Archive for the ‘Trade’ Category

Trump Trade Wars Could “Backfire,” Hitting American Jobs

GM supplier czar urges “calm” as deadline on Mexican tariffs approaches.

by on Jun.05, 2019

The looming tariffs on products from Mexico ordered by President Trump has auto executives concerned.

With less than a week left before President Donald Trump’s proposed new tariffs on Mexican imports go into effect, auto industry officials are worrying about the potential impact on prices, sales, production and jobs, with at least one industry veteran warning such a move could “backfire” and worsen the current market downturn.

The proposed 5% tariffs, which would cover everything from agricultural products consumer electronics – as well as around $100 billion in cars and car parts – will go into effect on June 10, and then steadily escalate before reaching 25% by October. But there is growing opposition coming from Republican leaders in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell this week said, “There is not much support in my conference for tariffs, that’s for sure.”

News Now!

About 2.6 million Mexican-made vehicles worth around $93 billion were shipped to the U.S. last year, with nearly $10 billion in car parts also crossing the border. Since some of those parts show up in almost all vehicles assembled in the States, the tariffs would have an impact on virtually every American car buyer. But the potential is there for U.S. auto workers to also feel the brunt. (more…)

Auto Stocks Taking a Beating as Industry Prepares for Mexican Tariffs

Domestic, import automakers alike hammered by Trump plan.

by on Jun.03, 2019

GM imports more vehicles from Mexico than any other automakers, including the Chevy Silverado.

It’s a bear market, at least when it comes to automotive stocks, with Pres. Donald Trump’s planned tariffs on Mexican imports set to go into effect a week from today.

Last Friday, the president tweeted that he was prepared to enact a new 5% tariff on Mexican goods in an effort to pressure that country to stem illegal immigration across the southern border. Barring any resolution, Trump said that would continue to climb to 25% by October 1.

Beyond the Headlines!

Nearly a dozen manufacturers would quickly be forced to either raise prices on vehicles imported from Mexico and risk weakening sales, or absorb the tariffs and take a hit to their bottom lines. But even vehicles produced in the U.S. would face tariffs on imported parts and components, such as engines, wiring harnesses and body and interior trim, according to industry analysts.

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Toyota Launching Hilux Production in Myanmar

Company to spend $52.6 million to build new plant.

by on Jun.03, 2019

Toyota plans to build the Hilux in a new $52.6 million plant in Myanmar starting in 2021.

Automakers are surrounded by uncertainty on multiple fronts created by the demands of everything from new technology to political uncertainty and challenges to the global trading system. These demands have also been the catalyst allowing the industry to flourish during the past half century.

Toyota Motor Corp. recently indicated that it is still optimistic about prospects for future growth with the announcement that it plans to build its first assembly plant in Myanmar to produce Hilux pickups starting in the first quarter 2021.

Global News!

“We believe that the longer-term growth potential for new vehicles sales in Myanmar is substantial, due to the country’s large population which is relatively untapped by automakers,” noted analysts from Fitch Group, leading financial information company. (more…)

FCA Lays Out Plan for “Transformative Merger” with Groupe Renault

Move would create 3rd-largest global automaker; 1st if factoring in Alliance partners Nissan, Mitsubishi.

by on May.27, 2019

Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Mike Manley originally approached Renault over much more limited plans, such as platform sharing.

After extensive, secret negotiations, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has laid out a plan to merge with the largest of France’s two automakers, Groupe Renault, a move that would create the world’s third-largest motor vehicle manufacturer, with annual sales of 8.7 million vehicles – and a clear number one if factoring in the volumes of Renault’s current Alliance partners, Nissan and Mitsubishi.

Both FCA and Renault have openly sought new partnerships over the past decade to both expand their geographic bases and fill in gaps in their product and technology portfolios. If, as expected, the proposed deal is completed, the new organization will have a more well-rounded global presence, with FCA bringing to the table its Jeep SUV and Ram pickup brands. Renault, among other things, provides a growing range of electric vehicles and an aggressive autonomous vehicle develop program.

Breaking News!

Over the past decade, FCA has repeatedly said it was looking for a partner, with names like General Motors and Volkswagen on its list. But while those were seen as unsolicited proposals, talks between the Italian-American automaker and Renault have been underway since early this year. And though the French automaker early Monday said that its “Board of Directors will meet this morning to discuss this proposal,” it is expected that this is largely a formality.

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Japan Says It Won’t Agree to Quotas by the U.S.

Trump administration re-examining trade relationships.

by on May.20, 2019

Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan's top economic negotiator, said the country would not accept quotas on how many vehicles it ships to the United States.

Japan’s top trade negotiator says he does not believe the U.S. will impose any kind of numerical quotas on the exports of Japanese made vehicles to the United States.

