New contracts between the United Auto Workers union and Detroit's three automakers substantially increased the cost gap between Detroit and foreign automakers with U.S. factories.
That's according to industry think tank The Center for Automotive Research. It calculated that General Motors and Ford will see their total costs grow $8 per hour, while Fiat Chrysler's will rise by $11 an hour during the new four-year contracts.
The center calculated that on average, foreign-owned factories will only see a $2 per hour increase in the same period.
But during a panel discussion run by the center Wednesday, experts said labor costs are only about 5% of the cost of a vehicle and Detroit automakers can find ways to offset the increases.