Top Minority Purchased Vehicles, Ford Reaches its Limit, Increase In Tenn. Battery Plant Wages

October 13, 2023
We are still in Miami for a few more moments as NAMAD wrapped up yesterday evening. We are carrying the energy from the event right into Friday as we recap the DVL awards and check in on what is up in Ford’s world.
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Show Notes with links:

"We have reached our limit," Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford Blue said to reporters on Thursday. He continued, "We've actually stretched ourselves to get to this point. … We're open to moving some money around within the deal that might fit the union's needs better. But broadly speaking, from an overall cost of the deal perspective, yes, we're there."

  • Despite raises of 23% for hourly workers and a $21 starting wage for temps, the UAW expanded its strike, targeting Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant late Wednesday
  • The ongoing strike could impact Ford's $25 billion annual revenue from the plant and affect over 100,000 workers. Negotiations continue, with UAW President Shawn Fain set to provide an update on Friday.


BlueOval SK, a collaboration between Ford and SK On, has announced wage increases at their upcoming Tennessee and Kentucky battery plants, with potential earnings reaching up to $37.50 an hour

  • This wage revision aims to be more competitive with the current market, as stated by BlueOval SK's human resources director Neva McGruder Burke.
  • The wage range for their plants in Stanton, Tenn., and Glendale, Ky., has increased from $21-$29 to $21-$37.50.
  • Hourly workers are eligible for pay increases every six months until they reach top wages.
  • Additional benefits for hourly workers include up to 5% annual bonuses, affordable medical premiums, 401(k) matches, vehicle discounts, and vision/dental insurance.

The 2023 Diversity Volume Leadership Awards celebrated the manufacturers being attentive to minority vehicle buyers and outshining rivals.

  • Marc Bland and Damon Lester founded the DVLs a decade ago to emphasize the importance of diverse consumers in the auto industry.
  • The awards theme, "The Future Majority," reflects the U.S. Census prediction of minorities becoming the majority by 2045.
  • 22 brands were honored this year across all vehicle segments, chosen based on US Census and S&P Global Mobility data, showcasing the significance of diversity in the automotive sector.
  • The winner of the most coveted award of the evening, The Top Overall Future Majority Vehicle, went to the Toyota RAV4 (racking up Toyota’s total to 6 awards from the event).
  • The new BEV segment this year was the Chevrolet Bolt

Paul Daly: 0:00Good morning. It is Friday, the 13th Kyle Kyle and I are in Miami we're at this beautiful little cafe spot. And we're just wrapping up named Matt about to head our way home talking about Ford saying the line is drawn, they can't go any further upgrades and battery plans and the DBL awards. Have no idea if our intro music is planted, we nail it.

Kyle Mountsier: 0:21

I don't know. We'd stop the landing,

Paul Daly: 0:24

hey, we kind of done it a couple of times. So we're on our way home, we've been in the Navy, I want to look at you. But it's weird if I don't look on camera, just about it. So we're gonna actually we have the wide angle. So we're just getting done the name at event. We had a great awards dinner last night. And just again, another reiteration that when you build an actual community, the speed at which conversation and trust and change happens is pretty fantastic. Well,

Kyle Mountsier: 0:51

what I love about this is last night we were reminded by a couple people the one of the lifetime achievement awards nominees and Mark and are not mark bland and Damien mills. And Damon Lester that like the long time that's been put in to build a community over time that's intentional about community and not about anything else, like building community, and building the awareness around that community. And the industry provides the impetus for what we saw the last couple of days, which is a vibrant, energetic community, you said it right, vibrant and energetic, that's what it was. And we're like these people saying back in the 90s, with 3040 people in a room saying, Yep, we're gonna be here, we're gonna be together. And whatever time it takes to grow this,

