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Will historic autoworkers strike impact Alberta dealerships and customers? – Calgary

As the ongoing autoworkers strike at the “Big Three” automakers continues, some Alberta customers are wondering if it will impact their vehicle purchases.

“I’m starting to look at (spending) $60,000 for a new vehicle or one-year-old vehicle — that’s obscene,” said Garry Reynolds, a retiree in the market to buy.

He’s worried the strike could drive those prices even higher.

“It’s hard on the companies. They can’t get stock. They can’t get inventory. They don’t know when it’s coming. They still have 2023s that are coming in.”

The good news for Reynolds is that some local industry experts don’t think the strike will last very long.

Click to play video: 'Canadian autoworkers extend negotiations with Ford amid strike threats'

Canadian autoworkers extend negotiations with Ford amid strike threats

“Do I see this thing lasting 90 days? No,” said Marty Giles, owner of Northstar Ford Lincoln. “There’s too much at stake for both sides.”

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The shorter the strike, the better for customers.

Giles prepared by buying an extra three-month supply of parts for those looking to get their vehicles repaired.

“Some people aren’t looking to buy a car at all and want it repaired, so that’s where we first went,” he said. “And obviously my technicians need to keep working and my parts people need to keep working.

“The fact someone maybe can’t get their new shiny F-150 for an extra month or two, I think that’s a real first-world problem. But the automotive parts are really what we’re more concerned about at Northstar.”

Click to play video: 'Anxiety grows as Canadian autoworkers’ could go on strike next'

Anxiety grows as Canadian autoworkers’ could go on strike next

Giles said both sides of the strike need to realize that customers have choices. And he doesn’t want it to become too political.

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“CEOs and the union need to understand that if we get too far in the mud here, customers have choices and they do defect to other brands. That’s the thing I would be worried about,” he said.

Will it ultimately mean higher prices?

“It could, in the short term, increase used vehicles prices. That could happen,” Giles said. “But long term, I think there’s just too much competition. Supply chain issues really are starting to get figured out.”

Overall he says it’s a good thing that both workers and CEOs have rights.

“Both sides do have a right to do what they’re doing. We lose sight of the fact that we do live in a country where we’re allowed to have a difference about this and negotiate, and get through it.”

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