Auto workers strike could impact Jacksonville dealerships

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – General Motors factories across the U.S. were shut down Monday after nearly 50,000 United Auto Workers went on strike over failed contract talks. 

Scott Garman, general manager at Nimnicht Chevrolet, said it’s mainly SUVs that would be affected, but his dealership has about a four-month supply. He said it’s mainly the possibility of a long-term strike that he’s concerned about. 

Jeff Gaines is a four-time Nimnicht Chevrolet customer.

"Most of us like the General Motors cars, which include the ones I buy like Chevrolet," Gaines said.

Whether it’s his beloved Camaro or a truck, Gaines loves purchasing General Motors vehicles.

"We want don’t them to stop. I’ve been doing it since 2000," Gaines said. 

But as midnight struck Sunday, nearly 50,000 United Auto workers decided to halt all production of GM products. Now they’re on strike since both sides couldn’t agree on a new contract over issues including health care, wages, and profit-sharing.

"All of our employees, our customers that we serve, a lot of different people would be affected by it," Garman said.

The news was unsettling to the general manager at the Nimnicht dealership who sells about 14 vehicles per day.

It’s the largest strike against GM following a very short strike back in 2007.

Garman said it's fortunate that the dealership had a lot of inventory delivered in the last couple of months, but there’s really no way to prepare for a strike.

"Anything over 30 days would probably start affecting us" Garman said.

Gaines hopes they’ll reach a deal soon.

"So we can keep on pressing on, producing all  the great products it’s been producing all those years," Gaines said. 

The general manager at Nimnicht Chevrolet said it's unclear if this would have an impact on getting parts for vehicles for people who need to get their vehicles repaired, and he said he’s not sure if the strike will be long-term.

The strike impacts workers at more than 30 manufacturing plants between nine states and 22 parts distribution warehouses.