Paul Daly: 1:40

we're going to be committed to it. That was super encouraging. Just think of the hip hop that was out in the 90s. The golden era. And so, so basically, what has happened now, over 1000 people at that awards dinner last night, and it probably gonna be 50% more next year gonna be, I want to thank our friends at TrueCar for being so generous in helping getting us out to the name ed conference, because they really see it's important that the conference gets covered, that the community gets highlighted and all the great things that are happening. So thank you to TrueCar for making sure that we could cover the event. Absolutely. I got to spend a little time with Matt Jones. We have a lot of content interview with Matt. We've done a lot of interviews of releasing met some new dealers last night yet like the ones that are like you're walking by like hey, listen to your podcast, you're like, oh, wow, I've never heard of you seen you and then they tell their story as dealers as a family dealership, and it just says

Kyle Mountsier: 2:29

you're gonna have to if you haven't subscribed to in the dirt with a soda, go subscribe because when we release these over the next week, you're just gonna be like, what?

Paul Daly: 2:37

Yes. Alright, let's get into some news. Hey, we know we have the I don't have the trigger. If we have a trigger running now, you have a view?

Kyle Mountsier: 2:48

Hidden you already hit it. Look at that.

Paul Daly: 2:51

producer Nathan is just the best of the best. So, quote, we have reached our limit says Kumar gelora, president of Ford blue. And if you remember that is the Ice Vehicle side of the business. He said to reporters on Thursday continued on saying we've actually stretched ourselves to get to this point. We're open to moving some money around within the deal that might fit the union's needs better. But broadly speaking, from an overall cost of the deal perspective, yes, were there and despite raises of 23% for hourly workers, and $21 wage starting for temps UAW kept expanding the strike as we know yesterday, late Wednesday mean they announced their closing the big the big gun they brought out for Kentucky truck plants shut down. And so the ongoing strike obviously affecting for its revenue. And now it seems like the UAW threw their big punch for to saying like

Kyle Mountsier: 3:44

crazy, like we had no more to the big punch. They were just like, Guys, we don't we've got no more to give you what is this? You know, so I can't imagine what comes next. My guess is where like one or two iterations away from making something I think four

Paul Daly: 3:57

will make one more concession somehow, and that are just going to hold and they're just going to wait it out. I don't know what else they can do. Everybody, all the chips are on the table though. All the chips. We'll see. We'll see. I mean, it's Friday. So Friday afternoon is a great time to make big announcements.

Kyle Mountsier: 4:11

That's what they've been doing that the whole time too. So we'll see if something comes

Paul Daly: 4:15

up for a meme on Sean feigns Facebook account.

Kyle Mountsier: 4:17

Yeah, gotta have.

Paul Daly: 4:21

Man speaking of Ford. Yes. Blue Oval SK a collaboration between Ford and SK on has announced wage increases at their upcoming Tennessee and Kentucky battery plants, with potential earnings reaching up to 3750 an hour. The wage revision although it's not directly connected to the strike per se, it aims to be more competitive with the current market as stated by blue ovals SK K humans. Sky Blue Oval SK which is the name of the joint venture their human resources director Neva McGruder Burke said the wage rage for their plants in Stan Tennessee and Glendale Kentucky have increased From 21 to 29, there was 21 to$29. And now it's 21. All the way up to 3750. Huge and hourly workers are eligible for pay increases every six months until they reach top wages.

Kyle Mountsier: 5:13

Yeah, which this is still going to be under what is happening on the ice side of the UAW negotiations, but for them, but for this to be like an adjacent story to say, hey, look, we're protecting the wages in a joint venture, which is, you know, which is all about this blue oval, you see the plants these things are going to be unbelievable. I've driven past past Oh, yeah, that's right. Oh, they are absolutely like works of art. They're literally I mean, they call it blue oval city, but it really is like the land area of a city is what it looks like. It's absolutely massive. There are a bunch of different a bunch of other benefits like 5% aid or bonuses, medical premiums, 401 k vehicle discounts that come alongside of all of this. So hey, look, Kentucky, Kentucky, man, Tennessee amazing. If you're looking for a new role, come on down you might be able to be a part of this little blue oval joint venture Well, speaking

Paul Daly: 6:09

of joint ventures Hey.

Unknown: 6:13

We did we do he's

Paul Daly: 6:16

sorry, ever doubted.

