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Last September, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union went on strike against Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis. The UAW hit the automakers in their pocketbooks, strategically targeting certain plants for the most impact. For Ford, that was its profitable Kentucky truck plant, which now has the automaker thinking “carefully” about where it’ll produce its future vehicles.

Ford CEO Jim Farley commented about its relationship with the UAW during the Wolfe Research Global Auto Conference, adding that it has changed. According to the Associated Press, Farley said Ford having the first truck plant shut down does have an impact on the business.

2023 Ford Super Duty production

Days after workers stopped building the Super Duty in Kentucky, Ford Motor Company Executive Chair Bill Ford went to the Rouge Visitor Center in Michigan, where it builds the F-150, to ask union members to “come together to bring an end to this acrimonious round of talks.” Bill said the decision to shut down the Louisville factory harmed “tens of thousands of Americans.”

The strike at Ford’s Louisville factory began on October 11, nearly a month after the UAW kicked off its strike, putting 8,700 more workers on the picket line. During the negotiations, the union would also target Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Suburban and Yukon production, but Ford has the highest number of union members of the three automakers.

2023 Ford Super Duty production
2023 Ford Super Duty production

The UAW suspended its strike at the end of October, reaching agreements with Ford, Stellantis, and General Motors before Halloween. The UAW membership voted to ratify the three contracts by Thanksgiving, ending the six-week standoff and winning raises, better benefits, an end to the two-tiered employment system, and more.

The increased wages and benefits will increase the price of cars. Ford said its vehicles will cost $900 more due to the contract once it’s in effect. Like the rest of the industry, the automaker is navigating the transition to electric vehicles. It has had to rethink its strategy, focusing on smaller, more affordable EVs in the face of encroaching Chinese competition.

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