Pennsylvania drivers spend more on repairs as the chip shortage cuts off supply of new cars


“I have customers that want new cars. It’s just, what they want is not available, or it’s a year behind.”


  • An-Li Herring/WESA

Used cars for sale on a lot at a dealership in Doylestown, Pa., Friday, Feb. 4, 2022.

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Used cars for sale on a lot at a dealership in Doylestown, Pa., Friday, Feb. 4, 2022.

As car production continues to lag amid the global chip shortage, the demand for auto repairs has shot up.

With fewer new vehicles available to buy, customers have opted to invest more in the cars they already have, said Mike Kirsch, the head mechanic at Brunner’s Garage in the South Side Flats.

“[We’ll] look at their car and say, ‘Well, your car is going to be, I don’t know, $500, $700, $1,000 to repair,’ whatever the number is. And they will look at it and say, ‘Well, it’s an older car. Maybe I’m going to go buy a new car,’” Kirsch said. “But there’s just no new car out there right now to buy. I have customers that want new cars. It’s just, what they want is not available, or it’s a year behind.”

Pushed to keep their old vehicles, he said, customers end up “spending a lot of money on regular maintenance: brakes, tires, some check-engine lights. People are spending a thousand, fifteen-hundred dollars [on] their car to keep it for another year at least.”

Mike Kirsch is the head mechanic at Brunner's Garage in the South Side Flats. He said the global semiconductor shortage has increased the demand for vehicle maintenance by limiting the supply of new vehicles that require less service.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Mike Kirsch is the head mechanic at Brunner’s Garage in the South Side Flats. He said the global semiconductor shortage has increased the demand for vehicle maintenance by limiting the supply of new vehicles that require less service.

Wait times have gone up at Brunner’s and nationally because supply chain disruptions continue to delay parts deliveries. Labor shortages have also helped to bump up by 1.5 days the average turnaround time at automotive repair shops across the country, according to an August 2021 survey. The research shows that one in every four automotive repair shops said a lack of auto technicians was a primary cause of service delays.

Kirsch said the work shortage is a long-building problem that reflects the overall aging of his industry.

“All the technicians are all my age: They’re all old people now. They’re all getting ready to retire. And a few of the garages around here … they retired [and] closed up,” he said.

Auto tech shortage

While Brunner’s Garage is fully staffed today, Kirsch noted that the four-employee operation has struggled to

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Reworking the automotive supply chain for the 21st century

For the JIT design to get the job done, the high quality and supply of uncooked materials, the creation of items, and the buyer demand for them should continue being in alignment. If any a single of the inbound links in the chain breaks, stalls, or falls out of sync, the effect on the supply chains that crisscross the planet can be felt straight away. For providers, unable to supply on orders in a timely style, they chance shedding not only performance gains but also brand name believability, current market share, and income.

Now, companies are trying to find new strategies of controlling their provide chains that supply greater versatility and transparency. In the automotive sector, some corporations which includes Nissan and JIT pioneer Toyota are raising chip stock amounts, while others including Volkswagen and Tesla are making an attempt to secure their possess provides of unusual metals. But systems, such as Online of Issues (IoT), 5G, and business programs are also giving businesses new techniques to keep away from disruption and respond to unexpected situation.

Disruption and transformation

The transformation of the automotive provide chain is using put in an increasingly-digitized world, beset with environmental fears. As weather alter fears intensify, and governments throughout the planet compel industries to switch to much more environmentally-welcoming methods, the automotive market and its source chain networks are undergoing a profound change. Automotive manufacturers are relocating absent from internal combustion engines and big-scale producing to zero-emission, carbon-neutral electric or autonomous motor vehicles with a target on electric or hydrogen as vitality resources. Autonomous motor vehicles, for case in point, are found as “servers on wheels” that count on batteries, wiring, laser technological know-how, and programming relatively than combustion engines. Tech giants these types of as Japan’s Sony and China’s Baidu have also announced plans for their possess electric autos (EV), fueling an currently heated race in the EV market place.

