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Local auto industry on shortages: 'The light at the end of the tunnel just never comes'

Shortages of parts and labor are making repair times longer and costing drivers more.

TOLEDO, Ohio — The auto industry is dealing with a parts shortage never seen before. From computer chips to engines, mechanics are finding it harder to get the right parts, making repair times even longer.

"It's hard to put your finger on one thing, or blame anybody or any one set of people or offices," CR Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Adrian service manager Chris Wyman said.

He said the cause could range from a lack of raw materials to supply chain bottlenecks.

Dealer Tyler Tansel said longer wait times can be frustrating for customers, especially people waiting on parts such as new air conditioning in the middle of summer.

"People are making payments and they can't drive the cars for a month," Tansel said. That's not good business, and I'm not just hearing it from Chrysler, I'm hearing it all across the board."

Steve Taylor of the Taylor Automotive Family said it's not just fewer parts causing delays, but fewer mechanics to work on the cars. Taylor said a large number of mechanics will retire in the next several years, and fewer are joining the profession.

"It's been difficult with technicians," he said. "They're definitely in demand, skilled labor. Technicians across the country are in demand, not just locally in Toledo. A good technician is worth its weight in gold."

With no clear answer to the bottleneck, locals in the automotive industry aren't sure when the situation will improve.

"Last year, I thought by this summer we should fine," Tansel said. Unfortunately, the light at the end of the tunnel just never comes.'

Wyman said their dealership could make calls to Stellantis, who manufactures their vehicles, for support. But, complaints do very little to make a difference, he said.

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