Lexington Auto Shops Worried About Rising Gas Prices
LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX18) – While only some Kentuckians are looking for new homes, rising gas prices are an issue that affects us all. The very places responsible for keeping us on the road are also feeling the pressure.
Troy Cox is a district manager for AAA and oversees 14 different stores, including Auto Tech in Lexington. “We (AAA) live and breathe the person on the road. Our roadside, our journeys, everything that is generated by people who travel,” Cox said.
Sam’s Auto Shop also depends on people traveling. “Business-wise, we’re doing very well. We have a loyal customer base, which helps us get through the slow times,” said store owner Sam Hatton.
With the recent rise in gas prices, he knows some of his regulars may have to start making tough choices when it comes to keeping up with the controls on their car. “Yes, it’s important, but putting gas in and providing food for their families sometimes takes precedence over oil changes and maintenance,” Hatton said.
The pain at the pump is just the latest in a series of hurdles these essential business owners and managers have faced.
“Everything is rare,” Cox said. “Add in once it enters the United States, we have to find someone to put it in the back of a truck and ship it to where I need it.” Disruptions to the supply and delivery chain lengthen the expected time to get the job done.
Hatton says simple repairs two years ago may have only taken one to two days, due to supply issues it could be five or six.
“If you’re going into major auto repairs, like engines or transmissions, you can be delayed for weeks at this point,” Hatton said. “Because not only is it a supply chain issue, but it’s also an employee issue because I don’t have the employees I had before. Instead of having eight people in the store, I have five.”
Hatton currently has only half the staff compared to 2020.
Despite the triple threat of supply chain issues, labor shortages and rapidly rising costs, he remains optimistic about the business.
“I just want to say thank you to everyone, and I think we just have to stick together, and we’ll get through this together,” Hatton said.