Salvage yards see increase in business

By Nicole Bell - bio | email

Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Auto salvage yards are seeing a boom in business. That's because in this tough economy, a growing number of people are choosing to fix-up older vehicles rather than purchase new ones.

One local auto salvage yard owner says business has doubled in recent months. He says the reason why is simple: people are looking to save money.

It may look like an auto graveyard, but in this sea of salvaged vehicles James and Ray find a golden nugget. The two are part of a growing number of people shopping at scrap auto part businesses in order to save some cash.

"They're always crowded. Monday isn't typical because it's raining but there's always a crowd because you get the parts cheaper," said James Lambe.

These shoppers say you can find just about any part for any type of car at the yard. Ray's 87 Nissan Pulsar caught fire last week. He's looking for a dashboard.

"Why not buy a new vehicle? I'm retired and I don't have the income, to be honest with you," said Ray Wade.

Auto experts say more people are choosing to pull parts and fix their old vehicles instead of buying new vehicles. For John Russell, who owns Russell's Auto-Truck Part, that means an upswing in business.

"It's a constant flow of business where a lot of other businesses are hurting at this time," said Russell.

Russell says the boost started shortly after the economy hit the brakes. His business has doubled.

"People are getting back to where they're saying, 'Hey I better start doing more on my own. I better do what I can to save money,' and they see that more of a priority now," said Russell.

As for John and Ray they say they'll continue to shop at scrap yards even when the economy is back on track. Russell says he's not only seen an increase in do-it-yourselfers shopping for used parts, but also mechanics.

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