Is the Big 3 making billions like the UAW claims? Auto expert says yes - and no

It’s day seven for UAW workers on the picket lines with no word that a settlement is near.

Striking workers get $500. But for the Big Three, it’s a little more complicated. How rich is the Big Three?

UAW President Shawn Fain has said the automakers have been making record profits adding up to billions of dollars.

WWJ 950 Auto Analyst John McElroy weighs in.

"Sean Fain has focused in the North American profits only for the Detroit Three, and they have had some pretty good years here. No question about it," said McElroy. "But that’s North American profits. When you look at the total company, they’re not doing so great."

McElroy says you might be surprised at how much profit is being made by the Big Three.

"Yes they are making Ford’s profit margin for example, is only 5 percent, GM’s is 6 percent, over the entire company," he said.

FOX 2: "But here in the United States it’s more?"

"It’s more, right," he said.

FOX 2: "Despite the fact that only about a third of the public is buying their cars?"

"Yes," he said. "Look, they make so much money on full-size pick-ups and SUVs, if that ever goes away, they’re dead, they’re gone."

And McElroy says GM and Ford stock prices have gone nowhere in the last decade.
FOX 2: "Is Shawn Fain being disingenuous?"

"I don’t think Shawn Fain is being disingenuous, I don’t think he’s talking about the big picture," McElroy said. "He’s cherry-picking the data that he wants to use, to make his point."

FOX 2: "Is that fair?"

"I don’t think it’s fair," he said.

FOX 2: "Is it misleading? "

"I think it’s misleading to his members in that they think these companies will always sell millions of vehicles, they will always make billions of dollars in profits," he said. "And that they’re going to be around forever.

"I’m not sure that’s something you can bank on."


UAW strike day 7: GM, Stellantis announce layoffs as negotiations continue

Both General Motors and Stellantis announced layoffs Wednesday as UAW members continue to walk the picket line at three facilities. These layoffs come as the strike nears the one-week mark with more employees potentially joining the picket line.

Outside the Michigan Assembly in Wayne, a striking UAW member named Patrick believes Fain will follow through on his threat of more plant walk-outs Friday unless an agreement is reached.

Patrick thinks the next target of the union is the truck plants for all automakers since they are considered their biggest money-makers.

"We're going to show them that we're not playin'," he said.

WWJ 950's John McElroy

WWJ 950's John McElroy