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Owner of Kansas City car dealership watching UAW strike talks closely

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Posted at 4:47 PM, Sep 14, 2023

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While the initial impact of a possible UAW strike against General Motors, Ford and Stellantis will be felt by workers and the companies, others in Kansas City are paying close attention to the ripple effects closer to home.

“If I don't have vehicles in my inventory, I have very little or nothing to talk about," Hosea Haywood, owner of Computerized Auto Search in Kansas City, Missouri, said Thursday. "We need vehicles.”

Haywood likes to keep his doors open and showroom full, but he says the looming strike could pose a risk.

“It can have a trickle-down effect on us because that creates a drought in supplies for independents so it does effect me,” Haywood said.

The big companies allow him to buy cars from fleet lease groups who work with manufacturers to sell to dealers like himself.

“If they are not producing that inventory, then they never make it to the other phase of the automobile market and go into the re-marketing stages,” Haywood says. ”If they are not producing vehicles, then a guy like myself that’s independent we cannot get those vehicles that are programmed vehicles, those vehicles that have been used in rental fleets vehicles, that have less than 2 and 3 thousand miles."

Haywood used to work for Ford, so he understands both the workers and corporation view on the demands.

“If I was in their position, I would feel the same way," he says. "On the other hand, if I’m the CEO of these manufacturers, I probably would feel the same way too."

Haywood hopes the two sides can close the door and reach an agreement soon.

“ I want to see the demands met and I also don't want the companies to bankrupt themselves in the process of doing it,” Haywood said.