By on August 31, 2018

Donald Trump, public domain

Earlier this year, President Donald Trump took a renewed interest in European tariffs after deciding he didn’t like what he saw. He argued it was time for the United States to consider a fresh tax on vehicles manufactured in the European Union to level the playing field. “If the EU wants to further increase their already massive tariffs and barriers on U.S. companies doing business there, we will simply apply a tax on their cars which freely pour into the U.S.,” he wrote in March.

A few months later, America floated the ridiculous-sounding proposal of abolishing all automotive tariffs between the U.S. and EU. Surprisingly, Europe was highly receptive. German Chancellor Angela Merkel even directly addressed the issue by saying she would support lowering EU tariffs on U.S. car imports. The European Union now seems willing to pursue a zero-tariff solution on automobiles.

However, Trump has since changed his tune. The new rhetoric coming from the White House is that the deal, which was originally pitched by the U.S., is no longer good enough. 

This came just a few hours after EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told the European Parliament’s trade committee that the EU is absolutely “willing to bring down even our car tariffs to zero, all tariffs to zero, if the U.S. does the same.”

While that sounds like exactly the sort of deal the United States wanted, Trump pulled back. “It’s not good enough,” he told Bloomberg in an interview from Thursday. “Their consumer habits are to buy their cars, not to buy our cars. The European Union is almost as bad as China, just smaller.”

That is true. The majority of American automobiles that sell well in Europe are manufactured outside the U.S. However, there’s a swath of German brands that build here and sell globally that would be seriously affected by tariffs — namely BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

From Bloomberg:

BMW for example is projected to sell nearly 70,000 X3 SUVs in Europe made in its South Carolina factory this year, according to data from LMC Automotive. Compare that to roughly 15,000 units of Tesla Inc.’s Model S sedan, which LMC, an industry data consultancy, projects will be the top-selling model in Europe assembled in the U.S. by an American automaker.

Presently, the U.S. imposes a 25 percent tariff on light trucks and pickups and a 2.5 percent levy on passenger cars. The EU imposes a 10 percent tariff on all passenger vehicles. The United States has suggested increasing the fee on imported automobiles if a deal cannot be struck that would boost domestic production and get more American Made machinery into European driveways.

Figuring out exactly what the U.S. wants out of this arrangement is difficult to pick apart. It’s not as if the EU can force its population to buy American, and nullifying tariffs was something the United States seemed genuinely interested in. It also seemed incredible that the EU was willing to play ball. Trump clearly desires more from Europe, though.

We’re curious to see how this plays out, as there appeared to be plenty of buzz around the deal. The zero-trade proposal also gave European auto stocks a boost, so it’ll be doubly interesting to see how they’re impacted by the apparent dissolution of the plan.

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158 Comments on “Trade War Watch: Trump Rejects Auto Tariff Deal With Europe...”


  • avatar

    DUH ! If US domestically-produced vehicles are not the types most Europeans want to buy, that is NOT the fault of any tariff barriers. SUVs and Crossovers are not the popular family cars in Europe – modest sized sedans and particularly hatchbacks are the vehicles of choice.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      I’ve generally been supportive of the President’s stance on trade but I agree with you here. Remove the barriers and if the US automakers decide they want to truly compete, they can. Otherwise, let ’em fail. There will be nobody to blame but the companies.

      I bet it was the US automakers who freaked out when Trump started talking about a level playing field. Of course they don’t want that. Their products are at a competitive disadvantage outside of the gas guzzling U.S. Their non-trucks can’t even compete in their own country! Time to light a fire under their posteriors.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        The talk here is not about US automakers as Ford and GM. Talk here about cars shipped from US. US can definitely ship some Hondas, Toyotas, Kias, etc with less tariffs. Get this – even BMWs may come from US.

    • 0 avatar
      AKM

      To be a bit more precise, regular sedans sell poorly in Europe, especially western Europe.
      The classic have long beens work vans (FWD, diesel), compact hatchbacks, and monospaces.
      Recently, however, SUVS and crossovers have become all the rage. It still doesn’t help american-made vehicles as they are mostly small C- or even B-segment crossovers.
      Pickup trucks are extremely rare, so are large SUVs and sedans.

