ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) – The global COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on the auto industry as a shortage of microchips has resulted in fewer cars being built. This has had 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 it keeps them busy, but they face new challenges.
“People are going back to work now and you need your car to get to work, so we try to keep the cars on the road,” Bove said. “Normally we are about two or three days [before we can get to a repair]. At the moment, we are two to three weeks old.
“We don’t want to tell people that but it’s the best we can do sometimes with the number of cars we’ve worked on,” he said.
Bove says he has seen an increase of about 30% in the price of auto parts, a shortage that could be the cause of longer wait times and increased spending.
“We’ve seen some manufacturers withhold parts, and a lot of parts are out of stock, 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 have a car and not work on it, so you might as well take the ones we made and ride the next ones,” he said. “We would like to try to get them in as quickly as possible, but we can’t do much at once. “
Bove says his shop is not raising the prices for labor, but the bills are going up due to the rising cost of parts.