Home World How Ford F-150 manufacturing and costs may very well be affected

How Ford F-150 manufacturing and costs may very well be affected


Members of the United Auto Staff could also be out on strike in lower than per week if the union doesn’t attain an settlement on a brand new contract with Ford, Basic Motors and Chrysler-maker Stellantis by finish of day Sept. 14.

The consulting agency Anderson Financial Group, which specializes within the automotive trade, estimated in August that if the complete union of greater than 140,000 employees went on strike for 10 days, it will value the U.S. financial system $5 billion, or roughly half a billion {dollars} per day.

That quantity is reflective of the American automotive trade’s heft within the financial system — not simply when it comes to manufacturing but in addition in provide chain and analysis and improvement.

Nonetheless, it’s not but sure that the complete UAW would go on strike if no new contract is agreed upon with Detroit’s huge three automakers. One tactic mentioned in a latest story by the auto trade commerce publication Automotive Information would see solely a smaller variety of employees stroll off the job. The objective could be to cease manufacturing at sure UAW factories, equivalent to areas the place Ford employees construct engines and transmissions for the favored F-150 pickup truck and different fashions.

Ford Motor Firm didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Erik Gordon, a professor on the Ross College of Enterprise on the College of Michigan, mentioned that idea, if the union chooses to pursue some type of it, “is meant to create an asymmetry in damages.”

“You’re closing down manufacturing of its greatest promoting, in all probability its most worthwhile product” within the F-150, Gordon mentioned of the potential tactic, including that the length of a piece stoppage will decide how a lot harm it will trigger.

The UAW has sufficient cash in its strike fund to provide strike pay to each member for 11 weeks, Gordon says. That may restrict how lengthy its members can stay off the job. However a extra focused motion such because the one which focuses on Ford’s common pickup truck may very well be sustained for longer and at much less value to the union, as employees who aren’t on strike however are laid off would possibly have the ability to obtain unemployment funds as an alternative of strike pay. (The exact particulars would rely on state unemployment eligibility guidelines.)

“Then you will have a small quantity of employees on strike advantages, however you will have tied up manufacturing, you’ve halted manufacturing, all throughout the corporate,” Gordon mentioned. “So the corporate is dropping cash from all of these autos that may’t be produced, however solely a small variety of UAW are on strike.”

That may clearly harm Ford, however Gordon says there are dangers in concentrating on the F-150 particularly.

“Pickup truck house owners are usually very loyal. You are usually an F-150 individual or a Silverado individual or a Ram individual,” he mentioned, referring to competing vans from GM and from Stellantis, the mother or father firm of the Ram Vehicles model.

The work stoppage might additionally set off increased costs within the new and used car market. Shrinking inventories of recent Ford F-150 vans might result in increased costs as demand rises. The price of used fashions would additionally creep increased. And with the prime rate of interest for a 60-month auto mortgage sitting on the highest level since 2006 based on historic Federal Reserve knowledge, the upper car costs would inevitably result in costlier month-to-month funds.

Erin McLaughlin, senior economist specializing in transportation and infrastructure for The Convention Board, a nonprofit assume tank and enterprise membership group, mentioned a strike would have an effect on the U.S. financial system in three alternative ways: Staff would lose pay, producers would lose cash and the broader auto trade of suppliers, sellers and retailers would lose gross sales.

Whereas the Anderson Financial Group’s $5 billion estimate of the UAW strike’s potential affect on the U.S. financial system is huge, McLaughlin says it’s not sufficient to trigger a recession. It additionally wouldn’t have the identical advanced, irritating results as another latest strikes, just like the West Coast dockworkers strike this summer season or the threatened strikes by railroad employees in 2022 and UPS employees in 2023.

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