Auto body shops seeing less business amid mild winter

Auto body shops seeing less business amid mild winter

Auto body shops seeing less business amid mild winter

Auto body shops across the metro are seeing a business slowdown as warmer weather creeps in sooner than normal.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS spoke with a dozen different auto shops in the metro, with nearly all of them saying it was the slowest February they’ve seen in years and it’s all because of the lack of snow.

Mike Schoonover, the owner of Schoonover’s Bodyworks and Glass shop, explained the slowdown is not the worst thing.

“Well there’s snow and there’s ice which makes our business a little bit more busy,” Schoonover said.

That’s normally the case for a Minnesota winter, but this time around, Mother Nature went easy on the fresh powder.

At Schoonover Bodyworks and Glass, when business slows down, mechanics catch up.

“This has been a good time for us to get caught up and get customers in and out faster,” Schoonover said.

For the last couple years, the body shop was working through an eight week back log. Now, they’re back down to three weeks, which they said is pretty normal.

“It’s kind of a breath of fresh air,” Schoonover said.

But the warmer weather has not eliminated crashes altogether.

Minnesota State Patrol said slippery roads may not be a problem, but speed is.

“What we’ve seen is an increase in speeds or speeds continued to be the same from the summer months, and we’re having more fatal crash crashes along with injury crashes,” said Sgt. Troy Christianson with Minnesota State Patrol.

MSP data shows the state has seen 55 fatal crashes, compared to 34 around this time last year.

State officials are urging people to watch their speeds and slow down because high speeds can have big consequences.

Schoonover sees some of the aftermath first-hand.

“Speed impacts a lot,” he said. “It usually means that the severity or the amount of damage that’s on the vehicle is higher. We generally see that cars are probably totaled out.”

Auto body shops in the metro explained this is a good time for customers to come in and get their car serviced as wait times are not as long.