SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — One Syracuse salvage yard is seeing more customers come to its lot.
Syracuse Mechanic Cole Latour said he goes to the salvage yard often. He’s noticed that there is an increase in better-conditioned used cars there.
Latour found a few cars at U-Pull U-Save in East Syracuse that, with minor work, could be back on the road.
“An alternator is like 16 bucks here and then the water pump you could’ve bought brand new for probably 30 to 35 bucks so about 200 bucks and the car would have been able to drive again,” Latour said.
The truck was labeled “R/D,” meaning it was a running and driving vehicle before coming to the yard.
The manager of U-Pull U-Save, David Gruel, said the majority of their cars don’t even come from auctions.
“We buy probably 95 percent of our vehicles off the street or from small used car lots,” Gruel said.
Although the number of cars in the lot fluctuates day to day, Gruel said the stressed economy could be a major factor in people salvaging their cars today.
“I think a lot of that has to do with the scare of war a couple months ago with Ukraine and everything that’s going on there,” Gruel said.
He believes prices for car parts will begin to drop in the coming months.
“And now we’re three, four months into that and it looks like prices are starting to drop at this point,” Gruel said.
Other contributing factors for the increase in more customers and cars at their salvage junk yard could include:
- Increased gas prices
According to AAA, the record high price for regular gasoline in New York was on June 14, at $5.041.
The current average for the state is $4.931.
- Labor shortage and a shortage of mechanics
According to TechForce Foundation’s 2021 Supply & Demand Report, the demand for technicians went from 136,503 in 2020 to 258,000 in 2021. It nearly doubled in the past year.
- Increased metal prices
Aluminum prices increased more than 3% and hit a record high of about $3,450 per ton on the London Metal Exchange, according to CNBC.
- Expense of new vehicle parts and the rise of prices due to inflation
The consumer cost of motor vehicle parts and equipment is up 20% compared to 2021, according to Chung.