The UAW Strike Is Yet Another Sign Of Changing Times For Automakers

On Monday, General Motors GM and Ford Motor F revealed they will be laying off 500 workers from four of their Midwestern facilities as yet another consequence of the unprecedented UAW strike that kicked off on September 15th. Last week, Bloomberg reported that Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk stated that adhering to UAW’s demands would bring GM, Ford and Stellantis in the fast lane towards bankruptcy. But things are not all roses even for Tesla who missed Q3 delivery expectations also on Monday.

 On Friday, the UAW struck GM's Lansing Delta Township facility that assembles the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse SUVs after previously striking at the Missouri assembly plant along with 18 parts distribution centers. Last week ended with the UAW President Shawn Fain expanding the first-ever simultaneous strike against the Detroit Three to a GM Lansing, Michigan plant and a Ford Chicago assembly plant. Stellantis STLA was spared after last-minute concessions.


Ford will be letting go 330 workers at its Chicago Stamping and Lima, Ohio Engine plants. GM will be letting go 130 workers at its Parma, Ohio Metal Center and 34 at its Marion, Indiana Metal Center.


On Monday, JPMorgan estimated the strike’s cost to GM is about $191 million and $145 million to Ford but provided signs of optimism as it cited reports that the two sides are getting close to agreeing on pay and benefits.

The Anderson Economic Group estimated that the total loss from the first two weeks of the strike add up to $3.9 billion, including $325 million in wages, $1.12 billion in output that the Detroit Three lost, $1.29 billion harm to the suppliers along with $1.2 billion that dealers and customers lost. Economists are warning that a prolonged strike could inflict damage the US' GDP while simultaneously increasing the risk of a much-feared recession.

The Stand-Up Strike

The expansion of the strike on Friday brought the total number of striking workers to 25,000 which is still only a fraction of 143,000 UAW members who are employed at Detroit’s big three automakers. UAW opted for an approach where it announces new strike targets shortly before thousands of additional workers walk away from their jobs.

Meanwhile, Even Tesla Missed Q3 Sales Estimates

Also on Monday, Tesla reported its third quarter deliveries, with its production output being 430,488 vehicles while delivering 435,059 vehicles. For the quarter that ended on September 30th, StreetAccount expected Tesla to report delivering 461,640 EVs.

Despite reporting a 7% quarter-over-quarter decline in deliveries, Tesla reiterated its 2023 volume target of approximately 1.8 million vehicles. But, back in July, Tesla warned that third-quarter production is to slightly decline due to summer shutdowns that were the result of factory upgrades.

As Tesla continues to revamp its operations and add new models with the upcoming Cybertruck due to hit the road by the end of the year, it is a moving target that is hard to catch, but the UAW strike will make it even more difficult for GM, Ford and Stellantis to catch up to the EV leader. The UAW strike could be viewed as another sign that the world as we know is changing as the EV revolution continues to accelerate.

DISCLAIMER: This content is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as investing advice.

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