      So yes, it’s completely stupid to complain that the EU “wins out” because their consumers don’t buy american cars.
      Make cars that people want to buy, and they’ll buy them.
      The new Ford Focus, the same that will not even be sold in the US, is a great car and has always been a strong seller. The F-150, not so much.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Let’s not confuse what people “want to buy” with what they’re limited to, or forced to buy, thanks to their local rules, taxes and regulations plus income levels.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    And in other trade news, Trump drops a bombshell when speaking ‘off the record’ the following happened: “In remarks Trump wanted to be “off the record,” Trump told Bloomberg News reporters on Thursday, according to a source, that he is not making any compromises at all in the talks with Canada — but that he cannot say this publicly because “it’s going to be so insulting they’re not going to be able to make a deal.”

  • avatar
    dwford

    Of the big 3, this really only affects Ford. GM has nearly zero presence in Europe, and same with FCA, as far as US made vehicles go. Getting to zero tariffs will help open up options for the manufacturers about factory location, but this needs to also go together with harmonizing the safety and emissions standards between the US and EU. That would allow the manufacturers to design to one set of standards for both continents – a big savings.

    One set of standards would mean Ford wouldn’t need 3 factories for the Fusion/Mondeo, maybe they only need one. It would mean the end of shipping TransitConnects with seats that they later remove to sidestep the 25% chicken tax on trucks. It could mean better, cheaper engines since money could be saved in compliance engineering.

    Trump doesn’t seem to know how to say yes to deals once he gets people to cave.

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      “Trump doesn’t seem to know how to say yes to deals once he gets people to cave.”

      That’s because he’s not interested in fair deals or win-win situations. He wants nothing more than complete domination, and once he gets you to agree he moves the goalposts so he can squeeze you for a little more. He learned a lot from all of those mobsters he runs with…

      • 0 avatar
        Lynchenstein

        “I am altering the deal, pray I don’t alter it any further.”
        – Darth Vader

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        Actually, he’s not even that rational. As the walls close in from the Mueller/SDNY investigations, he’s increasingly desperate to create distraction after distraction, and reality be darned.

        Bruce Ohr, for example. Who has clearly done nothing wrong, but mysteriously shows up on the enemies list for having done his job, because Trump needs a new distraction from his own crimes.

        Cohen has flipped, Pecker has flipped, Weisselberg has flipped, McGahn has flipped, Patten has flipped. The list will only grow longer.

        So, nothing that Trump says can be taken at face value.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        notwhoithink,

        I take Trump mafia over DNC/RNC mafia all day long. In a wake of Trump mafia you can see some actual money-generating enterprises. And in a wake of DNC/RNC mafia you only get money-sucking black holes and no results at all.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Are we going to talk bout Ford’s decision to not import the new Focus from China due to the 25% tariff??

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Is Trump getting some pressure from Detroit that they don’t want the 25% chicken tariff on pickups dropped? Perhaps they expect to lose more F-150, Silverado, and Ram sales than they pick up in Mustang and Corvette exports to Europe?

    • 0 avatar
      TDIandThen....

      Trump is a transactional negotiator. If he were getting some kind of pressure he simply wouldn’t care. I’d bet he saw Europe say yes and was pleasantly surprised so decided to punish them for agreeing by demanding more.

      This is how you get a good short term deal and lose friends for the medium and long terms. In 25 years no one will give a hoot what the US demands – probably not even us in Canada – but that’s not Trump’s problem.

      • 0 avatar
        notwhoithink

        This guy gets it. It reminds me of a time I was negotiating my salary for a new job. I thought that I was fairly compensated in my old job, but was looking for a 15% bump or more. So I basically started negotiations at what was about 30% above what I was making previously, expecting to have to come down at least a little bit during negotiations. The manager said “let me look into it” and then came back 2 hours later with “ok”. And all I could think was I should have asked for 40%.

