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Bill Allowing National Testing for Autonomous Vehicle Testing Remains Stalled

Foreign competitors are gaining on U.S. in the arena.

by on Jul.09, 2018

Nissan is conducting on-road autonomous vehicle testing in Europe, including London, shown here.

As automakers scramble to find what U.S. states are best for testing autonomous vehicles, Congressional efforts to communize rules for all 50 states, once on the fast track, appears to have stalled and there is no timetable for a restart.

In today’s political climate, it would be easy to assume that partisanship is the reason the efforts have ground to a halt in the U.S. Senate, but the bill had strong bipartisan support coming out of committee.

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However, the Senate is tied up with other responsibilities, such as the looming Supreme Court justice approval process and other legislative agenda items, according to the Automotive News. (more…)

Auto Industry in the Crosshairs as First Shots Fired in China Trade War

Ford, BMW, Volvo and GM could be particularly hard-hit.

by on Jul.06, 2018

President Donald Trump ordered $50 billion in new tariffs on Chinese goods.

Words, rather than gunshots, rang out overnight as the Trump administration officially enacted an estimated $50 billion in new trade tariffs on China, leading the massive Asian giant to strike back with new duties worth about $34 billion.

The U.S., Chinese officials declared, has launched “the biggest trade war in economic history.” The government, borrowing a page from the Trump playbook, called the U.S. administration “a gang of hoodlums.” The White House, meanwhile, said it was in for the long-term, if need be, and could levy billions of dollars in additional tariffs against one of America’s biggest trade partners.

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The battle, which few analysts expect to be resolved quickly, will impact a broad spectrum of industrial sectors, everything from entertainment to agriculture, though automotive manufacturers could be particularly hard-hit. (more…)

Trade Tariffs Getting Global Pushback: Trump v. The World

Automakers leading charge against new tariffs.

by on Jul.02, 2018

GM CEO Mary Barra has attempted to provide counsel to President Donald Trump, even as his policies have negatively impacted automakers.

Everywhere President Donald Trump looks these days is another message saying, essentially, don’t do this.

“This” in this instance is an attempt to raise tariffs against multiple trade partners at the same time. Trump, who made trade a central piece of his election campaign, has managed to either increase tariffs or threaten to do so against Canada, Mexico, China, Japan and the European Union.

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Right now, Canada has already instituted retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. as has the EU for the tax on imported aluminum and steel. Trump responded by threatening to put tariffs on even more items, including a 20% on vehicles from the EU. (more…)

Obrador’s Win in Mexico Presidential Election Portends NAFTA Trouble

Tough NAFTA talks expected to get even more difficult.

by on Jul.02, 2018

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is likely to have a negative impact on NAFTA.

In a development that leaves the future North American Free Trade Agreement hanging by a slender thread, Andreas Manuel López Obrador was elected president of Mexico in a landslide victory that could lead to sweeping change in Mexican politics.

The leftist Obrador is considered by some commentators as Mexico’s version of Cuba’s Fidel Castro or Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.

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Obrador, who narrowly lost the Mexican Presidency in 2006 and 2012, has forcefully rejected the Castro-Chavez comparison. Instead he ran on a platform that promised to curb corruption in Mexico. But Obrador, who won 53% of the vote July 1, has promised to attack the inequality in Mexico and has said the NAFTA isn’t working for the average Mexican worker needs a hefty pay increase. (more…)

Car Dealers Tell Commerce Department That Tariffs are Taxes on Consumers

Department studying if imported autos risk national security.

by on Jun.29, 2018

AIADA's Cody Lusk chastised the Trump administration in a filing, saying a new tariff amounts to a new tax on the American people.

This country’s international auto dealers, who sell brands from Asia and Europe, fired a broadside shot against the Trump administration’s plans to impose a heavy tariff on cars imported into the U.S.

America’s auto dealers, domestic and international, stand to lose up to 2 million annual sales if the investigation rules against their products and the 25% tariff proposed by the Trump administration is put in place, the American International Auto Dealers Association said.

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The AIADA comments were filed with the Department of Commerce’s Section 232 investigation into whether or not imported autos and auto parts, used in every car sold in America, pose a national security threat to the United States. (more…)

Automakers Foreign and Domestic: Tariffs Harm Jobs, Economy

A 25% tariff could add nearly $6K to vehicle prices.

by on Jun.27, 2018

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the study determining if automotive imports could be declared a threat to national security.