Kyle Mountsier: 6:19

The diversity volume Leadership Awards for 2023 Celebrate manufacturers that are most attentive to minority vehicle buyers and outshining rivals, and the birds are excited about urban man who are chirping so if you haven't been to name at and experienced the diversity and volume Leadership Awards, first of all, the experience is amazing because you got Mark bland Damon Lester onstage it's

Paul Daly: 6:41

more like a comedy sketch. It's unbelievable calling like big groups of OEM reps to the state. Yes.

Kyle Mountsier: 6:46

So Mark bland of SP, s&p global and David Lester founded the DVS, a decade ago to emphasize the importance of diverse consumers in the auto industry. The awards theme now as of last year, termed the future majority reflects the US Census production of minorities actually being the majority by 2045. So there were 22 brands honored this year across all vehicle segments, chosen based on US census and s&p Global Mobility data, and basically looks at what sectors were won by particular year make some models for minority purchasers across, I believe, black, Hispanic and Latino purchasers in the US. So couple of the key ones, there was that an agent, sorry. And, and so a couple of the key ones, the the newest segment was the battery electric vehicle, and they were extremely intentional about saying the only winners can come from many dealer

Paul Daly: 7:52

networks, they said it like five times. And if you don't have dealers, you can't be on our stage.

Kyle Mountsier: 7:57

It's so good. It was a great, great delivery, absolutely great delivery. So the winner for that this year was kind of ironically, the Chevy no

Paul Daly: 8:06

longer available, or available. It'll be a new one will be

Unknown: 8:10

it'll be another one sometime next year. And then the winner of the most coveted award, which is the top overall future majority vehicle went to the Toyota rav4, which I think is three years running now. And round it out. Toyota is winning of six total awards from the event Toyota cleans up to which Mark bland and Damon said, look at the five tables in this Yeah, he

Paul Daly: 8:31

was like Toyota reps, if you're here stand up. And then a number of tables stand up. And he's like, the reason that you are winning in this market segment is because you are paying attention and you are physically in person to understand the needs. And there's no one more in touch with the needs of minority buyers than minority dealers. That stream of logic makes complete and utter sense.

Kyle Mountsier: 8:54

If you're here, you're paying attention, you're probably going to pay attention to

Paul Daly: 9:00

selling your vehicles. Winners from across a lot of manufacturers, BMW Nissan, Mercedes was in there a few times I thought it was there's the lithospheric when they're

Kyle Mountsier: 9:12

I don't remember not only that, it probably is the Honda

Paul Daly: 9:14

the Honda Odyssey honestly was a surprise. Yeah. For the Sienna. Yeah, it was it was the top three honda odyssey Sienna and the Kia carnival were actually the three options. So a great award that we don't think has enough awareness, which is why we wanted to cover here because like, hey, the buying demographics growing and if there is we've had a conversation we have a conversation with later that day about the it was out to Erica Bruno outside she was talking about the Biden demographic outside of Boston. And I think it was the Portuguese demographic baby and just saying how they are so loyal to someone who understands their needs. And when a big group came in and acquired some stores, it had it made no matter that that stores where they had bought the vehicle. They didn't trust the new owner. sooner, and so they needed to knew the owner

Kyle Mountsier: 10:03

are so loyal to the people that they know. Absolutely, yeah.

Paul Daly: 10:06

And so that there's just so much opportunity to get in touch with the minority groups in your area and really listen and understand the needs and deliver cars. And from the OEM level, obviously, Toyota is doing something right.

Kyle Mountsier: 10:16

Look, if you haven't been to the name, man conference, go ahead and throw it on your schedule for next year, you

Paul Daly: 10:21

should we'll be there. I wonder if it's going to be here next year because they're out of space, which is a good problem to have. So speaking of good problems to have, you and I are on our way to the airport so we can fly home. Thank God. So we got a little traffic ahead of us, but then we have a nice flight and then we get to be with our families this weekend. So we hope you enjoy your weekend. We hope you have a good time selling or being with your family. Whatever you're doing this weekend, lean into the community take care of one another and we will see you bright and early next week.

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