GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Timing is everything. Auto analyst Mike Wall realizes that every time he gets behind the wheel of his new Ford Bronco.
“So we ordered this in October of 2021 and we were victim to the supply chain issues that were occurring,” Wall said.
He finally took delivery in June, 20 months after placing the order. Recent orders have been filled much more quickly, but the United Auto Workers strike of all three major Detroit automakers might change that.
“Now the problem is even though it’s scheduled for production, that’s a problem. This is one of the plants that’s come under strike,” said Wall, an analyst with S&P Global Mobility.
It’s part of the UAW strike strategy. Instead of an all-out walkout, the union targeted plants building the more popular models, including Ford’s Bronco SUV and Ranger midsize pickup built near Detroit, Jeep’s Wrangler and Gladiator built in Toledo and the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size pickups built in Missouri.
“We do see a fair amount of inventory starting to build up, so you may get some luck in terms of finding that pick up or that utility vehicle,” Wall said.
That’s right now.
“As this progresses, should we see it extend to other plants. That’s when we may start to see inventory start to get impacted much more profoundly, and it won’t take long,” Wall said.
While it’s already a seller market, your ability to squeeze a little more out of a deal will become an even tougher challenge.
“You may still see a lot of vehicles on the lot. But in the mind of the dealer, they’re also seeing this and they’re going to be trying to protect for future inventory, so they may not be as include to complete a deal,” Wall said.
If the strike continues past a week or two, getting your old car fixed could also be a challenge. An extended strike could shut down parts operations.
“The automakers know this as well and they’re trying to adjust for it, too, to find ways at fulfilling parts,” Wall said.
The keyword as the strike continues will be patience.