Archive for the ‘Trade’ Category

Trump’s Latest Round of Tariffs Impacts Car Prices

Prices will really jump after Jan. 1 when 25% tariffs hit.

by on Sep.19, 2018

Prices on new cars may jump 25% after the first of the year due to the new tariffs on China by the Trump administration.

President Donald Trump must be out of eyes by now. His ongoing, eye-for-an-eye style trade tariff war continues, and will raise prices on Chinese goods another 10% starting next week, fanning fears about the prices of new vehicles and parts.

The Trump administration levied the new 10% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods on Monday night. They take effect on Sept. 24, and are set to jump to 25% on Jan. 1. To keep pace, of of course, China retaliated with $60 billion worth of new tariffs of its own.

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As usual automakers have decried the new tariffs, complaining the new levies impinge their ability to import or export vehicles as well as the parts for repairs. Thus far, Trump has turned a deaf ear to the complaints. (more…)

Volvo Backs Out of IPO Due to Trade and Market Conditions

Trump's ongoing tensions with China and Europe push decision.

by on Sep.10, 2018

Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson said that trade tensions between the U.S. and China as well as the EU were one reason to halt its IPO.

President Donald Trump’s seemingly ongoing trade war with, well, everyone as well as a less-than-robust period for auto stocks has forced Volvo Cars to put off its initial public offering — for now, anyway.

Volvo Cars, which is owned by China-based Geely, previously announced it was considering the IPO to help raise funds for additional research and expanding of production. However, the current trade tensions between the U.S. and China as well as the European Union has forced a rethink.

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“We’ve come to the conclusion that the timing is not optimal for an IPO right now,” Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson told Reuters by telephone on Monday.  (more…)

Trump Puts Ford in Twitter Crosshairs About China-Built Focus

President says car should be U.S.-built, Ford says it's not profitable.

by on Sep.10, 2018

President Trump is tweeting about Ford again, claiming the automaker should build the Focus Active in the U.S.

Ford Motor Co. is back in the crosshairs of President Donald Trump, who claims the automaker should be able to build a vehicle profitably in the U.S. instead of China due to the tariffs he’s put in place.

“’Ford has abruptly killed a plan to sell a Chinese-made small vehicle in the U.S. because of the prospect of higher U.S. Tariffs.’ CNBC. This is just the beginning. This car can now be BUILT IN THE U.S.A. and Ford will pay no tariffs!” Trump tweeted Sunday.

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In late August, Ford announced its was cancelling its plans to sell the Ford Focus Active, a wagon-like crossover built in China, in the U.S. because the 25% tariff Trump instituted on vehicles imported from China into the United States made it unprofitable. (more…)

NAFTA Deal Facing Significant Uphill Challenges

Trump plans to make Canada suffer to become part of the deal.

by on Sep.04, 2018

President Donald Trump said he plans to make getting a deal done with Canada very difficult because he doesn't plan to compromise — at all.

The North American Free Trade Agreement faces an uncertain future despite a tentative pact between the U.S. and Mexico that would spare Detroit carmakers from punishing tariffs on any vehicles they build in Mexico.

Most of the vehicles built in Mexico by General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler meet the new rules of origin that are part of the tentative agreement between the U.S. and the lame-duck Mexican government, which is scheduled to leave office at the end of November.

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Vehicles built in Mexico by Honda, Nissan and Toyota, however, could potentially face tariffs, according to analysts, who have reviewed the documents. (more…)

Ford Kills Focus Crossover from China Due to Trump Tariffs

New vehicle was set to hit U.S. in late 2019.

by on Aug.31, 2018

Ford killed the Focus Active after it was determined the company couldn't turn a profit on the small China-built crossover with the Trump tariffs.

One of the first steps in the shift of Ford Motor Co.’s product lineup from cars to trucks, sport-utes and crossovers has blown up, as the company killed the China-built Focus crossover due to the ongoing trade war between China and the U.S.

The automaker said the tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump make it impossible to make a profit on the new Focus Active crossover, which was expected to hit U.S. shores in late 2019.

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“Given the negative financial impact of the new tariffs, we’ve decided not to import this vehicle from China,” said Kumar Galhotra, Ford president of North America told the Detroit News. “The significant thing that moved was the tariffs going up substantially higher. We’re choosing to deploy resources elsewhere.” (more…)

Trump Rejects EU Offer to Eliminate Auto Tariffs Entirely

President's position could trigger yet another tit-for-tat trade war.

by on Aug.31, 2018

President Donald Trump spurned a "no tariff" trade plan offered by the European Union.

