CivicScience is constantly tracking consumer response to breaking news events. For even deeper insights we won’t publish, get in touch.

The United Auto Workers’ contracts are set to expire just before midnight on Thursday, and a strike seems highly likely. According to the most recent available reporting, the automakers and 145,000 eligible autoworkers are not close to agreeing to terms on the final day of negotiations. Output for Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis (Jeep, Ram, Dodge, and Chrysler brands) facilities would be halted if the two sides don’t reach an agreement – leaving enormous ripples across the industry and buyer’s market.

CivicScience gauged how concerned consumers are about the potential ramifications of a UAW strike, and 4-in-10 U.S. adults are at least ‘somewhat concerned’ (with 12% coming in at ‘very concerned’).

When it comes to future auto purchases, a strong majority of adults plan to purchase an American-made car for their next vehicle (58%), with Asian-made cars coming in a distant second at 27%. But among Americans ‘very concerned’ about the potential UAW strike, 71% intend to buy an American-made car for their next vehicle. Perhaps this group most attuned to the strike’s impact are the most likely prospective buyers of American cars, which could face shortages if the strike goes on for a sustained period.

The pandemic saw extreme fluctuations in the used car market, with dramatic price inflation and heightened demand. While it’s too soon to attribute a direct correlation with concerns about the UAW strike, interest in purchasing a used car has slightly ticked up this month (to 49%), while new car purchasing intent has dropped a percentage point as well (to 40%). 

But when examining these prospective buyers further, those planning to lease their next car are much more likely to express a high level of concern for the UAW strike (26%, compared to 15% for new car intenders and 12% for used car intenders).

CivicScience will continue to monitor the fallout of the likely UAW strike throughout its duration. If you’re curious about how the strike might impact your company, book a meeting for a preview of our in-depth forecasting tools.