We are now T-Minus one day before the contract between the United Auto Workers and the Big Three automakers comes to an end, and by now most of us watching these negotiations have come to the conclusion that workers will be picketing outside of the factories come Friday morning.
One of the questions we’ve been hearing is that if completed C8 Corvettes will be shipped from the Corvette assembly plant to dealers even with the strike underway. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear likely to happen. It’s our understanding that Jack Cooper Transport, which is a Teamster Union shop, will not be crossing the UAW picket lines at any of the Big Three automakers it ships vehicles for.
Another issue facing Corvette owners will be the availability of replacement parts. Depending how long the strike lasts, Corvette dealerships may also run into a real problem of getting parts for repairs. We have heard that the Big Three automakers are prepared to have salaried employees switch to parts warehouse fulfillment jobs if the strike gets underway, but even without a strike there are just some parts for the Corvette that take a while to come in. Things like windshields, transmissions and other “must-repair” issues could be held up for quite some time, and Corvettes brought to dealerships for warranty work may require replacement parts that may be hard if not impossible to source. So unless your Corvette is dead in the water, you might want to wait before taking your car in for repairs.
Already there is a backlog of nearly completed Corvettes being held at that Corvette Assembly Plant. Friends of CorvetteBlogger recently captured these photos with a drone and we were surprised to see a number of cars being parked without transit covers at the very end of the large lot behind the plant, while several hundred Corvettes appear to be haphazardly parked in temporary holding lot:
On Tuesday I received an email from a Corvette Z06 buyer who told me his Corvette had been completed exactly five weeks ago but was still waiting for a part before it would be shipped. We have heard that there are some undisclosed parts shortages outside the usual constraints, and that many cars are waiting at the plant to be retrofitted with these parts once they arrive. This will also come to a halt during the strike.
And finally, any Corvettes that are headed over to the NCM for an R8C delivery will also stay at the assembly plant because they are shipped across the street using Jack Cooper transporters. These R8C Corvettes will be uncovered as well because they don’t utilize the transit covers while shipping the cars to the National Corvette Museum.
A report on the strike we saw suggested that GM would lose somewhere around $2.5 billion for each week the strike lasts, and the UAW can go about 11 weeks before depleting its $825 million strike fund. Let’s hope the two sides can find some common ground in the next 36 hours and get a deal done.
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