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GM third quarter gross sales bounce 21% as UAW strike slowly expands

United Auto Staff (UAW) members and supporters on a picket line outdoors the Common Motors Co. Flint Processing Heart in Swartz Creek, Michigan, US, on Monday, Sept. 25, 2023. 

Emily Elconin | Bloomberg | Getty Pictures

DETROIT – An ongoing strike by the United Auto Staff union in opposition to the Detroit automakers had little to no direct impact on General Motors’ third-quarter U.S. new automobile gross sales.

The Detroit automaker on Tuesday reported a 21.4% improve in gross sales from July by way of September in comparison with nonetheless subdued gross sales within the third quarter of 2022, when the business was nonetheless recovering from provide chain points.

GM’s improve considerably outpaced auto analyst expectations for the general business of 15% to 16% for the third quarter. Gross sales of each one of many Detroit automaker’s manufacturers rose in comparison with a 12 months earlier.

GM and different firms doubtless will face gross sales and provide chain issues if the UAW’s strike, which began Sept. 15, is expanded or extended. Solely 25,200 staff, or roughly 17% of UAW members lined by the expired contracts with GM, Ford Motor and Stellantis, are a part of the work stoppages.

UAW has been regularly growing the strikes because the work stoppages started, after the edges failed to succeed in tentative agreements by Sept 14. The focused, or “stand up,” strikes are happening as an alternative of nationwide walkouts through which all vegetation concurrently strike.

Nationwide strikes have an effect on the businesses extra rapidly. The focused walkouts intention to protect the union’s funds and lengthen the work stoppages to maintain the automakers off keel.

The impacts of the strikes will doubtless start exhibiting in October for sure automobiles such because the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickups, the place work stoppages have affected manufacturing, based on Cox Automotive chief economist Jonathan Smoke.

2024 Chevrolet Trax (left) and 2024 Buick Envista

Michael Wayland / CNBC

“Up to now, the affect has been pretty muted,” Smoke said in a Friday blog post. “Ought to the strike in opposition to manufacturing websites additional broaden, the extra weak merchandise are the big SUVs from Chevrolet and Cadillac, which have tighter stock ranges in comparison with their home rivals.”

For GM, the UAW strikes have hit manufacturing of the midsize pickups and Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave SUVs.

GM’s gross sales heading into the fourth quarter had been up greater than 19% to roughly 1.97 million automobiles bought within the U.S. That included greater than 20,000 electrical automobile gross sales, a 28% improve in comparison with the second quarter.

Notably, the automaker began promoting new electrical variations of its Chevrolet Blazer SUV and Silverado pickup through the third quarter. The corporate additionally elevated manufacturing and gross sales of the Cadillac Lyriq EV and Hummer fashions through the quarter. Nonetheless, gross sales nonetheless pale compared to Tesla’s electric vehicle deliveries.

Through the quarter, GM additionally was assisted by development of newer, entry-level models such because the Chevrolet Trax and Buick Envista, each of that are being imported from vegetation in South Korea.

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