Since the beginning of the new year, vehicle inventory levels across the United States have been steadily rising as the effects of supply chain-related constraints become addressed. However, with the UAW’s widespread strikes on the Detroit Three automakers, brands like Buick could see a notable drop in its days supply figures as the strikes continue to drag on.
As of September 2023, Buick was running at a 82 days supply, which stands as the highest figure of all of GM’s brands. For comparisons sake, a 60 days supply is considered optimal across the automotive industry. However, this extremely strong inventory level may not last forever.
As of the time of this writing, there are no outwardly signs that the UAW strikes are currently taking place, as Cox Automotive noted that the impacts have thus far been quite muted. Nonetheless, the UAW expanded strikes against General Motors and Ford in late September 2023, so a ripple effect might be noticeable sometime in October 2023.
Looking ahead, it’s uncertain exactly how the strikes will play out. As the Detroit Three automakers continue to negotiate with the UAW, the union may decide to lessen its strikes if it receives what it perceives as good progress in negotiations, similar to how the GM Arlington plant in Texas was spared from strike expansions, thanks to GM accepting to include its Ultium Cells battery plants under the union’s national worker contract. Notably, the UAW has yet to target full-size pickup truck production, the three automakers’ other most-profitable vehicles.