Supply Chain Problems Are Causing a Whole New Set of Problems in the Auto Industry

Andrew Koole
· 3 min read
You’re probably sick of hearing about the supply chain. Problems with the flow of goods have haunted us almost as much as the Coronavirus this year. Whether you tried to buy a new car or a new smartphone in the last eight months, you know first hand the frustrations it’s caused.
The auto industry was affected more than most by supply chain problems, and the bad news isn’t over yet. Replacement part production is the latest aspect of the auto manufacturing business to slow to a snail’s pace as
wait for shipments.
The microchip shortage might’ve caused the industry’s initial problems this year, but it’s the labor shortage that’s inflicting this damage. The resulting lack of port space and empty shipping containers has forced drivers to wait weeks for repairs usually done in a day.
Supply chain issues are wreaking havoc all over the world.

How supply chain problems are causing a car parts shortage

The blow the chip shortage inflicted on the auto industry is now a well-told story. Lifted COVID restrictions paired with consumer savings accrued during the pandemic caused a quick spike in demand for new vehicles, but high demand for electronics meant chipmakers couldn’t keep up.
Prices for new cars rose to record-breaking heights, and labor shortages within the supply chain didn’t help. Nearly every sector was affected, from appliances to produce. Car parts were no exception.
It’s possible that demand for car parts has also risen, now that high prices and a lack of new models at the dealer are keeping people from buying new vehicles. But
Kelley Blue Book
says bottlenecks in the shipping and trucking industries are primarily to blame.
MORE: There's a Mechanic Shortage—How Will It Affect Car Repair?
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How bad is the car parts shortage?

The limited supply of car parts right now is no joke for repair shops. Parts they used to be able to pick up locally are taking weeks to track down. In some cases, wait times are reaching 60 to 90 days.
Speaking to
, garage owner Ross Colket described the parts backorder as “intergalactic.” And while Colket might’ve been overexaggerating, his comment helps illustrate how much supply chain problems have impacted the car repair industry
From increased demand and labor issues in the shipping industry to price spikes in steel and other materials, it seems that every resource problem puts another dent in the business of fixing cars. 
AutoZone Inc. CEO William Rhodes told Bloomberg the company’s stock is lower than he’s ever seen in his 20+ years with the company.

How to save on car ownership in 2021

MORE: The Worst Car Repair Situations and How to Avoid Them
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