WINDSOR, ONT. -- Dennis DesRosiers, president of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants believes the labour negotiations will be difficult for both sides.

Unifor kicked off contract talks with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company and General Motors, Wednesday in Toronto.

“The unions are going to dig in, obviously,” DesRosiers said. “I think job protection is going to be high on their list. But the vehicle companies have never, well in our lifetime, have never gone through a situation like they’re currently in and with all this uncertainty.”

DesRosiers is talking about the pandemic, which is drastically cut production across Canada.

“We’re going to buy about four million fewer vehicles this year, every single plant is being affected, especially the unionized plants,” he says.

Unifor local 444 President, Dave Cassidy, who represents workers at Windsor Assembly, tells CTV News they are going in with high expectations for a new product.

“They talked about an SUV style coming into Windsor assembly,” and Cassidy adds, “we want to make sure that we have product you know coming out of bargaining with concrete dates, etc. or we’re not gonna have a deal I can guarantee you that.”

DesRosiers believes that’s a “valid goal.”

“The amount of new products in the pipeline of all of the companies has never been higher although the pandemic has curtailed a lot of the development of those products,”

If they cannot get a new product commitment for Windsor Assembly, DesRosiers doesn’t think it’s a disaster.

“There still is a solid market for minivans, it’s just a lot smaller than it was and Chrysler is really the only company with a product in that segment so they could go quite a while keeping that plant going with the two shifts at that plant,”

DesRosiers won’t guess which company will be the first to begin formal negotiations.

Unifor will announce on Labour Day which of the Detroit 3 will be first to go to the table.