New car supply rises in August but faces United Auto Workers disruption

Dealers saw new car supply rise in August but could soon face shortages once again as the United Auto Workers union inches toward a strike

New car supply rose in August to its highest point since April 2021, but an increasingly probable strike by the United Auto Workers union threatens to undo this progress in the coming week.

According to Cox Automotive, new vehicle inventory rose to 2.06 million units over the course of August, an increase of approximately 100,000 units from the end of July and 837,000 from the previous year. Days’ new car supply rested at 58 days by September 1, up two days from the prior month, but little changed from the year’s average. While electric vehicle inventories have been steadily increasing since the start of the year, August saw a 2% decrease in supply, which directly followed July’s 3% decline. However, at 98 days of supply, almost twice the industry average, dealers in the U.S. continue to carry a heavy surplus of EVs. While these are mostly positive signs for the U.S. auto sector, dealers and car manufacturers could see the car market’s strength end this Thursday should the United Auto Workers union and Detroit-Three automakers fail to negotiate a contract before their September 14 deadline.

Unlike a week ago, it does appear that talks are progressing between UAW representatives and OEM executives. United Auto Workers leaders have received proposals from all three brands (Stellantis, General Motors and Ford). Although none of these drafts have been approved, the union is attempting to reach an agreement as quickly as possible, with organization president Shawn Fain noting his team was “ready to negotiate in Detroit 24/7, just as we have been for the past seven weeks since we gave them our Members Demands.” However, if a strike were to occur, then production operations across the automotive industry would almost certainly fall far behind their current output in spite of supplemental workers brought in by Detroit manufacturers. Although dealers are likely to be caught in the crossfire, a sudden collapse in the industry’s new car supply may have the effect of pushing prices in the segment up once more. This could work to the advantage of retailers. That being said, given that auto values are already heavily inflated in 2023, any further increase may result in an exodus of car buyers who will instead flee to the used market. While it remains to be seen how the situation evolves in the coming days, dealers should prepare to face the worst by Thursday’s deadline.

Stay up to date on exclusive content from CBT News by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our free newsletter to receive all the latest news, insight and trends impacting the automotive industry.

CBT News is part of the JBF Business Media family.

Colin Velez
Colin Velez
Colin Velez is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. After obtaining his bachelor’s in Communication from Kennesaw State University in 2018, he kicked off his writing career by developing marketing and public relations material for various industries, including travel and fashion. Throughout the next four years, he developed a love for working with journalists and other content creators, and his passion eventually led him to his current position. Today, Colin writes news content and coordinates stories with auto-industry insiders and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.

Related Articles


Manufacturers In This Article

More Manufacturer News

Latest Articles

From our Publishing Partners