In this episode of the Automotive Leaders Podcast, host Jan Griffiths addresses the ongoing UAW strike and its impact on the industry. She begins by acknowledging the chaos and media coverage surrounding the strike, with jabs being exchanged between OEMs, the UAW, and even politicians getting involved. Jan emphasizes that the strike's repercussions extend beyond just the OEMs and Tier Ones, affecting smaller businesses like hers that rely on the automotive industry for their livelihood.
Jan outlines her plans for upcoming episodes, focusing on bringing in a turnaround company to offer insights on surviving the strike and preparing for the industry's restart. She also discusses the aggressive negotiation tactics prevalent in the industry and teases an upcoming interview with an expert in collaborative negotiations who will shed light on changing negotiation models. Additionally, Jan encourages listeners to explore another podcast she co-hosts, "Auto Supply Chain Prophets," which delves into supply chain topics within the automotive sector. She concludes by inviting listeners to share their favorite podcasts and reassures them that the automotive industry's resilience will see it through the challenges posed by the strike.
Themes discussed in this episode:
- Impact of the UAW Strike
- Repercussions Beyond OEMs
- Survival Strategies
- Preparation for Industry Restart
- Negotiation Tactics
Featured Guest: Jan Griffiths
What she does: Jan is the founder and CEO of Gravitas Detroit, an organization dedicated to cultivating authentic leadership in the automotive industry by providing courses, workshops, speaking events, and more. She is also the host of The Automotive Leaders Podcast.
Mentioned in this episode:
- Auto Supply Chain Prophets
- Preparing for Post-Strike Success in Automotive Supply Chains with Bill Hurles
- QAD and Quistem
- Morning Joe
- Ten Percent Happier
[00:00:57] UAW Strike Impact: Jan discusses the ongoing UAW strike and its extensive impact on the automotive industry, shedding light on how it reaches beyond OEMs to affect Tier Ones and smaller businesses, offering a more comprehensive view of the crisis.
[00:02:28] Survival Strategies: Jan outlines plans to feature a turnaround company, offering insights into surviving the strike and preparing for the industry's eventual restart.
[00:04:03] Rethinking Negotiation Tactics: The episode touches on the aggressive negotiation tactics prevalent in the industry and hints at an upcoming interview with an expert in collaborative negotiations, advocating for a shift in negotiation models.
[00:05:40] Podcast Promotion and Audience Engagement: Jan promotes her co-hosted podcast, "Auto Supply Chain Prophets," centered on automotive supply chain topics while engaging listeners by inviting them to share their favorite podcasts. She concludes with a message of industry resilience and confidence in overcoming the strike's challenges.
Mentioned in this episode:
Welcome to the Automotive Leaders Podcast, where we help you prepare for the future by sharing stories, insights, and skills from leading voices in the automotive world with a mission to transform this industry together. I'm your host, Jan Griffiths, that passionate, rebellious farmer's daughter from Wales with over 35 years of experience in our beloved auto industry and a commitment to empowering fellow leaders to be their best authentic selves. Stay true to yourself, be you, and lead with Gravitas the hallmark of authentic leadership. Let's dive in.Jan Griffiths:
We're all feeling the impact of the UAW strike. And we're watching it all play out on the media in front of us. And we're seeing the jabs from the OEMs to the UAW from the UAW to the OEMs. We're seeing politicians getting in the middle of it, and it's quite a circus out there, isn't it? But the reality for us OEMs, Tier Ones, and the supply base is nothing short of horrific, I know you're feeling the impact out there. And I've been very much focused on talking about the impact of the Tier Ones, and particularly the Tier Twos, and I almost forgot about myself in the mix. And yes, it's impacting me too, smaller businesses like mine that sit on the outskirts of the industry, not directly related to products or platforms, but very much dependent on the Tiers and the OEMs for their livelihood. Yeah, it's hurting me too. But you know what, it's about mindset. And we're all going to get through this. Because we always do as an industry, we are probably the most resilient industry out there. And we're gonna get through it. This week, I don't have a pre-recorded episode for you because I am focused on producing more content that will serve you, my beloved automotive audience. With strike-related content, I want it to be a little bit different. Let me tell you what I'm working on right now. I want to bring on a turnaround company, a company that I know and respect, somebody that can speak to two different parts