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Will the UAW Strike affect car prices in Colorado?

Car Prices
Posted at 7:20 PM, Sep 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-15 21:20:46-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — The United Auto Workers are on strike against General Motors, Ford and Stellantis. This is the first time in its history the union has struck against all three at the same time.

It's what's called a "Stand-Up Strike,” which means that only three plants are striking and the rest are still working. Some car customers are concerned if this is going to impact car prices, while dealerships worry if inventory is going to decrease.

The Director of UCCS Economic Forum, Bill Craighead, and Former President of the Colorado Auto Dealer Association, Tim Jackson said people in Colorado won’t be immediately impacted.

Jackson said the strike should not have an instant influence on dealerships in Colorado.

"The pipeline is out there, and what was on the way to dealerships will still be on the way to dealerships, what was being produced, in the other factories, will still be produced," Jackson said.

Jackson estimates customers and dealerships won't be impacted for at least a month.

"The first impact before prices will be lack of inventory, lack of selection and the lack of choice for consumers and that's when we would see negative impacts," Jackson said.

Jackson does not expect prices and inventory to be impacted for at least 60, if not 90 days. He does not know how long the strike will last, but he expects there to be a lot of turmoil and apprehension.

“I am predicting more than a month, but not much more than a month. I think it is going to be in the one to two no more than three month time frame,” Jackson said.

Craighead said, whose effect depends on how long the strike lasts. He said if the strike is prolonged car prices could be affected and it could lead to fewer choices for buyers.

"Here we have another potential issue that could affect the supply of cars and reduced the available and if there's less supply of something then the prices could go up and if the supply of new cars are reduced than that effects of used cars to, that is something that could show up in the inflation figures, if we have higher car prices," Craighead said.

Craighead the automotive industry experienced and similar but different supply challenge a couple of years ago.

“We saw an example of that a couple of years ago when the issues with the supply of microchips hit the supply of cars,” Craighead said.

Craighead said there is still a big demand for vehicles.

“Because the inventory was so low they were kind of putting off buying new cars, I think the demand for cars has held up pretty good because of that pent-up demand. But this could be another factor that would reduces the supply and would tend to put an upward pressure on prices,” Craighead said.

As time goes on, a ripple effect can be created to affect other parts of the automotive industry.

"If the assembly plants are shutting down, then part plants and the suppliers start to get hit too. so it will spread to hit more and more workers over time," Craighead said.

Craighead believes if the strike is settled quickly, then the impact to inventory and car prices will be minimal. Jackson said if someone wanted to buy a car tomorrow, this strike should not affect them.

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