July '20

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30 THE SHOP JULY 2020 F acial expressions once filled with cheer are now hidden by home- made COVID-19 masks. Above the face shields, the only thing left exposed are the eyes full of fear, what-ifs and the unknown. The global pandemic is responsible for loss—loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, loss of patience and, many will say, even a loss of freedom. When it comes to economic recovery, specifically within the automotive industry, the last relatable climb would be from the Great Recession of 2008. The auto industry succeeded in climbing to the top of that monstrous recession mountain and did so while hauling a heavy burden of financial baggage in both arms. The tedious climb took years, but we made it. Yes, we made it. Some people, however, lost their homes and jobs and grew sick from the stress. The automotive industry lost a lot along the way, including Saturn and Pontiac dealerships. (We even received a list of Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealerships that were given three weeks to close their doors. I remember this part clearly, as we were working on vehicles from the listed dealerships at that time and had to think quickly on how we'd get paid. Luckily, those closures never materialized.) These examples are just a chip off the automotive block that builds the economy wall. It didn't matter which aspect of the automotive industry you came from—you felt the dagger and had to climb the wall and make it to the top if you were going to survive. Hard work & lessons learned from the Great Recession will help us through this. By Courtney Pahlke The COVID-19 Recovery Climb The lasting effects of the Great Recession in 2008 will help us understand and adapt to the changes sure to occur as we all look to rebound from the current coronavirus pandemic. Things won't go back to normal—or at least not the normal we knew. Even though we're hopeful, we must accept that there will be changes and learn to adapt to them as we rebuild the economy.

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