Here’s how the United Auto Workers strike could impact new and used car prices

BOSTON — The United Auto Workers strike enters its fifth day Tuesday as Detroit’s Big Three auto manufacturers try to reach a deal with union representatives.

Around 12,700 auto workers walked off the job last week, demanding a new contract with higher wages. The strike could affect production at plants owned by General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis, owner of the Jeep, Ram, Dodge, and Chrysler brands.

Kelley Blue Book author Brian Moody said he doesn’t anticipate an immediate impact on new car prices, but said the market could change if the strike continues into the fall.

“The prices could go up as supply dwindles,” Moody said. “For in-demand vehicles like trucks and full-size SUVs, [we could see prices increase] within a month because there aren’t that many of those out there.”

The current average price for a new car is $48,451, according to Kelley Blue Book. The average used listing is $26,651, Moody said. Car prices had finally started to level off in 2023 following years of supply chain issues and parts shortages during the pandemic.

“[Compared to] a year ago, there’s plenty of supply right now. In fact, for some makes and models there’s more than a one-hundred-day supply of vehicles, so we’re not going to be looking at price increases necessarily until we get closer to the holidays,” Moody said.

Moody warns the strike could also make it harder to get parts to fix your car, especially if it’s under warranty and can only be repaired at the dealership.

“When you have a warranty repair, it can’t just be anywhere. If you’ve been putting it off, I would get down there pretty quick because you want to be able to get it fixed quickly with parts that are hopefully already in inventory,” Moody said. “If the strike goes on for some time we may have a shortage of just parts and that may make it difficult to get your lightly used car repaired.”

Dan Eldoueihi, owner of 1A Auto Sales in Walpole, believes the strike could eventually drive up the cost of used car prices.

“It’s definitely going to trickle down,’ Eldoueihi said. “What’s going to happen is the [price of] new cars is going to surge and people are going to go back to used cars, and we’re going to be back in another cycle where everything goes up temporarily.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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