US report on car imports: EU auto makers express grave concern

Brussels, 19 February 2019 – Following the submission to the White House of the US Commerce Department’s report on the section 232 national security investigation into motor vehicle and auto part imports, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) reiterates its concerns about any potential new tariffs.

ACEA cautions that the application of additional duties on imports of passenger cars and parts would not only severely affect the EU industry, but also the US economy and consumers alike. It would mean that all automobile manufacturers in the United States, whether domestic or international, would face a significant increase in costs.

This cost increase would have to be mitigated by lowering margins, reducing production costs or passing additional purchase and repair costs on to consumers. Such measures would make American automobile manufacturing less competitive and hit US consumers in their pockets. In other words, the imposition of tariffs would have a counter-productive effect on the US economy.

“Imports of cars and auto parts from the EU clearly do not pose a national security risk to the United States,” stated ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert. “Any trade restrictive measures in our sector will have a serious negative impact, not only on EU manufacturers but also on US manufacturers.”

European auto makers produce close to one million vehicles in the United States per year, of which roughly 60% are exported. All in all, EU manufacturers directly and indirectly employ more than 470,000 Americans, which means that European auto makers are major investors in the US economy.

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Notes for editors

  • ACEA represents the 15 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus manufacturers: BMW Group, CNH Industrial, DAF Trucks, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, PSA Group, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, and Volvo Group.
  • More information can be found on www.acea.be or @ACEA_eu.
  • Contact: Cara McLaughlin, Communications Director, cm@acea.be, +32 2 738 73 45 or +32 485 88 66 47.

About the EU automobile industry

  • 13.3 million people – or 6.1% of the EU employed population – work directly and indirectly in the sector.
  • The 3.4 million jobs in automotive manufacturing represent over 11% of total EU manufacturing employment.
  • Motor vehicles account for some €413 billion in tax contributions in the EU15.
  • The sector is also a key driver of knowledge and innovation, representing Europe's largest private contributor to R&D, with €54 billion invested annually.
  • The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of €90.3 billion for the EU.