It’s no secret that the ongoing UAW strikes are intended to hit General Motors where it hurts, and allow the union to gain bargaining leverage over the Detroit Three automakers. While the most profitable vehicles and their respective plants have yet to go on strike, inventory levels of some models – including the Chevy Tahoe and Chevy Suburban – are still low regardless.
According to a report from Cox Automotive, inventory levels across the United States of the two full-size SUVs currently stand under a 30 days supply. For comparison’s sake, the optimal level of inventory is typically considered to be a 60 days supply.
In regard to General Motors as a whole, the Detroit-based automaker posted a 57 days supply figure in September 2023. This comes as Q3 2023 inventory levels were their highest since the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Tahoe and Suburban inventory levels are low, things could – and almost did – turn for the worse. In fact, a strike was about to be announced took place at the GM Arlington plant in Texas just last week before General Motors offered to include Ultium Cells battery plant workers in the national UAW contract. Due to the profitability of the full-size SUVs, a strike of any duration could have dire consequences, and low dealer inventory only makes GM’s position frailer.
“Inventory levels remain relatively stable, and, with the exception of some GM models, Detroit automakers have ample inventory for now to keep them operating through the coming month,” Cox Automotive Senior Economist Charlie Chesbrough claimed in a prepared statement. “Some brands have inventory buildup, so production disruptions will take time to feed through the distribution network. However, the strike could start to have an impact in the coming weeks if it continues.”