President Donald Trump has warned he’s ready to enact stiff trade tariffs on European autos, citing the EU’s tariffs on American automotive products. But Trump has now rejected an offer by European officials to eliminate auto tariffs entirely.

In turn, EU President Jean-Claude Juncker now warns that Europe will respond in kind if Trump follows through with threats to tag vehicles from brands like Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz with duties that could run as high as 25%.

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The question observers are now asking is why the White House would reject an offer that would effectively drop the EU’s barriers to entry for American-made vehicles, something Trump cited in the first place as the reason why he would threaten to trigger a trade war with one of America’s biggest trade partners. (more…)

NAFTA Update Faces Hurdles Getting Approval

Talks with Canada have just started despite Friday deadline.

by on Aug.29, 2018

Until all three negotiators say there is a deal, passing the current bilateral will be difficult and take longer than expected.

An air of uncertainty and frustrations once again settled over the discussions surrounding the North American Free Trade Agreement despite the announcement by President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto of tentative agreement on the broad outlines of a new trade pact.

However, no one is yet certain about the specifics needed to make a new pact operational. For example, officials from Kia, which is about to launch a new vehicle made in Mexico, Kia Forte, in the U.S. market said it wasn’t sure about what impact the tentative pack might have on the automobile business. Like everyone else, Kia is waiting for more details, noted James Bell, Kia’s director of corporate communications.

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One specific piece of apparently settled under the tentative U.S.-Mexican agreement are the rules of origin, which have increased the requirements from 62.5% to 75%. The new agreement would increase the U.S.-Mexican content in the pact in an effort to draw automotive investment from China to Mexico or the U.S. The rules could penalize Asian carmakers, according to analysts. (more…)

New Vehicle Costs Expected to Rise Under New NAFTA Deal

Canada in talks with the U.S.

by on Aug.28, 2018

Mexico's Ildefonso Guajardo and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer after talks.

As U.S. and Mexican trade officials wait for Canada to get on board with the new deal expected to be the replacement or update to NAFTA, the existing agreement reveals that it may not be a great pact for American consumers.

New vehicle prices will rise, along with demand for used cars, experts say because the cost for producing the vehicles and components in Mexico is going to increase under the terms of the deal right now.

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“The new agreement will push production costs higher on Mexican products — parts and vehicles — which, eventually, will be paid by American consumers,” Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Autotrader, told the Detroit Free Press. (more…)

U.S., Mexico Reach Agreement on NAFTA Auto Provisions

Canada needs to sign off on the new deal.

by on Aug.27, 2018

NAFTA talks between Mexico and the U.S. are done and the two sides have resolved their differences. Canadian representatives will resume negotiations now.

After negotiating through the weekend, trade representatives of Mexico and the United States reached agreement on the auto provisions of NAFTA. The two sides now must get approval from Canada to move forward.

Mexico’s top official Ildenfso Guajardo said last week the sides were nearly done and expected a deal to be completed this week. The deal has been a long time coming, oft delayed due to demands by President Donald Trump, who initially slammed the deal when talks began.

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Much of the reason for the slow pace of the talks was due to Trump’s insistence on increasing the percentage of North American-made parts in vehicles imported into the zone. The current level is 62.5% and under the new accord, that rises to 75%, according to Reuters. (more…)

Tesla Staying Public; CEO Musk Facing Further Scrutiny

“The sentiment, in a nutshell, was ‘please don’t do this.’”

by on Aug.25, 2018

CEO Elon Musk has abandoned his plan to take Tesla private, citing investors' concerns.

Less than three weeks after suggesting he was ready to take Tesla private – in the process triggering an SEC investigation – CEO Elon Musk advised employees late Friday night that he has bowed to pressure and will keep the automaker a publicly traded company.

The latest move caps an increasingly turbulent period for the South African-born entrepreneur who has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months. That is, in part, due to his frequent tweets, but also because of some of the spats Musk has gotten involved in, at one point using a slang term for pedophile to describe a diver who helped rescue a young soccer team trapped in a flooded Thai cave. He has also been called out by rapper Azealia Banks for alleged drug use on the night Musk first tweeted about taking Tesla private.

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“Although the majority of shareholders I spoke to said they would remain with Tesla if we went private, the sentiment, in a nutshell, was ‘please don’t do this,’” Musk wrote in a late Friday e-mail to the automaker’s employees.