United Auto Workers go on strike: Live updates

6:05 a.m. ET, September 15, 2023

The UAW strike could raise car prices

Ford trucks for sale at a dealership in Long Beach, California, on September 23, 2022.

Eric Thayer/.

In the early days of a strike, car shopping won’t change much. Ford, GM and Stellantis dealerships will stay open, as car dealerships are independent franchises that aren’t owned by the auto companies.

Most of those dealers have a few weeks’ worth of new and used cars on hand to sell.

“We started to stock up on used vehicle inventory, especially in the domestic makes and some of the hotter models,” said Scott Kunes, chief operating officer of Kunes Auto and RV Group, which owns more than 40 dealerships in the Midwest.

However, if the strike drags on a very long time, prices will start to rise, Tyson Jominy, an industry analyst with JD Power said.

At plants where workers aren’t out on strike, production can continue for a whileor at least until all the components the factories have on hand have been used up. This includes GM, Ford and Stellantis factories in Canada and Mexico, which could keep operating for a while longer.

But, before long, production at these factories will be impacted by a lack of major components coming from US factories that have been shut down, said Thomas Goldsby, professor of supply chain management at the University of Tennessee.

Prices probably won’t reach the levels they reached during the computer chip shortages during the pandemic, but, in the worst case, they could come close.