A spontaneous strike seems likely. Should I buy a car now?


If you’re thinking of buying a new car, you probably watch the news that this might happen United Auto Workers He hits. And yes, experts say, there could be some serious downsides for those shopping for certain models of cars, trucks or SUVs, at least in the long term.

However, there is no single answer for what a car shopper should do. It depends on the car you’re shopping for and the level of flexibility you have with that choice. First, keep in mind that only General Motors, Ford and Stellaants are facing strikes by the UAW, so if you’re thinking of buying a Toyota, Honda or Hyundai, a possible strike won’t make much difference to you.

And if you’re considering buying a Ford, Chevrolet, or Jeep—the brands that are made by Ford, GM, and Stellantis, respectively—but aren’t quite sure about the exact color or options, you may still have time to play around, even if the strike does happen.

But the focus is on “power”.

Automakers are just recovering from manufacturing disruptions caused by coronavirus-related parts shortages. New-car inventories are lower than they were before the previous strikes, said Pat Ryan, CEO of auto-shopping site CoPilot, which tracks dealership inventories closely.

There are differences even between these three companies. General Motors has the smallest inventory of the three, while Stellantis — which makes Jeep, Dodge and Ram models, among others — has the most vehicles at its dealership.

“They have a lot of inventory, and that could help them get rid of some of that inventory,” Ryan said of Stellantis.

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On the other hand, if you’re looking at a GMC, Chevy, or Cadillac SUV or truck, there are actually waiting times for some of those models. This is especially true if you want something very specific, Ryan said.

“The challenge with buying some of these things is that you really are “You’ll have to order or wait to get exactly what you want,” he said.

Evan Drury, industry analyst at Edmunds.com, said that if you are more flexible in your choices, there is no need for panic buying now. There will be very little time before the situation turns bad if the strike continues for too long.

“If you look at an American automaker, you already see that they are doing low bids [interest rate financing]”They offer cashback on some things,” he says sadly. “I’ll probably pull the trigger sooner rather than later so we don’t get stuck in that potential gray area three to four months from now, when they could start to run poorly if the factories are closed.”

Other than Stellantis, there are still a few specific models that are in abundance at the moment, noted Michelle Krebs, Analyst at AutoTrader. She said in an email that the Ford Bronco Sport, Escape, Chevrolet Equinox and full-size pickup trucks are well stocked.

But Ryan noted that pickups, because of their wide variety of types and options, generally require a greater variety of options for customers to find what they want in the lineup.

You might think that models made in Mexico or Canada, where the factories don’t employ UAW workers, would never be in short supply because of the strike in the United States. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, because North American automakers’ plants, which include Canada and Mexico, are all interconnected, says Thomas Goldsby, professor of supply chain management at the University of Tennessee. Wrote in an email.

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He pointed out that factories in the United States ship components to factories across the American border. So car production at Mexican and Canadian factories may stop at some point if the strike continues.

Some models of these brands are imported from outside of North America. For example, the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Trax are built in South Korea, the Dodge Hornet is built by Stellantis in Italy, and the Buick Envision is assembled by General Motors in China.

Goldsby said auto plants on other continents were unlikely to be affected by the strikes because automakers rarely ship key components between plants on different continents.

“In some ways, you may find this is all a bit like buying cars during the post-coronavirus vehicle shortage,” Ryan said.

“It’s likely to be quite specific about certain brands, especially certain models, where you really feel and see that,” he said. “Honestly, this could be an interesting time to revisit the Stellantis brands if you like any of them, because you’ll probably get a much better deal on them.”

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