Supply chain issues hold back auto repairs in Saskatoon – Saskatoon


It’s a longer pit stop than some people might have hoped.

Parr Auto Body’s managing partner in Saskatoon, Chelsea Stebner, says some vehicles in their shop are still waiting for certain parts six months later.

“It’s also a challenge for our team, because you can imagine dismantling a vehicle six months ago and then coming back to do a reassembly or start the repair six months later. So we often read the repair procedures over and over again.

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For which parts exactly, Stebner says there are a multitude of shortages.

“Plastics, things like that… with all the sheet metal; we are seeing glass shortages. I know there was also a shortage of clear polish for finishing for a while as well. »

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“The chip issue is also an issue for us,” adds Stebner, referring to the shortage of semiconductor chips, “which, in turn, creates all kinds of other challenges throughout the repair process.” .

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The COVID-19 pandemic is a major culprit for the delays. Stebner says she first noticed longer finish times about a year ago, but it’s amplified over the past six months.

“We are seeing the results now. So when everyone says we’re back to normal, in our industry, we’re far from normal.

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Paul Amante, a business administration student at the University of Saskatchewan, is one of many who have been without a vehicle for an extended period. It sat in stores for over two months between February 17 and April 22 of this year, before it was ready to hit the road again.

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“I kept getting dates next week,” Lover began. “Next week comes and I call and they say ‘oh next week’. This week comes and I call and it’s like ‘oh we still don’t have that part. It’s been a pretty frustrating two months’ he said, adding that he understands it wasn’t Parr Auto Body’s fault.

He lives on the outskirts of Saskatoon and says public transit was not an option for him.

“There are no buses going through here. The closest bus stop to me would be a 45-minute walk away.

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Frustration is something Stebner understands when it comes to his clients.

“Having an accident is definitely not anybody’s favorite thing in the world. So we’re that inconvenience, we’re that grudge buying. Nobody wants to come to a body shop in the first place,” she says.

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SGI says that in Saskatchewan they have many agreements with various car rental providers.

“Part of that is ensuring that these providers are able to maintain a fleet of vehicles available to our customers in the event of an accident, and would need cover in the event of loss of use.” says Ciaran Downes, Senior Director of National Assessments for SGI.

“We’ve certainly seen that the duration of our rentals has actually increased, as body shops can have difficulty sourcing parts to complete a repair, which can lead to extended repair times, causing customers are staying in rental cars longer than usual.”

SGI tries to identify trends in parts that typically take longer than others.

“It seems to affect all manufacturers and all types of parts,” Downes begins. “We have cases where we can access 90% of the parts needed to complete the repair, but there is support that is sort of a key element that seems to be holding other parts back. If you miss that one, it can essentially delay the whole repair.

While SGI says it hasn’t experienced a shortage of rental vehicles, the pandemic has changed some car rental companies.

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“Rental companies have also reduced their fleets during the pandemic and now rental cars are part of that shortage in the automotive industry,” Stebner explains.

As for how long the auto industry can expect this problem to persist, Stebner estimates it could be at least two years before things get back to normal.

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