95.3 / 88.5 FM Grand Rapids and 95.3 FM Muskegon
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Automotive analyst outlines UAW strike early impacts on West Michigan’s auto parts suppliers

Nissan workers at a plant in Canton, Miss. The auto company received financial incentives, including tax relief, from the state for the factory.
Rogelio V. Solis
Assembly line

United Autoworkers Union targeting all Detroit automakers at General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, but currently limiting its strike actions to three assembly plants.

In the early days of the United Autoworkers Union strike, West Michigan’s auto parts suppliers will most likely focus on cost containment.

“Maybe not spending on marketing. Pulling in some of your marketing dollars. Pulling in spending on raw materials and things like that because you’re going to be prioritizing. Cash is going to be king in this whole process.”

Mike Wall is Executive Director of Automotive Analysis at S&P Global.

“And I do suspect as I’m talking to suppliers, one of the last areas they want to touch, if you will, is the labor side. You don’t want to be laying off workers for a multitude of reasons. They’re your family. They’re kind of part of that corporate family, first and foremost, but on the other hand too, eventually production will start up again and you want to be able to bring them back into the fold. And in a tight labor market that’s very, very difficult. So, you know, early days maybe you see more of a focus on training, on maintenance in these plants, and trying to preserve that headcount for as long as you can. Unless and until this thing stretches out farther where you may have to look at some targeted layoffs.”

Wall explains it all depends on UAW leadership’s strike strategy which has yet to fully reveal itself.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.