change procedures slightly, but it is manageable, not hopeless. Accidents and the need for collision repair will happen even if pandemic effects continue through the end of the year.
Autobahn Collision in Oak Park, MI is open and ready to face COVID-19’s economic impact on the auto repair industry. Please call us today if you need an estimate for collision repair or paint.