(This story has been updated with additional information.)

The escalating tariff war between the United States and the European Union, heighted by a threat of a 20% tariff on EU-imported vehicles, could result in vehicle prices rising an average of $5,800 and eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Those are just some of the findings from study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics. The study claims that the cost to U.S. jobs from the import duties would be at least 195,000 jobs. It could be as high as 624,000 jobs if other countries retaliate.

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Last week, Trump threatened to impose the 20% tariff and yesterday he said tariffs are coming soon. (more…)

Friends to Enemies: Trump Threatens Harley Over Plan to Move Production

“They will be taxed like never before.”

by on Jun.27, 2018

President Donald Trump has gone from being supportive of Harley-Davidson to threatening the company with a "huge" tax.

After hailing Harley-Davidson earlier in his administration as an example of what makes American great, President Donald Trump has now gone on the attack, threatening to slam the Wisconsin-based motorcycle company with “a big tax” if they go ahead with plans to move some of their production abroad.

The turnaround comes in response to Harley’s Monday announcement that to avoid being caught up in the escalating Trump trade war it would have to move some of its motorcycle out of the U.S. The company said tariffs and counter-tariffs are adding as much as $2,200 to the price of every bike it ships to the European Union.

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The fact that his steel and aluminum tariffs might be playing a factor in the decision did not appear to matter to the president who issued a series of tweets blasting its planned move and threatening that, “If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end – they surrendered, they quit! The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!”

(more…)

Daimler AG Lowers Earnings Guidance Due to Trade Tensions

Retaliatory measures in China and Europe has Daimler concerned.

by on Jun.26, 2018

Mercedes-Benz builds SUVs at its plant in Vance, Alabama, that are shipped to China. The tariffs on those are expected to rise, cutting sales.

The rising risk of a global trade war has prompted Daimler AG, the parent of Mercedes-Benz Cars, to reduce its earnings guidance for 2018.

Daimler said has “made a new assessment of the earnings” potential for the year 2018 and reduced its earnings guidance for the full year because of the uncertainty surrounding trade.

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“From today’s perspective, the decisive factor is that, at Mercedes-Benz Cars, fewer than expected SUV sales and higher than expected costs – not completely passed on to the customers – must be assumed because of increased import tariffs for U.S. vehicles into the Chinese market,” Daimler said in its new guidance.  (more…)

“Nearly Every Segment of the Auto Industry” Threatened by Trump Trade War

But administration may be ready to double down.

by on Jun.26, 2018

President Donald Trump is threatening to escalate tension between the U.S. and the EU by enacting a 25% tariff on Euro-built vehicles.

Automakers and suppliers are scrambling to respond to a series of moves by the Trump Administration that could negatively impact “nearly every segment of the auto industry,” according to a new analysis by financial rating firm Moody’s Investors Service.

On Monday, Wisconsin-based motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson responded to growing threats of a trade war by announcing plans to move some production from the U.S. to Europe, a shift the company said was forced by the EU’s decision to enact new tariffs countering increases levied by the White House.

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That could be just the first step, however. Other manufacturers are studying options, but are waiting to see precisely what President Donald Trump might do next. He has already increased tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, but is considering a 25% tariff on imported cars and car parts. (more…)

Harley-Davidson Shifting Some Production outside U.S., as Trump Trade War Begins to Have Casualties

EU retaliates against steel, aluminum tariffs.

by on Jun.25, 2018

Harley-Davidson is shifting production overseas to avoid new EU tariffs on motorcycles.

Perhaps the most of American of all companies, Harley-Davidson Inc., is being forced to shift some production of its motorcycles out of the U.S. as President Donald Trump’s trade policies are beginning to hit home.

The Milwaukee-based motorcycle maker said in a regulatory filing that the European Union’s response to Trump’s new tariffs on steel and aluminum from the EU, is adding $2,200 to the cost of each motorcycle it exports from the U.S. to Europe.

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The EU raised the tariffs from 6% to 31$ on June 22. The production shift comes as Harley said it would take a $90 million to $100 million hit annually rather than pass the cost on to customers. The company didn’t say where it would shift production to, just that it would be outside of the U.S. (more…)