LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Worker shortages, inflation and supply constraints have caused issues pre and post pandemic.
Although price increases are not back to normal, a New York Times article says they have been steadily slower over the last three months.
It’s safe to say George Kok knows a thing or two when it comes to cars. He also has had experience with inflation and supply chain issues over the years.
“I had always been interested in mechanics, especially cars,” Kok, owner of Mr. Transmission said. “I started working at a standard oil gas station in 1966 and went from pumping gas to changing tires to tune-ups to brake jobs.”
Since then, Kok has been with Mr. Transmission for over 40 years and in the automotive business for more than 60 years. The shop offers a variety of maintenance and repair services. Lately, those repairs have become a bit more costly.
“Every month for the last 26 months, transmission fluid prices have increased and how it affects us is we have to ask the customer to pay more money for their repairs,” Kok said.
Kok, who runs the day-to-day operations at the shop off Hunsinger Lane and in Clarksville, Ind., has seen first-hand how inflation has affected his business.
“It’s not a negotiable item for us,” Kok said. “If we’re going to stay in business, we have to recover those expenses.”
So have Kok’s customers. Shipping delays and empty shelves have left one vehicle waiting to get fixed in the Mr. Transmission lot.
“So the next step for us is to purchase the complete transmission and we’ve been waiting for that transmission now for about three weeks,” Kok said. “We just got an email at the end of last week that the delivery has been pushed back one more week.”
Kok says it will be almost five weeks until the shop receives the transmission. So while the future of supply chain issues is unclear, he is finding ways to be flexible like bulking up certain products used more often.
“I think everyone understands right now,” Kok said. “They just kind of resign to the fact that’s just the way things are right now, we don’t get a lot of pushback. we’re doing everything we can.”
In the meantime, Kok is continuing to stay resilient for his customers and his business.