Auto body shops in the Ozarks stay very busy and face parts shortages

Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 4:22 PM CDT
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CASSVILLE, Mo. (KY3) - Auto body shops across the Ozarks aren’t slowing down anytime soon. Some are even booked out for months.

At the beginning of the year, Ken’s Collision Center in Cassville was booked for 12-14 weeks. Staff says while it has slowed down some, this lead time is becoming more and more normal.

”Anymore, we don’t even slow down, thankfully,” said Ken’s Collision Center owner Ken Cieslinski. “We feel pretty blessed to say that we don’t slow down.”

Cieslinksi says right now, staff work on around 30 cars per week, sometimes more. He says business tends to pick up with deer season.

”You combine that with a pandemic, some parts issues,” Cieslinski said. “Parts issues are real. They’re out there. They do exist.”

Cieslinksi says the pandemic has changed his business model. He described the amount of backlog the shop once had as unprecedented. Even now, the supply of certain car parts like windshields has been hard to get on time.

”It was nothing for us to get windshields overnight. Now it’s sometimes ten days, two weeks,” said Cieslinski. “We just had a vehicle in here, and it was better than three weeks to get a windshield on it.“

”We’ve had quite a few issues with parts. They’ve been on the decrease over time,” said Branson’s B.A.T Boys automotive repair shop owner Jeremy McQueen. “It’s been worse and worse.”

McQueen says his shop has also been very busy. He says when parts aren’t coming in on time, it can delay everything getting fixed.

”Sometimes it can be two weeks, sometimes it can be two months, and we’ve had parts that we’ve had to wait on up to six months.“

”As long as we keep the customer informed, they’ve been incredibly patient and very understanding,” said Cieslinski. “That way, they know what’s going on and what to expect.”

Both shops owners ask that customers be patient when business is booming. They understand delays can be challenging for everyone.

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