Big Three, Big Losses: Declining Market Share
That loss of market share also translates into huge losses by the Big Three: Ford lost $12.7 billion in 2006, GM lost $2 billion in 2006 after losing $10.4 billion in 2005, and Chrysler lost $1.5 billion last year. Meanwhile, Toyota, Honda and Nissan continue to gain market share (almost double since 1990 to 33%), and make profits, see the comparison in stocks price above between Toyota (+150% in the last 5 years) and GM (-50% over the same period).
The current 4-year UAW contract expires in September, and negotiations for a new contract will soon be under way. In advance of the contract talks, 2,500 UAW members have just signed a "no-more-concessions" petition, suggesting they won't agree to pay any more of their own health care costs.
From today's Investor's Business Daily, "If the UAW isn't careful, it could kill America's Big Three. The union has made it clear that it will oppose the carmakers' insistence that workers have a larger financial stake in their own health care.
With Ford, GM and Chrysler projecting that they will pay $12 billion this year in health care costs for their U.S. employees, retirees and family members, that seems to be a reasonable request.
The UAW's golden era is over. Unless its leaders and members concede that it's been overtaken by economic reality and begin to act accordingly, the UAW will soon move into its rust years."