Here’s how the United Auto Workers strike will affect YOU if you’re trying to buy a car – and which vehicles are impacted
The United Auto Workers union launched a strike on Friday, closing factories affecting Detroit’s three largest automakers and upending the U.S. auto market.
The strike has forced nearly 13,000 workers, about 10 percent of union members, to walk out, bringing production lines at GM, Ford and Stellantis to a standstill.
Although automakers had been running their factories 24 hours a day prior to the strike to build up inventories for dealers, analysts predict supply will soon decline.
Sam Fiorani, an analyst at consulting firm AutoForecast Solutions, told the Associated Press that three weeks of strike action would drive up prices and shift sales away from the three major companies.
“A work stoppage of three weeks or more,” Fiorani said, “would quickly drain excess supply, increase auto prices and encourage more sales to non-union brands.”
United Auto Workers members attend a solidarity rally Friday as the UAW attacks the Big Three automakers in Wayne, Michigan
Ford’s plant in Wayne, Michigan, employs 3,300 workers and produces Ford Broncos and Rangers. Pictured is a 2024 Bronco
If union leaders are unable to negotiate new contracts for their members, the strikes will continue. Union president Shawn Fain said workers at more factories could strike if companies don’t come up with better offers.
The auto industry accounts for about 3 percent of the country’s GDP, and Detroit automakers represent about half of the entire U.S. auto market.
Strikers have targeted a Ford assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan, a GM assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri, and a Stellantis assembly complex in Toledo, Ohio.
The Ford plant employs approximately 3,300 workers and produces Ford Broncos and Rangers.
The Toledo Jeep complex has approximately 5,800 employees and is involved in the production of Gladiators and Wranglers.
GM’s Wentzville plant employs approximately 3,600 and produces Chevrolet Colorados and Expresses, as well as GMC Canyons and Savanas.
“This is going to have an impact, especially when you look at the demand for these vehicles,” said GM CEO Mary Barra. CBS News. “We have a few in the field and we remain committed to meeting customer needs, but this is having an impact.”
“In Wentzville, the line is not moving and we are building two, well, actually three, very important products there,” she noted. “We just launched the Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Canyon; these are medium-sized trucks that are in high demand.’
The workers are seeking wage increases of 36 percent over four years. The companies have responded by offering increases ranging from 17.5 percent to 20 percent.
On Friday, Tesla was one of the few major automakers not to see a share price drop.
Members of the United Auto Workers walk along a picket line during a strike Friday at the Ford Motor Company Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan
The Toledo Jeep complex has approximately 5,800 employees and is involved in the production of Gladiators and Wranglers. The photo shows a 2024 Jeep Wrangler
The GM plant in Wentzville, Ohio, produces Chevrolet Colorados and Expresses, as well as GMC Canyons and Savanas. Pictured is a 2024 Chevrolet Colorado
Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush, said Tesla CEO Elon Musk was likely celebrating the news: “If the strike lasts longer than three to four weeks, it will be quite damaging to GM’s EV strategy and Ford by 2024.”
“While the Detroit stalwarts battle the UAW, a bottle of champagne is frozen at Tesla headquarters,” he said.
Stellantis said in a statement Friday: “We are extremely disappointed by the UAW leadership’s refusal to participate responsibly in reaching a fair agreement in the best interests of our employees, their families and our customers.
“We immediately placed the company in emergency mode and will make all appropriate structural decisions to protect our North American operations and the company.”
A prolonged strike by auto workers could have a huge impact on the economy. Anderson Economic Group estimates that a 10-day strike could result in a total economic loss of nearly $6 billion.