There is no need to be worried that the United States will impose a quota on Japanese automobile imports, economic revitalization minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Sunday.

Trade News!

“There is no worry judging from the U.S. announcement,” Motegi said on a television program in Japan. He noted that such a quota was not specified in the announcement. (more…)

U.S. Ending Steel, Aluminum Tariffs on Mexico, Canada

Move design to prevent import of Chinese steel into U.S.

by on May.17, 2019

The Trump administration agreed to lift the steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico and Canada in order to keep out Chinese steel.

Seeking to secure Congressional approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal, or USMCA, U.S. negotiators secured tough new measures against Chinese steel by agreeing to lift tariffs on steel and aluminum from Mexico and China.

The deal avoids quotas on steel from the two countries, which Canada and Mexico had opposed, according to the Washington Post. The tariffs will end in 48 hours.

The Last Word!

“We came to an agreement that benefits both parties: the tariffs are lifted, without quotas on steel and aluminum,” according to a statement from the Mexican president’s office, adding that it reinstated a tariff-free commercial relationship for those products. (more…)

Tariff Talk Put on Hold for Six Months by Trump Administration

Formal structure to delay expected soon.

by on May.16, 2019

President Donald Trump believes raising tariffs will bring U.S. manufacturing back to prominence, but has put off a decision on new national security-related levies.

President Donald Trump’s decision to delay any action on new auto tariffs related to national security gives automakers a chance to make some choices about how they’re going to deal with new tariffs if Trump elects to implement them down the road.

Trump has six months to decide whether or not to slap levies on vehicles and parts from other countries under Section 232, a national security law that gives the president broad powers to implement tariffs on goods from other countries that may affect America’s national security.

Global News!

He used it last year on steel and aluminum imports, much to the chagrin of automakers and other manufacturers.  (more…)

EU Auto Tariffs Deadline Fast Approaching

European and American automakers alike hope for delay.

by on May.15, 2019

President Donald Trump has until May to either enact new tariffs on EU autos or order a delay.

With one trade war already underway, the White House could kick off another battle this weekend as the May 18 deadline nears for Pres. Donald Trump to decide whether to impose tariffs on European auto imports.

Any move would follow the completion of a Commerce Department study completed last February that concluded auto imports pose a threat to America’s national security. The president has not given a clear indication of how – or whether – he will respond as a 90-day deadline approaches, though he has had harsh words about European automakers in the past, at one point threatening to banish all Mercedes products from the streets of his home city, New York.

Breaking News!

Auto imports from Europe totaled $56.4 billion last year, according to Commerce figures, Germany responsible for the bulk of that. The risk of new tariffs sent shares of German manufacturers BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen reeling in recent days. But even U.S. automakers, as well as suppliers and dealers, have been pressing the Trump Administration to hold back on launching a new front in the trade war.

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China Car Sales Tumble for 10th Consecutive Month

Downturn comes as US trade war escalates, domestic economy slips.

by on May.13, 2019

Klaus Bischoff, VW design chief, shows off the SMV Concept at Auto Shanghai last month.

For much of the past two decades, China’s new vehicle market was the envy of the world, with routine double-digit annual growth approaching triple-digit gains on several occasions – but the numbers were down 14.6% in April, marking the 10th consecutive monthly decline.

At 1.98 million vehicles, China remains solidly in the lead as the world’s largest automotive market, but the downturn raises troubling issues for both foreign and domestically owned brands, such as General Motors, Volkswagen, Toyota, Geely and Great Wall, impacting industry earnings around the globe.

Global News!

With China locked in an escalating trade war with the United States and the country’s overall economy showing signs of weakness, industry analysts question how soon the car market will show a recovery. The downturn could force automakers to look for ways to export products from increasingly underutilized Chinese plants, according to observers.

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Pics, Details Leak as VW Readies its New, All-Electric Hatchback, the ID

Battery-electric model clearly influenced by design of VW’s familiar Golf.

by on May.07, 2019

An image inadvertently leaked by VW's Dutch arm shows the ID.3 on the road.

Volkswagen is getting ready to roll out its first long-range electric vehicle and it appears someone working on the German automaker’s Dutch YouTube channel got a little too eager, letting both images and details about the battery-electric vehicle leak out early.

The hatchback will become not only the first all-electric Volkswagen to deliver more than 200 miles per charge but also the first to be based on the automaker’s all-new MEB platform, a modular architecture expected eventually to be shared by dozens of different models that will be sold across VW’s various brands.

Breaking News!

Expected to start at around 30,000 euros, or $33,530 at current exchange rates, VW will begin taking order on May 8, though deliveries aren’t expected to begin until early autumn 2019.

(more…)


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