In accordance to the Worldwide Electrical power Agency, international sales of electrical vehicles hit 6.6 million in 2021, earning up 8.6% of all new motor vehicle income: additional than double the current market share from 2020, and up from a mere 0.01% in 2010. Business insights supplier IHS Markit estimates the amount of EV types in the US will improve 10 instances more than, from 26 in 2021 to 276 in 2030. At the very same time, charging stations by yourself will will need to increase from 850,000 in 2021 to approximately 12 million in 2030. To fulfill the increasing need for battery-run cars, suppliers must set up a new ecosystem of companions that supplies the areas and components expected for the productive producing and running of these option vehicles. In accordance to investigate from Transport Intelligence, “the offer chain for the overall powertrain will be transformed and the styles of elements, the logistics procedures used to move them, the marketplaces of origin and desired destination as perfectly as the tiered character of automotive supply chains will improve.” This has massive implications

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Ukrainian Car Sections Supply Disruption Stops Motor vehicle Factories

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is reverberating as a result of the world car or truck marketplace, with the strongest outcomes on European carmakers who have relied on Ukrainian factories to generate components for their automobiles.

The Ukrainian foreign investment bureau identifies BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen Team makes Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, Porsche, and Volkswagen as carmakers that depend on pieces from the country’s supply crops.

That governing administration agency claims that just before the invasion, the region experienced 38 factories operated by 22 corporations from six different nations, symbolizing an financial investment (considering the fact that 1998) of far more than $550 million. The market utilized about 60,000 Ukrainians. The corporations consist of Bader, SEBN, Prettl, Nexans, Kromberg & Schubert, Yazaki, Fujikura, Leoni, and Aptiv.

Among the these corporations, Aptiv CEO Kevin Clark advised the press at past month’s Barclay’s convention in Miami that his corporation experienced presently shifted higher-quantity production out of Ukrainian plants in anticipation of the invasion. But most firms did not, which is leaving their customers with no the parts wanted to make vehicles.

Of the 22 suppliers doing work in Ukraine, half of them make wiring harnesses, although the rest make other digital parts, seats, plastic sections and heaters. A single enterprise repairs electric powered starter motors. Consultant AlixPartners estimates that virtually 7 percent of the wiring harnesses used in European automotive manufacturing is sourced from Ukraine.

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The Ukrainian governing administration pointed out that it is automotive creation fees in the state are 25 per cent the charge of creating vehicles and their areas in Germany and that Ukrainian labor is 38 % the price of Chinese labor. Additionally, mainly because of vegetation that have been shuttered in the 2008 recession and never ever reopened, Ukraine has output potential, even though most plants in Europe are at ability.

SEBN describes the parameters of its wiring harnesses for the Volkswagen Golfing and Audi Q7 on its world wide web internet site. The Golf’s harness weighs concerning 27 and 55 lbs., whilst it weighs as substantially as 100 lbs. in a Q7. It contains about 600 individual wires in the Golf and just about double that for the Q7. Plugging them in needs 150 connectors for the Golfing and 250 for the Audi. Whole length of the Golf’s wiring stretches additional than 3,200 toes and the Q7 carries virtually 10,000 feet of wiring.

Among the the generation interruptions so considerably, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche have introduced that they have halted some assembly lines as a outcome of the Russian attack on Ukraine. Porsche singled out its hotly sought-just after Taycan EV as the sufferer of its shutdown.

“Porsche sights the armed conflict in Ukraine with terrific problem and dismay,” the firm reported in a push statement. “We continue to hope for a cessation of hostilities and a return to diplomacy. We are confident that a sustainable remedy to

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Mechanic, mother of 3 states automotive supply chain is no sleek ride

“My Economy” tells the story of the new economic typical via the eyes of people today striving to make it, due to the fact we know the only numbers that really make a difference are the kinds in your economy.

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, quite a few corporations have been mandated to shut down to slow the spread of the virus, but businesses considered vital did not have to abide by the exact procedures. Many states, such as California, even created a checklist of what operations ended up considered necessary vs . nonessential. 

