By NICK YAMASHITA
Moapa Valley Progress
During the COVID-19 restrictions over the past two months, the automobile industry; both sales and service; has been considered an essential business. After all, when the car breaks down, it either needs to be fixed or replaced. That means that these businesses have been able to stay in operation throughout the business shutdowns. Even so, business hasn’t been quite the same.
For the EZ Mobile Lube van that services the region, business has stayed pretty good according to co-owner Kyler Leavitt.
“It has been steady in the (Moapa) Valley, but it has really picked up in Mesquite area.” Leavitt said.
Kyler, along with his brother, Chantz Leavitt, own and run this business that offers oil changes, air filter changes and other routine maintenance. The difference for them is that they come to the customer.
Rather than the customer bringing their car to the shop, they bring the shop to the car.
“We have had a really good increase in business and a lot has to do with the fact that we are mobile, and we come to the customer,” Kyler said. “Of course, the recent changes in other similar businesses has been a factor for the increase as well.”
These “recent changes” in other businesses refers to businesses being required to changing hours or shut down completely due to the pandemic.
There have been some changes in how EZ Mobile Lube does business. “We now have been telling customers to leave their keys in the car outside of their homes, so we can come and change the oil and then leave, limiting the contact with customers,” Kyler said. “We are also recommending paying by card on-line.”
“We are constantly washing our hands especially after every money transaction,” Kyler added.
Kyler said that he projects business to continue to increase after the pandemic. EZ Mobile Lube has a very good retention rate of its customers, he said.
Kyler expressed gratitude to the community and customers. “Thanks so much for the support!” he said. “The community has been amazing in being so supportive of us, even before the pandemic. Thank you!”
Where business has been good for one automotive-related business, it has been much harder for another. Jeff Jones, owner of Town and Country Auto Sales in Overton, highlighted some of the difficulties he has faced in the used car market.
“It’s really in limbo right now,” Jones said. “The whole car sales market is very tricky currently and it is very difficult.”
Most of the used car auctions where Jones gets his inventory have been closed; especially in southern California.
“I’m not sure where we are headed in the next couple of months, but it is going to be difficult times ahead,” Jones said.
But though vehicles in stock for sale is limited, Jones said that he is still open for business and he still has cars to sell.
“We are checking into our options on coronavirus relief credit and options to help us rebound after this quarantine is over,” Jones said. “We just got to ride it out right now, one day at a time.”
In the meantime, Town and Country has been catching up on maintenance needs and is fully preparing for when it can be fully functional again.
Jones also expressed gratitude to the community. “We are so thankful to the community for helping support us,” Jones said.
But he also had some words of caution for local car buyers. “Just be careful concerning these buying-cars-online companies that are taking advantage of the current situation,” Jones said. “They have a way of sneaking in all kinds of extra charges.”
Jones welcomes anyone in the community who needs help during these times. “We are happy to help to the best of our capabilities,” he said. “Thanks to everyone again!”