Chances are if you are reading this, we might have your car in the shop, and you are probably worried because you need it. In uncertain times it can be scary to not have access to your personal transportation. It’s never a convenient time to get into an accident, but this is definitely the worst time. As of this moment, we are still open for business.
But with the coronavirus/CVOID-19 pandemic, who knows for how long it will last. As of right now, cars are still getting into accidents, and they continuing to be towed into our shop. Autotech Collision is still open and able fix them and we are still meeting our deadlines.
However, we want to warn our customers that the supply chain may be disrupted for a while. This is especially true if you have a foreign car where most of the parts are made overseas. Even though the ports aren’t shut down, there is a 25% reduction in the number of containers sailing out of China right now. They are struggling with their own internal trucking infrastructure. But beyond the ports, the factories in China have also faced employee shortages, and with that, production slowdowns.
Have a domestic vehicle? Unfortunately, some of the parts are still made overseas. This also includes replacement crash parts that are often damaged in accidents- parts such as headlights, taillights, and wiring harnesses. These parts are still in current supply, but that could change.
When shipping activities and all production is back to full capacity, it still takes forty days for a shipping container to travel from Shanghai to New York City. After that cargo arrives by ship, it has to be processed through customs, and then pass through a series of warehouses where it finally goes through truck routes before parts finally make it to our local jobbers.
Another possible delay could come if our vendors (like a paint supplier) do any type of shelter in place or following quarantine rules, which vary state by state. Many suppliers already have been told that they have a work from home plan in place.
The same is true for the insurance company field adjusters who have also been given work from home orders.
As for right now, our employees are all healthy and showing up to work every day. From a labor standpoint, we are still all hands on deck, and cars are still getting cars towed-in every day. Estimates are being given, repair plans are being written, and we are scheduling jobs as usual, but all of these factors outlined above are required for us to repair your vehicle.
Concerns for you, the customer.
Currently, insurance companies haven’t given any indication of extended rental coverage in the case of a forced shutdown. Most policies have a cap on the length of rental, but we’ve never had to deal with a situation where shops across the country are forced to shut down. So, we have no idea whether you will be asked to turn the rental in or if the insurance companies will continue to cover your rental. We have no control over that since we only fix the vehicle.
As for right now, it is still business as usual, and it is difficult to predict what the future holds, just know that it might take longer to fix your car in the near future.
We value your safety and our quality of work in the meantime. Please contact us with any questions or concerns. We are here for you.