Parts Shortage Stalls US Auto Repair Business

Biden admin looking to mitigate supply-chain shortages as Christmas nears

Transmission gears / Getty Images
October 18, 2021

A parts shortage spurred by a supply-chain slowdown is stalling the U.S. auto repair business, according to Bloomberg.

The shortage is delaying auto parts, such as oil filters and carpeting, causing mechanics to wait weeks rather than days to finish routine maintenance. The crisis has been exacerbated by an international semiconductor shortage, which shrank the supply of new cars and raised the demand for used cars as well as mechanical upkeep on old cars.

President Joe Biden has moved to mitigate a supply-chain disaster as Christmas nears, pressuring the shipping industry and labor unions to work around the clock to relieve bottlenecks. Some retailers have expressed skepticism, though, that any political intervention will prevent a crisis and have suggested that the problem will stretch into next year.

"There's no political intervention that’s going to get this done, and there may not be a human intervention that gets this done because this issue is now going to last well into next year," said Steve Pasierb, president and chief executive of the Toy Association.

AutoZone CEO William Rhodes called the crisis "the most difficult supply-chain environment that I have ever seen" and said his company has "the lowest level of in-stock" in recent memory.

The United States imported more than $130 billion in auto parts in 2020.