‘It’s difficult;’ UAW strike continues to impact local dealerships

The United Auto Workers (UAW) strike has been growing for weeks and it is impacting some of your vehicle dealers here in the Miami Valley.

Chris Tobey, President and General Manager at Key Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat in Xenia, said he’s doing alright with keeping cars to sell in stock, but the strike is hurting him in the service department. He’s having trouble getting parts to repair existing customers’ vehicles.

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“When you have a part that would normally come in the next day and now it’s a week or two away and these folks’ car will not run on our lot, it’s difficult,” Tobey said.

He said the strike is making it almost impossible for technicians and mechanics to get new parts when they are making repairs. They’re trying to communicate the unexpected problem to their customers.

“You would ask for patience, but sometimes you can’t have patience if this is the only way you have of getting around,” he said.

The UAW strike is now several weeks old. The number of plants being targets and workers off the job is growing by the day. Dealers, like Tobey, are caught in the middle and trying not to take sides.

“The workers should be paid fairly and the companies need to be able to complete long-term, in order to keep employing workers so there has to be common ground somewhere,” he said.

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Tobey told Mike Campbell on News Center 7 at 6 p.m. that until that time, he feels fortunate so far to still have new Dodge Chargers and Challengers or Jeep products that people can pop the hood on and check out. He would like to see the strike end very soon since it’s hurting customer service, which is his priority.

“It’s the hardest thing we are dealing with right now,” he said.