GM and its unionized workforce reached an agreement last week to end the longest nationwide auto-worker strike in half a century. The agreement reopens a pipeline that ran dry for 40 days as some 46,000 hourly workers walked off the job at 55 U.S. facilities from Texas to Michigan. On Oct. 25, the United Auto Workers ratified a new contract with GM that includes pay raises and faster graduation to full-time employment for temporary workers — but bars the union from challenging the Detroit automaker’s closure of several plants.
For shoppers, the strike ends a period that saw dealer inventory at GM’s four U.S. brands (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC) fall some 12 percent on Cars.com amid a production stoppage and, in a show of solidarity, a move by unionized truck drivers not to deliver vehicles to GM dealerships.
Does that mean you’ll face slim pickings today? That’s unlikely. GM entered September with 80 days’ inventory — well above the industry’s 63-day average, by Automotive News’ estimate. When the strike began Sept. 15, the automaker’s four brands accounted for roughly a half-million dealer vehicles on Cars.com. As of this writing, Cars.com dealers have some 438,000 GM cars. Individual showrooms will vary, but inventory overall is plentiful. So are incentives: Among our tally of October’s best new-car deals were a few GM vehicles, all of which have prominent discounts through Halloween.
It’s less clear how the strike impacts timing on key upcoming GM models. Three model-year 2020 introductions — the all-new Cadillac CT4 and CT5 sedans, plus the eighth-generation Chevrolet Corvette sports car — hail from UAW-represented plants, and none is currently on sale yet. GM previously announced that, by the end of 2019, all three would either begin production or become available for ordering.
Asked about CT4 and CT5 timing, GM did not immediately respond to Cars.com. Regarding the Corvette, spokesman Kevin Kelly told us that “with the plant just getting back today, it’s still too early for us to speculate on potential timing adjustments.”
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