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Crunch: Bend auto body shops struggle with issues; customers face long delays

'We have cars that have been here for months'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Several auto body shop managers in Bend say they are backed up and having trouble getting the parts and supplies needed to do the work for their customers.   

One manager says there’s an combination of issues hitting body shops, not just in Central Oregon but on a national level.

“You’re dealing with the insurance companies. The turn-around time on their process to get the approvals back to the body shops has been ridiculous lately," Precision Body and Paint manager Antonio Puppo said Tuesday. "You’ve got your parts problem, once you finally have those approvals, and then you just don’t have the manpower to get these cars in and out.”

The shortages in parts have had a trickle-down effect that make it hard to sustain a steady flow in business. Professional Auto body and Paint manager Tom Tockero said he has been waiting a long time for a simple Subaru part, but it's on a back-order, with no arrival date.

“I don’t even know when it will be here," Tockero said.

Like many other businesses, both managers are struggling to hire workers and that makes it hard to offer the customer service they desire to provide.   

“No one has enough people to get production moving,” Puppo said. "We have cars that have been here for months."

“Employees are getting harder and harder to find," Tockero said.

In comparison to previous years, Puppo says this year is especially bad. 

“Been doing this for nine years, almost, and I can’t recall" a similar situation, he said. "The last two years, specifically, where it’s been almost impossible to get parts.”

Both managers said they’re completely booked until mid-August.

“We’re used to a certain amount of volume, and it's cut down, because we can’t do any more than what we’re doing,” Tockero said.

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Bola Gbadebo

Bola Gbadebo is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Bola here.

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