Erin Gomes owns Bavarium Autoworks in Mountain View, California. Gomes opened up her car repair business again in March 2020 — just weeks ahead of the state’s shelter-in-area order took outcome, but she was capable to get the company up and operating. Now, just about two yrs considering the fact that she opened store, items have fared pretty properly for the smaller-company owner. 

“We were being thought of necessary, so we have been in a position to continue to keep the doors, properly, not actually open up. Those have been shut fairly a bit, but we’ve been ready to stay in company,” she explained.

Gomes, a mom of a few, said juggling a company while having care of her children is no straightforward feat. “Being a mom and jogging a organization and a toddler and a newborn in the similar house, although I am operating from dwelling, is incredibly hard. Even though I’m answering telephone calls, I’m training her ABCs in among cell phone phone calls and e-mail.”

Gomes has also run into her fair share of problems with the source chain. “Parts availability has been quite difficult. With each manufacturer, vehicle that we function with, they applied to arrive in excess of in a working day, but we’re getting some essential components to autos — factors to hold the cars on the street — are on again buy.” 

This was a regarding difficulty for Gomes, specifically when a person of her buyers necessary an ignition coil. “Mercedes was telling me flat out that they have zero position for us, they could be months, and the motor vehicle was not drivable,” she stated. By possibility, Gomes was able to obtain yet another source who provided the important sections to get her purchaser again at the rear of the wheel.

Aside from the offer chain anxieties, Gomes is hopeful for the enterprise. 

“I just want to build the business even larger and be ready to have some aid for me so that I’m capable to choose in much more perform,” she stated. “I would like to use a lot more folks, be capable to make a lot more car homeowners content.” 

Let us know how your economic climate is accomplishing working with the sort below, and your story may well be highlighted on a long term edition of “My Financial

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How to cope with the supply chain crisis

Automotive company parts success is at a crisis stage, states Paul Gurizzian, CEO of aftersales information and tactic agency Carlisle & Co. The volume and length of parts on back get is increasing, he suggests, and that sales opportunities to a variety of issues. Dealership support buyers are disappointed for the reason that of the inconvenience. Company departments eliminate fix get income even though waiting for needed sections to arrive. And automakers, not able to provide sections to clients, may reduce enterprise to aftermarket pieces providers. Gurizzian, 59, discussed the parts provide issue and how it impacts the assistance lane with Editor Dan Shine. Right here are edited excerpts.

Q: These source chain problems have been heading on for a although. Is there a gentle at the end of the tunnel?

A: We will get by this, but the correct length is unknowable. There is no solitary root induce, hence there is no silver bullet to clear up the challenge. But we at Carlisle have some close to-time period, medium-term and lengthy-expression suggestions for the marketplace.

Let us begin with the in the vicinity of-term suggestions.

The cost of missing fill is major. Some of it is measurable, but some just isn’t for the reason that tarnishing one’s brand name takes place bit by bit, and the impression on lost sector share and pricing electric power is refined. The point is that investing to tackle this issue is merited just like you would make investments to boost quality or improve production ability. Buying departments will need to realize their suppliers and carriers are competing for labor, and the costs you fork out them will need to be large adequate so they can retain the services of qualified labor and drivers in the market. Now is not the time to test to help you save 2 per cent on a piece charge or [less than load] costs. Be prudent but shell out at or previously mentioned current market selling prices so you can protected capacity more than your opponents.

What are Carlisle’s medium-time period suggestions?

Believe carefully about suppliers and supply chains for crucial areas that empower client uptime. Expanding redundancy and minimizing source hazards require to transpire. This means a couple things:

  • Onshoring creation relatively than offshoring it in the Much East. Shortening offer distances and lead situations simplifies your provide chain and decreases the hazard of bottlenecks.
  • Spending funds for a 2nd set of tools so there are two suppliers for crucial parts rather than just a person. For present-day production parts, your production colleagues want to consider the lead. For earlier product components, aftersales offer executives have to have to consider the guide. Aim on the most constrained parts or suppliers that assist uptime, like powertrain.
  • Reconsidering what can be remanufactured and reconditioned to free up capability, especially in electronics.
  • Asking where you are on the additive production journey. More and more more components can be 3D-printed. This is a different supply of surge capacity.

Last but not

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