Car repairs, RV sales on the rise as people hit the road

Car repair surge

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Travel is increasing as the pandemic slows. Tuesday, more than 1.1 million people filed through U.S. airports, according to the Transportation Security Administration. However, people are hitting the road, too—and it’s helping local business.

As the weather heats up, so are the roads. This means good business for those in the auto industry, like BJ Wight who manages a Jack Furrier in Marana.

“Usually, we get busy in May [or] June. It’s a little early to be this busy,” he said.

Tires, fluids, oil changes, general checks—are up from normal. There are likely a few reasons why. People are more comfortable traveling now, maybe not by plane. Spring break and the Easter holiday meant more people traveled and people have more cash.

“Oh yes, especially with all the stimulus and the taxes, and it’s starting summertime, so everybody’s like ‘hey, it’s time to travel!’” said David Altamirano, Jack Furrier auto mechanic.

People can afford to be a bit more proactive with their cars before the summer travel season or a bit more creative. Christian Skydell has been hanging more ‘sold’ signs on the RVs he sells at Freedom RV.

“Oh, there’s a huge increase right now. With tax returns and stimulus checks,” he said.

Skydell said some people who may have been on the fence about purchasing an RV are coming in with their wallets, a bit deeper now. The first couple months of the pandemic were quiet for both businesses, but then around summer 2020, things picked up as people had to get out. Now, the business just keeps growing.

“Everybody started buying RVs,” said Skydell. “We pretty much doubled what we normally did, and we’d still be doing that if we had the inventory.”

The only thing holding back more sales for Skydell is the supply—stalled by an increase in demand, the Texas winter storm and some COVID restrictions in manufacturing plants. So, what they have on the lot, doesn’t last long.

“The demand is exceeding the supply right now,” he said.

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