We are considering moving to either STT or STX in the next 3years. We have a Jeep shop on the mainland and wondered with all the Jeeps there if there is a good market for Jeep repair or is that area well covered by another shop?
I would venture to guess the niche market is very tied up. I can only speak for St Thomas with any modicum of authority but there are hundreds of Jeeps on the roads here both very old workhorses and newer models, and nobody of the many I know who own them has any problem finding someone to work on them from the dealer shops to the backyard mechanics.
Who knows what will happen "in the next 3 years"!
I don't know whether or not you've read all the information here on the drop-down menus top of the forum page but they're an invaluable source of information. If you haven't been to the islands before then a PMV (pre move visit) should be on your agenda before you decide to make a final decision and especially so given your particular circumstances with a special needs child.
Moving interstate is difficult enough when you don't have contacts in the new place and have to fumble your way around the differences - multiply those hugely when thinking of moving to a US territory.
Good advice We have visited a few times and are considering doing a 1 month stay next fall or spring and then a longer one the next year. We are doing lots of research for obvious reasons. We live in a very snowy place (when I say snowy I mean it's snowing today May 19!) and have known we wanted to move somewhere warm for many years. We'll keep doing research and welcome other ideas, thoughts.
Requirements for being a Jeep mechanic on STX:
1. A tree with a lot of shade.
2. A house. Preferably down by the place that burned down 5 years ago.
2. A telephone number.
This is 100% accurate.
I was just talking about this with a friend of mine yesterday.
Getting parts is the hardest thing. Nobody gives up parts, so forget about used parts, unless you can spend a little to start parting out some jeeps you can horde.
There is a huge market for this though. There are a couple of us who have begun hording jeeps and fixing/selling them.
If I had the scratch and time, I would buy a couple acres and just start buying every junker on island and have my own junkyard.
Huge market for reputable mechanic here, but on your own, not in someone elses shop. Just be prepared to be beaten to death over the price and have conversations like "you changed my brakes two weeks ago and now my AC doesn't work as well". I kid you not.
Wow, lots of great info here. We run a Jeep/accessory/snowplow shop in the mountains of Colorado. We wondered if a specialty shop would be feasible there with the difficulty of getting parts, would love to drop the "snowplow" sales from what we do:) We've been dreaming of making a change like this for years. Just looking for the right time and opportunity.
With your experience you could easily start a Jeep-Centric shop here - I am sure your established connections will serve you well on shipping any needed parts unavailable here but it will be the service aspect that will distinguish your store and honest, good, reliable service will guarantee a successful future in the Islands.
But Rock Auto uses USPS and ships right to my door.
I bought a pair of complete lower control arms for my car from Advance. I found the part number on Rock Auto and called the Advance customer service number and gave them the price. Not only did they match it they beat it at 60% off. I'll drive anywhere for those savings. If they don't have it in the store they'll ship it directly to you.