Auto supply chain issues vary in Columbia and Richmond counties

CSRA News

APPLING, Ga. (WJBF) – Columbia County’s fleet services shop stays busy.

“I feel like we would expect a vehicle in less than 12 months. To me, it seems like an issue,” said Fleet Services manager Nick Haynes.

Haynes and his team are feeling the effects of ongoing supply chain issues brought on by the pandemic. Right now, it’s difficult for them to get a new vehicle in the garage.

Haynes said, “It’s almost impossible. We were pretty fortunate we were able to find one vehicle that met our specs, was in budget. That was on the lot so we were able to snatch it up but everything else is on a delay through the ordering.”

The manager reports about 40 vehicles are up for replacement. They looked at buying more than 20 new ones this year but so far have only ordered four. Several factors play into the process.

“Manufacturers don’t necessarily value a municipalities business where we’re going to get a bigger discount than a customer coming in off the street. So where they pay MSRP and above, we’re not going to pay less than that so there’s not a big push to sell us vehicles right now,” explained Haynes.

For Haynes, it is not only hard to find new cars and trucks but parts too.

He said, “Really the stuff that kind of shocks you is cabin air filters, oil filters, regular engine air filters, kind of the small hard parts are getting harder to find.”

However, in Richmond County, Central Servies Director Takiyah Douse tells NewsChannel 6 things are overall good with getting new rides.

She cited, “We’ve ordered 81 vehicles to date, and of those we’ve received 70 so we have 11 that are expected to be delivered. We haven’t been notified we have not been notified with any issues of delivery.”

But Douse said finding parts can be a challenge.

She continued, “And other small commodity items such as tools and things like that have been a little trying for us to receive in a timely fashion but again it’s not preventing us from making the repairs to be made to vehicles.”

“If somebody’s not having a problem they may not have the demand like we do. We want everything by the end of the calendar year before the first half of that fiscal year budget,” said Hayes.

As things get sorted out, Hayes added they will remain patient as auto manufactures attempt to catch up with orders.

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