ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The global COVID-19 pandemic has created havoc in the automotive industry, as a microchip shortage has resulted in fewer cars being built. That’s led to a ripple effect, as drivers are forced to keep older cars on the road.
Tony Bove, the service manager at Bove’s Automotive Repair, 1118 Ferguson St, says that’s keeping them busy, but they’re facing new challenges.
“People are going back to work now and you need your car to get to work so we’re trying to keep the cars on the road,” Bove said. “Normally, we’re about two to three days out [before we can get to a repair]. Right now, we’re two to three weeks.
“We hat to tell people that, but it’s the best we can do, sometimes, with the amount of cars we have worked on,” he said.
Bove says he’s seen about a 30% increase in the price of car parts, a shortage that could be to blame for the longer wait times and the increased expenses.
“We’ve seen some manufacturers are holding back parts, and a lot of parts are going backorder, sometimes for two to three months,” he said.
Bove says that, despite the long wait times, his customers have been understanding.
“It’s not fair to get a car in and not work on it, so we might as well get the ones we have done, and get the next ones in,” he said. “We’d like to try to get them in as fast as possible, but we can only do so much at a time.”
Bove says his shop is not raising prices on labor, but bills are going up due to the increased cost of the parts.