Auto Shops Bounce Back after COVID-19 Shutdown
Auto shops in the northwest metro are beginning to recover from the COVID-19 shutdown.
Jon Nelson opened up Christian Brothers Automotive in Maple Grove mid-January. When COVID hit, the number of services took a dip. At one point, the shop saw less than 30 cars a week.
“Across the board, specifically focused on April, most Christian Brothers shops were down 30-50 percent,” explained Nelson.
However, as the mandatory shutdown restrictions started to ease, auto shop services eventually doubled. Nelson said they’ll see around 55-60 cars a week.
“I think a large part of the reason it picked back up is more people are starting to drive,” Nelson said. “Of course if you have less cars on the road, you have less cars breaking down and less people need services.”
JPT Auto Services in Brooklyn Park also felt the impact of the pandemic.
“The first week, the phone didn’t ring. The second week, I did lay off a couple of guys for that one week,” said Zach Schwartz, the owner of JPT Auto Services.
But the scare didn’t last more than two weeks, according to Schwartz. Last month, JPT Services made about $20,000 more than what they typically get in a month.
“People were prolonging car repairs and now they’re working from home and don’t need their car. Especially for bigger jobs that take 2-3 days, we’ve seen a lot more of that work,” explained Schwartz.
Schwartz added they’re also servicing lot more emergency repairs such as alternators, radiators and starters. He said last month was the second busiest month in the record books since his time at JPT.
But as more cars roll in for services, Nelson said drivers can expect to see various COVID-19 safety precautions.
“We are disinfecting vehicles before and after servicing, requiring our guests to wear masks, frequently cleaning the inside,” said Nelson.
Christian Brothers also offers contact free services such as a key drop at the front door of the building. People can also get estimates from home.
“It’s also super important that safety is a high priority. That goes with the level of experience with our repairs but also goes hand-in-hand with the pandemic,” Nelson said.