AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – It’s an excellent time to be an autoworker. Despite COVID and all the hassles complicating an already tough job, UAW members, thanks to a new profit-sharing formula, will see their bank accounts soon swell significantly.
Usually, when bonuses are discussed, Ford tends to show up in the middle, but it goes first this year, with the average UAW member getting just over $7,000.
General Motors, which usually leads the domestic three with the largest bonuses because of its size, is paying $10,250. Both are excellent numbers for the line worker and the local economy.
But this is the one no one saw coming: Stellantis is paying its workers $14,670 -- No. 1 walking away for the first time since anyone can remember, and doubling Ford’s payments.
You’re probably wondering, “How this is possible?” Well, Cox Automotive analyst Michelle Krebs shed some light on the situation.
“They did a little better through the chip shortage than other companies, especially here in North America,” Krebs said. “They kept producing the Ram when Ford and Chevy had low inventories. They kept producing the Jeeps, which are very high-profit vehicles.”
The chip shortage forced all the automakers to reduce inventories, too. COVID has taught them to consider a new normal.
“Consumers are paying MSRP, which has never happened before, and that’s benefitting dealers,” Krebs said. “That’s benefitting the automakers.”
This means the industry is morphing to deal with the many twists and turns the markets and government policies are making. This all comes with the specter of electric cars, which means the companies need to make billions of dollars, considering they will need it to fund this newly emerging technology.