UAW strike cost GM $3 billion
Mike DiFranco, Today's Motor Vehicles

UAW strike cost GM $3 billion

Lost sales cost company $1 billion in third quarter and will depress full-year results.

October 30, 2019

Cleveland, Ohio – The United Auto Workers (UAW) six-week strike against General Motors cost the automaker $3 billion, officials said with the release of the company’s third quarter earnings.

GM earning $2.3 billion in the third quarter, an 7.2% decline from 2018’s third quarter. Based on the company’s $1 billion loss estimate from the strike, it would have grown profits considerably had it not lost several hundred thousand vehicles worth of production during the stoppage.

“Our new labor agreement maintains our competitiveness, preserves our operating flexibility and allows us to continue improving our quality and productivity,” GM CEO Mary Barra said. “We remain focused on strengthening our core business and leading in the future of personal mobility.”

The company’s earnings beat Wall Street expectations and shows that the strategy of accepting lower unit sales volumes but focusing on more expensive products is working. Compared to 2018’s third quarter, GM’s sales from July through September this year were down 5.5% in terms of the number of vehicles sold and down 1.5% in terms of revenues. That means the average revenue generated per vehicle sold climbed 4.3% to $17,024 in 2019 from $16,324 in 2018.

About the author: Robert Schoenberger is the editor of Today's Motor Vehicles and a contributor to Today's Medical Developments and Aerospace Manufacturing and Design. He has written about the automotive industry for more than 19 years at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio; The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky; and The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi.