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By now, you may already know that the UAW (United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America) began a strike against all three of the big automotive manufacturers in Detroit. The UAW strike sees workers walking off their jobs at Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis (Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep) production plants. How exactly will this affect the general American public and the price of vehicles?

The UAW strike could mean all new vehicle production comes to a halt

UAW worker holding up a picket sign while striking against Ford, GM, and Stellantis for better pay among record high profits
UAW Worker with Sign | Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

If you’re unfamiliar, UAW members went on strike at three production plants on September 15, 2023. The strike comes on the heels of failed negotiations between the UAW and automakers over fair wages, benefits, and paid time off. For more in-depth details about the strikers’ demands, check out our article here, which gives the full breakdown.

Fighting for fair wages and ensuring workers aren’t taken advantage of is indeed a very noble cause. That being said, every action has a reaction. In the case of the UAW strikes, this could mean a sudden shortage in the supply of new vehicles. Lately, we’ve seen a recent downtrend in the pricing of new vehicles. However, if the strike continues, that may change.

According to the Associated Press, the strikes currently consist of about 13,000 workers across the three brands. More notable is the fact that this is the first time all three companies have been the target of UAW strikes in nearly 90 years.

When demand outweighs supply, prices go sky-high

Undoubtedly, you remember the consequences of the first wave of the microchip shortage. Not too long ago, finding any brand-new car without a nasty dealer markup was entirely impossible. Many cars still carry markups, but some models are now in excess supply at dealerships and are struggling to sell.

If the UAW strikes continue to slow or stop production, though, vehicles from American automakers may see massive shortages and huge increases in price.

Overall, only time will tell just how high prices will go. One thing is for sure, though. It’s a rough time to be in the market for a new car in the U.S. If you’re currently shopping for one, best of luck. You might want to consider buying sooner rather than later just in case prices do see yet another drastic uptick.


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