Supply Chain Delays and the Auto Industry

You may be familiar with the international supply chain delays that many industries are currently experiencing. In the last week representatives from Amazon, Australia Post and many large retail outlets have spoken via various news outlets about the expected delays in receiving goods over the upcoming festive period.

The automotive industry is not excluded from this. As Australia no longer manufactures any motor vehicles “in house”, rather imports all vehicles, obviously the parts are imported aswell.

Majority of manufacturers bring their parts into the country through Melbourne and then parts are trucked across the country to the locations they are needed at. When a part is not available within Australia it is sourced through the manufacturer and shipped here. This is referred to as Back Ordering. Clients can choose to pay more in fright (depending on the weight of the part) and have it Air freighted (put on a aeroplane) and speed this process up.

Prior to Covid the average time for a Back Order was two to four weeks from the day of order to the day it arrives at your mechanics workshop. Currently we are experiencing an average of six weeks up to three month waits on some parts. The problem is exacerbated by courier companies deciding now is an ideal time to take industrial action and go on strike, so even once your part is in the country, it may sit in Melbourne twice as long as necessary.

Unfortunately there is little that can be done about this. Mechanics are being forced to get clever with repairs, shop around for alternative suppliers that may already have parts in the country or opt for second hand replacement parts over new.

The only real action a consumer can do is to organise the pre Christmas vehicle service or inspection earlier in the calendar year. In years past, early December was often enough time for your mechanic to source any parts needed if your vehicle needed a bit of a freshen up before the Christmas Holiday period. This year, if left until then, if your mechanic were likely to find any issues needing urgent attention, chances are your vehicle may not be getting used over the festive season. Get in to see your mechanic in early November.

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