        Well…that’s what Trump did. He asked for what he really wanted and more than he expected to get, and he got it so easily that he’s decided that he should have asked for more. Unlike me, he’s actually going to ask for more, he just hasn’t figured out what that “more” should be yet. He thinks that the EU showed weakness by agreeing to his demands, and now he wants to apply pressure to that weakness.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Europe has a chicken flavored tariff of their own, but we won’t mention it here since its taboo to note on these write-ups. That would take the wind out the US Chicken tax drama. It’s 10 to 22% depending on the configuration. Yes Europe is scared of their locals finding out the greatness of US fullsize pickups, minus their chicken tax, especially for commercial uses they haven’t been made aware of and the many hats they can wear, in several class too, plus virtually endless combinations of options, trim, packages, engines, etc.

      But explain what US pickup brands have to fear that isn’t already here?

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “Yes Europe is scared of their locals finding out the greatness of US fullsize pickups, minus their chicken tax, especially for commercial uses they haven’t been made aware of and the many hats they can wear, in several class too, plus virtually endless combinations of options, trim, packages, engines, etc”

        you’re delusional.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          So far they’ve just been for play/showing off, in Europe. They’re fairly exotic gray-market imports, no doubt getting more attention than (yawn) Lamborghinis and whatnot.

          The other, more work orientated side of US fullsize pickups hasn’t been explored in Europe, since they’re too expensive for that and if you’re gonna go to the trouble, red tape, zero warranty, no dealer support, etc, why do a work truck orientated, and or beat it up if you did?

          Eventually it has to happen, especially without the Euro Chicken tax. Fear optional.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Jim,
          DM also doesn’t realise even midsizers in the EU are not common.

        • 0 avatar
          dont.fit.in.cars

          My chuckle for the day. Americans think ride roads are a global thing.

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        “we won’t mention it here since its taboo to note on these write-ups”. Which means it doesn’t exist.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          “…Which means it doesn’t exist…”

          Thank you that’s exactly how the uninformed stay ignorant. Believing anything that’s put to print AND assuming that is the whole story.

      • 0 avatar
        Tele Vision

        “…the greatness of US fullsize pickups…”

        Um, having owned two Suburbans and three pickups AND having been to and driven in Ireland/England/France/Belgium/Holland I can categorically tell you that the last vehicle I’d want over there would be a full-sized North American pickup truck. The fuel costs alone would bankrupt you. That’s after the insurance costs first do so. Add to that the sheer impossibility of parking it anywhere near anything that might be considered ‘downtown’. Parking garages? Forget it. I was in France in the late ’80’s and was waved away from garages whilst driving a Renault 25; in Ireland in the ’90’s my otherwise excellent Mondeo rental car ( with a stick shift and a bolted-down bonnet ) came with skinned mirrors: a not-very-subtle indication of the size of the paved goat trails that the Irish call ‘country roads’ which are often closely-lined with stone walls. I’d love to have the torque of my current F-150 in Yurp but it would have to be in a vehicle half the size. Which would be even better.

        • 0 avatar
          Hydromatic

          Thank you for knocking some common sense into DenverMike. I don’t know what the hell he was thinking.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Should anyone’s desire to own anything midsize to fullsize be dashed by taxes and corrupt bureaucracies? If what you say about the extremely narrow roads and micro parking spaces of Europe were true, Europe would be impossible to get around except by the most exceptionally skilled stunt drivers, especially at speed.

            In reality it only takes slightly more skill to pilot a fullsize pickup vs the compact you’re used to. This is also true in the US, where I’m constantly parking my 79 inch wide F-150 and F-250 (not counting mirrors) in 74 inch wide spaces, common to big cities inner core. The narrrowest parking spaces I’ve seen or heard of in Europe are 94 inches or 2.4 metres.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Also if small roads and tight cities are such a detriment to large truck ownership, then doesn’t that negate the whole “Americans would buy midsized trucks over full-sized given the option” argument since by in large we as a nation don’t have these issues.

            BTW, I saw numerous full-sized trucks on my last trip to Seattle…hardly an easy city to navigate. Same with LA.

