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Dealers may want to stock up on used vehicles as production shifts.

Insights on the Unruly Retail Vehicle Market

Dealers brace for more new- and used-car price and inventory volatility as the UAW strike continues.

As the UAW strike continues, dealers are looking for answers to where the marketplace will shift, although even analysts say no one knows.

The best analysts can do at this point is read the metaphorical tea leaves that show how the market fared in September. The 15th of that month is when the UAW strike began.

“Although the UAW strike has yet to generate a significant impact on the new-car market, with overall pricing and inventory conditions improving for consumers so far, September market data shows rising trends to watch,” says Kevin Roberts, director of industry insights and analytics at CarGurus. “The used market also hasn’t been immune to strike concerns, with inventory rising by 2.5% as dealers are likely looking to have more vehicles on hand in case a prolonged strike impacts new-vehicle availability.”

As Wards has reported, the strike has significantly impacted the availability of midsize pickups. So far, the influence on the Detroit Three’s new inventory has been “negligible” outside of the midsize pickup segment, CarGurus reports. Overall inventory for the Detroit Three is up 4.5% since Sept. 15, while strike-impacted midsize pickups are down 9.5%. The Ford Ranger is leading in declines, falling nearly 26%. 

 Now, analysts say the availability of some off-road SUVs is dwindling.

Consider these trends from CarGurus’s latest analysis to form your own opinion on where the new- and used-car markets may land:

  • Three of the top 10 models seeing the most significant year-over-year (YoY) price increases are strike-impacted offerings: Chevrolet Express +25.7%; GMC Canyon +19.7%; and GMC Savana Chassis +19.1%. But price increases for these models since the strike started are negligible (up at most 1.1% for the GMC Canyon from Sept. 15- 31).
  • Battery-electric vehicles dominate used-car price declines: All 10 used models with the largest YoY price declines are BEVs, spanning a 33.5% dip for the Volkswagen e-Golf up to a 38.4% decrease for the Tesla Model S.
  • Market-share declines for new green vehicle listings: A surge of gas-powered cars on the market caused a decline in new inventories of EVs, BEVs and hybrids in September.


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