of this issue, first of all, and this struck me the other day as I was thinking about the Tier Twos. If you're a Tier Two or perhaps a smaller Tier One. And you know, this strike is impacting you, and you just don't know where to turn, you've done all the obvious things you've laid off people, you've cut discretionary spending, you've done everything you possibly can to conserve cash, but it's still not looking good. At what point do you make that decision to bring in an outside company, that's going to be one of the most difficult decisions you have to make because you don't have the cash. So the idea of spending money to bring in a company to help sounds almost, and feels almost counterintuitive. So I really want to talk to a company that sees this all the time and can speak to this issue in some detail. And then I also want to talk to them about the startup, what do we need to do to be prepared when we start back up, because we all know how this is going to play out, right? The OEMs are going to come back on, and they're gonna say, "Come on, here's your releases, here's the order, get going. You are responsible to satisfy all my terms and conditions. And if you don't, I'm going to pound you heavily with a hammer." You know what I'm talking about. What do we do to prepare for that? So I want to talk to a company that knows all about that. I'm working on that episode right now. Then the other thing I was thinking about is the negotiation tactics. If you've been in this industry a while, you'll know that we love the bullying tactics. How many times have you seen this play out where the OEMs basically say you're the supplier, you manage your sub-suppliers, I want everything from you. And if you don't provide me my parts to my specifications when I need them, then I'm going to take you to court, or I'm going to sue you, or it's just going to be a big ugly mess. And it's very much a bullying tactic. And then in the supply base, we tend to come back, and we say, "Well, OEM, if you don't give me this, I'm not going to supply you parts, and let's go to court." I mean, okay, I'm oversimplifying it, but you know what I mean, it's very much a sort of do this or else kind of mentality, and we've been playing that negotiation game for decades. There is a person, and I won't name her just yet until we get the episode recorded. But she is a recognized expert in the field of collaborative negotiations. And I want her take on the way that we've been negotiating and continue to negotiate in auto. And the way we see the UAW and the OEMs negotiating. And I want her take on that. And I want her recommendations on how we can change the model of how we negotiate in the auto industry. So we are right now, we are up to our eyeballs getting these episodes prepped and scheduled.Jan Griffiths:
In the meantime, I would encourage you to check out another podcast that I co-host and produced for QAD and Quistem, and it's called Auto Supply Chain Prophets. And it has a very targeted focus. It is all about supply chain in the automotive industry. And we bring on guests that can contribute to the conversation about any and all aspects of supply chain in automotive and what you can do to think about the future. We've had EDI experts on. We've had a talent pipeline experts on and the most recent episode we did with Bill Hurles, who's the former senior director of supply chain for General Motors. So I'll drop a link in the show notes. Take a listen.Jan Griffiths:
Do you know that most people have an average of seven different podcasts that they listen to? I'd love to know what you listen to send me an email, email@example.com. And let me know what's on your podcast playlist. I will tell you for me, it is Autoline. I gotta have my John McElroy fix every day, like most of us do. And then I also like to listen to Morning Joe, get my news from Morning Joe. And for fun, I like Smartless, I really do. I like the banter that those guys have. And when I really don't want business-related content, I just want to listen to something fun. That's what I go to. And then there's another one called Ten Percent Happier podcast, which often has things that are mindset and work-related. So those are some of my favorites, but let me know what you're listening to. And I'll continue to focus on strike-related content for now before we get back into the longer phone interview format, until then, stay strong, stay resilient, we've got this we will come out of the strike, and we're gonna come out stronger and better for it. I will talk to you on the other side.Jan Griffiths:
Thank you for listening to the Automotive Leaders Podcast. Click the listen link in the show notes to subscribe for free on your platform of choice. And don't forget to download the 21 Traits of Authentic Leadership PDF by clicking on the link below. And remember, stay true to yourself, be you, and lead with Gravitas, the hallmark of authentic leadership.