          • 0 avatar
            Tele Vision

            All DenverMike would have to do is go there for several weeks, as I’ve done several times. A Volkswagen Golf is a neat runabout here – it’s a fancy family car in Europe. VW didn’t market the Lupo 3L just for fun, either.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Been there done that, I’ve had much tighter spaces in the US. With Euro tight spaces you can actually park F-150s side by side and still squeeze out the doors.

            Not true in US tight parking spaces which are much less generous. I generally have both my mirrors into the next space’s airspace, all tires on the lines, Denver, LA, San Diego, SF, NYC etc. In all cases you’re at least a couple feet into the isle. Not a big deal as there has to be plenty of room to maneuver.

            photobucket.com/gallery/user/Xyachtdave1/media/bWVkaWFJZDo4ODg3OTg1OQ==/?ref=

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Meh, I drove a 70 Olds Cutlass for a year in Naples Italy. It’s relative and you get used to the size. The places that it was a pain to drive it in were nearly as painful in the Autobianchi A112 that replaced.

          Fuel cost is however a real concern.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      stingray,
      I think there is merit in your comment.

      Trump is realising global appeal for US vehicles is not large. Nichelike in many cases.

      The US has a problem. How many Americans can afford to operate large vehicles? And the US is an expensive producer and only getting worse with metal tariffs.

      • 0 avatar
        Adam Tonge

        “The US has a problem. How many Americans can afford to operate large vehicles?”

        Apparently millions and millions. Our second home is on a lake in a very poor county. There aren’t many jobs besides the tourism and agricultural (Christmas trees) industries. There were plenty of brand new trucks everywhere this weekend. So many Silverados at the boat ramp that it looked like a Chevy dealership.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Adam. Spoken like a true elitist. Ah, fnck the other 50%, it’s me that matters.

          What a sorry attitude.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It shouldn’t put Americans into bankruptcy to transport a large family with a basic fullsize, nor a small business.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            Yeah, that’s what I am…

            Except there is a large part of the population that wants trucks and buys trucks. The preferred method of transportation in rural areas are used full sized trucks. Hopefully rich people keep buying these useful vehicles so others, like me, can buy them used.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Still I’m gonna laugh my A$$ off when my gardener shows up in a Platinum Limited, Tuxedo Black full of landscaping equipment with rakes and shovels in the back seat!

  • avatar
    TDIandThen....

    Ah the problems of thinking you’re a shrewd negotiator.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    lol… wait wut?

    No tariffs to no tariffs is a pretty good deal – see if the vehicles sell.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Even without the tariffs, I just don’t see many Europeans lining up for Impalas, 300C or whatever (to include pick-ups). Drop the tariffs, fine. But don’t expect to see Europe lining up at the local US-plated manufacturer’s dealerships to buy a larger number of vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      Well, Europeans would probably buy American made cars, but not American. They would love the Honda Accord for 20,000-25,000E, may be the Camry…
      I’ve seen some Chrysler 300 in Europe. Not many though since the “non-tarrif” fees for big engines is insane in certain countries. And yes, the V6 3.6 Pentastar is considered obsecenely huge in Europe.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        I recall hearing somewhere that a 2.5 litre engine in anything was considered a large engine and not very common. The V6 engines and V8 engines reside in the land of those with lots of money burning a hole somewhere.

        • 0 avatar
          Carrera

          Yes tankinbeans, depending on country. Generally speaking anything 2.0 and above is big. A lot of countries have environmental fees added if the engine is a certain size. That’s a non-tarrif tariff. Even on used cars. Romania was applying that on all cars brought in used if the engine was a certain size. EU sued them and won because an EU member can’t tax the cars of another EU member. But of course, the cars had to be made in a EU member party. They didn’t care what environmental fees they added on a non-EU car

      • 0 avatar
        dont.fit.in.cars

        Your forgetting all new immigration from near and middle east.

      • 0 avatar
        Lockstops

        Carrera: you’re correct.

        In most countries cars like the Skoda Octavia are family cars, and Skoda Superb are big family cars. Octavias have 1.0 and 1.5 liter engines, 1.6 diesels. Superbs mainly only 2.0 diesels. Nowadays increasingly replaced by SUVs of the equivalent size engines: Karoq and Kodiaq. Karoq is offered with 1.6 diesels and Kodiaq with 2.0 diesels.

