Nearly 13,000 auto workers are currently on strike at three major car manufacturing plants operated by Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. (GM), and Stellantis N.V. These plants primarily produce SUVs, but analysts from Evercore ISI suggest that the labor action may soon extend to plants that manufacture pickup trucks.
According to the analysts, if the strike moves to the pickup-truck plants, it could potentially have a significant impact on the automakers. SUVs and pickup trucks are their most profitable vehicles, making this potential expansion of the strike a major concern for the companies.
The United Auto Workers (UAW) union initiated the strike at midnight on Thursday, as the contract expiration deadline passed without reaching an agreement.
The GM plant in Wentzville, Mo., which produces midsize trucks and full-size vans such as the Chevy Colorado and the GMC Canyon, saw 3,600 workers walking out in response to the union’s call. In addition, approximately 3,300 employees working in final assembly and paint at a Ford plant in Wayne, Mich., and 5,800 workers at Stellantis’s Toledo, Ohio, plant—which manufactures Jeep Gladiators and Wranglers—are also on strike.
It remains to be seen how this labor dispute will unfold and what impact it will ultimately have on the automotive industry.
UAW Strikes And Potential Targets
The United Auto Workers (UAW) has adopted a new “stand up” strike strategy, deviating from its traditional approach. Instead of focusing on a single company, the UAW is now selecting specific plants across all three major carmakers. This change aims to optimize the use of the union’s strike fund and picket-line resources.
Looking ahead, there are several pickup-truck plants that could be the next targets for strikes. Two notable examples include the GM plant in Arlington, Texas, and the Ford plant in Louisville, Kentucky.
In Arlington, GM produces popular models such as the Chevy Suburban, the GMC Yukon, and the Cadillac Escalade. Meanwhile, Ford’s Louisville plant is responsible for manufacturing F-Series Super Duty vehicles, as well as the Ford Expedition and the Lincoln Navigator.
Other significant truck plants in the United States include Ford’s Dearborn facility in Michigan. This location specializes in producing F-150 pickup trucks, including the all-electric variant known as the Lightning.
GM’s Flint plant, which is the company’s longest-running factory in the U.S., manufactures heavy-duty versions of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks. Additionally, GM’s Fort Wayne plant in Indiana builds Chevy Silverado 1500s and GMC Sierra 1500s.
Within Stellantis, their Detroit complex focuses on producing Jeep Cherokees and Dodge Durangos.
Midday trading saw shares of Ford, GM, and Stellantis experiencing an increase in value. So far this year, Ford’s stock has risen by 9%, GM has seen a 1.3% increase, and Stellantis has enjoyed a remarkable rise of 35%. These gains stand in comparison to the 16% advance of the S&P 500 SPX index.