Just a few more miles

Raissa Tetanish
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When the economy is in the tank, does anybody win?

While much of the auto industry toils with the rest of the struggling economy, at least one sector is surviving just fine at least for now.

Just a few more miles

Editors Note:

This is Part I of an ongoing series looking at how Amherst Businesses are coping as the global recession sets in.



While much of the auto industry toils with the rest of the struggling economy, at least one sector is surviving just fine at least for now.

Local car repair shops say their business continues to hold on as many motorists try to get a few extra kilometers out of their vehicles before having to replace them.

You know theres a problem with the car markets, said Eddie Canton, operator of Dons Radiator on Hickman Street. Just look at how cheap vehicles are. Theyre all on sale, but I think we will start seeing people spending more money on their older vehicles if they cant afford new ones.

Kevin Pratt Auto Repair in West Amherst averages a 2000 model, however Pratt often sees vehicles as old as 1995.

Its not unusual these days to find a vehicle that has more than 200,000 kilometres on it, Pratt said. About 60 per cent of the vehicles that are brought in are older than 2000, and are brought in for general maintenance. People today are trying to get as much as they can out of their vehicles and theyll spend the money to do it.

Its a trend other local shops are experiencing or expect to experience as well.

We do expect to see people doing more maintenance to make their vehicles last longer, said Scott Hall, service manager at Amherst Toyota.

At the Toyota dealership, Hall says the average age of vehicles brought in for maintenance is four years, although most they see are loyal Toyota customers. For Canton, the average age is six.

With a Chrysler 4x4 sitting in Cantons service shop, he says the owner of the truck was thinking about trading it in for a newer vehicle.

But they dont know if they should. Theyre just waiting, which doesnt help the dealerships, said Canton.

Here, we havent really noticed the recession yet, but it is going to come. You can tell. You can see it around us.



rtetanish@amherstdaily.com



Organizations: Eddie Canton, Toyota, Kevin Pratt Auto Repair

Geographic location: Hickman Street, West Amherst

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Recent comments

  • Mom
    January 18, 2010 - 10:36

    With the conditions of the town roads there should be no shortage of customers for these businesses.