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GM and Ford report Q3 earnings as Wall Avenue and UAW watch

Jim Farley, CEO, Ford, left, and Mary Barra, CEO, Basic Motors

Reuters; Basic Motors

DETROIT — Prepared for a tightrope stroll?

General Motors and Ford Motor report third-quarter earnings and future steering this week amid ongoing strikes and contract negotiations with the United Auto Staff union. And it is a troublesome stability.

If the automakers are bullish and exceed Wall Avenue’s expectations, it may gasoline the union’s predominant argument that the businesses can afford extra concessions amid wholesome earnings — probably prolonging the work stoppages and contentious talks.

But when the businesses, which can possible embrace many caveats in any future feedback, are too bearish on steering or the impression of UAW efforts, they danger scaring Wall Avenue and denting their already discounted stock prices.

GM is anticipated to report third-quarter earnings of $1.88 per share earlier than the bell Tuesday, whereas Ford is estimated to report earnings of 45 cents per share after markets shut Thursday, in response to common estimates compiled by LSEG, previously often known as Refinitiv.

Whereas traders will certainly observe the third-quarter outcomes, the true watcher is anticipated to be the results of the UAW strike and negotiations on near-term earnings and longer-term plans of Ford and GM, in addition to automaker Stellantis, which the union can be putting.

The union might be watching, too.

Members of the United Auto Staff, or UAW, Native 230 and their supporters stroll the picket line in entrance of the Chrysler Company Elements Division in Ontario, California, on Sept. 26, 2023.

Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Photos

The UAW has constantly used earnings studies and commentary from executives, together with GM CEO Mary Barra and Ford CEO Jim Farley, to advertise its efforts and collective bargaining.

“Whenever you’re in bargaining you wish to use every bit of stories that is in your favor and convey it up and convey it to the general public and to the desk,” mentioned Artwork Wheaton, a labor professor on the Employee Institute at Cornell College. “If GM, Ford and Stellantis are nonetheless very worthwhile for the third quarter, [UAW’s] going to say that, ‘They’re being too low-cost in bargaining, and they need to give us extra.'”

The union on Friday mentioned there was “more to be won” regardless of file contracts from the automakers. It declined, nevertheless, to broaden work stoppages.

Nonetheless, its focused strikes towards the three main automakers, which started Sept. 15, are anticipated to have extra impression throughout the fourth quarter than the prior three months. The UAW has slowly been expanding the work stoppages to incorporate extra meeting vegetation and distribution facilities.

GM has mentioned the work stoppage value it roughly $200 million in misplaced manufacturing in September. Ford and Stellantis, which studies its quarterly outcomes on Oct. 31, haven’t disclosed their estimates of the impression of the strikes.

UAW impression

JPMorgan estimates strike prices amounted to $145 million at Ford and $191 million at GM by way of earnings earlier than curiosity and taxes throughout the third quarter.

These losses are anticipated to have ballooned within the fourth quarter to $517 million for Ford — after the union initiated a work stoppage at its most profitable U.S. truck plant in Kentucky — and $507 million for GM.

The Kentucky plant — accountable for $25 billion in income yearly — was by far essentially the most essential strike initiated by the union. It produces F-Collection Tremendous Obligation pickup vehicles in addition to Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs.

Whereas many analysts proceed to view the UAW strike as a short-term downside, some are acknowledging that the hefty prices of an eventual concessionary deal may have an effect on automakers’ electrical automobile plans and long-term competitiveness in contrast with different, non-union, automakers.

United Auto Staff President Shawn Fain throughout a web-based broadcast updating union members on negotiations with the Detroit automakers on Oct. 6, 2023.


Wolfe Analysis analyst Rod Lache mentioned Monday that labor prices for the Detroit automakers, primarily based on latest proposals, are anticipated to extend to $3,000 to $4,000 per automobile, in contrast with rivals’ prices of $2,500 to $3,000.

“This might compound different challenges that the OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] face (e.g. competitiveness in batteries, distribution, design). And we additionally fear that the OEMs should still not totally recognize the long-term dangers related to UAW’s new tack — together with bargaining in public, social media, and populism,” Lache mentioned in an investor observe. “The Automakers look like struggling to regulate to this actuality.”

The latest affords from GM and Ford have included 23% wage increases over the lifetime of the deal, reinstatement of cost-of-living changes, extra trip days and different enhancements in contrast with the 2019 contracts.


The negotiations have additionally had an impression on electrical automobiles, which have been already selling more slowly than expected amid inflation, excessive rates of interest and lack of infrastructure.

Ford final month mentioned it was pausing building of a brand new $3.5 billion battery plant in Michigan till the corporate is “assured” in its capability to competitively run the plant amid the UAW talks.

And GM this week mentioned it will delay production of all-electric trucks at a Michigan plant by no less than a yr to “higher handle capital investments” and implement enhancements in an effort to make the brand new EVs extra worthwhile.

A GM spokesman mentioned the change in plans was not linked to the corporate’s contract negotiations with the UAW. Nonetheless, the contentious talks do contain EVs, and present contract proposals by the corporate are anticipated to be dearer than these in years previous.

Wall Avenue might be looking ahead to updates on EV progress and demand.

Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk, whose firm leads EV gross sales, was cautious relating to demand for electrical automobiles when Tesla reported earnings final week.

“I am nervous in regards to the excessive rate of interest atmosphere we’re in,” Musk mentioned. “If rates of interest stay excessive or in the event that they go even greater, it is that a lot tougher for individuals to purchase the automobile.”

— CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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