        There’s a reason why even big luxury cars have 4-cylinder models: they sell the most due to taxation making such a huge difference. Volvos are in 4-cyl only, even the XC90, Porsche sells 4-cylinder SUVs… Basically all big SUVs are bought with the smallest diesel engine on offer, because the price difference in _massive_ when you go to a big gasoline engine. Porsche Panamera is currently sold with the CO2 emissions figure of 171-173g/km in the non-hybrid version and 56g for the hybrid…

        If you offer any larger engines that those then you are not competitive. Your sales price, running costs or both shoot through the roof and it makes no sense to choose your offerings.

        Guess if that’s realistic or a result of lobbied testing procedures that benefit them? The whole taxation based on CO2 which is in place in most of Europe makes the difference between small diesels + puny gasoline engines compared to big gasoline V8s and even V6s massive. Even though in practice the difference isn’t that big.

        It’s not a coincidence that just as VW had geared up their production palette of small, ‘downsized’ turbo gasoline engines and diesels the EU regulations were such that massively favoured them in CO2 figures and simultaneously taxation started to drastically depend on those CO2 figures. It is corruption, and was designed to push out US and Japanese manufacturers. Even the Japanese, frugal naturally aspirated 2-litre four cylinder engines became too expensive to compete against the smaller turbo engines of VW etc. even though in real life their emissions levels were very even. And then it took too long for the Japanese to understand how badly they were losing before spending the 5 years or so in developing small, turbocharged engines even though in practice they were inferior to naturally aspirated engines. Especially in the earlier years the ‘downsized’ turbo engines sucked: they were massively laggy and unreliable, resulting in a bad user experience and higher lifetime costs. Only once they brought in hybrids and finally some diesels they started getting back to their previous sales numbers, but they still haven’t really recovered.

        VW won. And that’s not a small win, getting your non-EU competitors kicked out from top spots of the sales charts is a massive deal! Koreans have also taken some of the Japanese manufacturers’ sales since in part they reacted quicker since they weren’t vested into their own engine development paths in the same way.

        Meanwhile US manufacturers disappeared pretty much completely from the marketplace. Only Ford is still here, but only due to having what is effectively a separate, European company of its own. I hope you all know how much it would cost to recover from zero market presence to being a viable alternative to any meaningful portion of the market?

        Some say that it’s the fault of the Americans for not setting their product lines to match that of VW in order to not be disproportionately punished and becoming uncompetitive due to regulations and taxes. But the fact is that the regulations and taxation schemes were cooked up as some companies like VW were already developing their engines (regulations were designed to be perfectly matched to VW products, not the other way ’round), so that as they were revealed others had to start their engine development at that point, meaning at least 5 years, while VW had everything ready in the pipelines and got a head start. Even BMW wasn’t informed beforehand and they had their super-efficient valvetronic naturally aspirated engines suffering in sales even though in the real world they were very competitive.

        I don’t blame companies for thinking that it’s not right that they should develop crap engines that people don’t want and that don’t make sense (in the long run especially) just because the game has been rigged (mainly by VW which is partially German state owned, and otherwise highly tangled with politicians’ and top civil servants’ interests).

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      I was in Eastern Europe about two months ago and I notice that large scale industrial farms use large fleets of Toyota Hilux diesel trucks. 4 cylinder diesel engines. All crew cabs, all new. They cost anywhere from 25,000-30,000 dollars over there. Could the diesel Chevy Colorado compete there? May be, but not if they sell it for the same price they sell it here…$39,000-44,000.
      As for the other full size trucks? Probably not since they are a bit too big. As a novelty yes, they would sell some without tarrifs but not too many. I have seen a surprising number of Ford Mustangs 2015-2018 model year. Not sure if they were made in USA or UK. By “surprising” I mean 7-8 cars but that’s a lot in a town of 180,000 where VW, Audi and BMW is king.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Carrera,
        The US Colorado would be too expensive, even without a tax. The prices you qouted seem to be much higher than the costs in Germany and France.

        Add to that the US midsizers are not as capable as a global. They are Americanised.

        Most globals have a GVM (vehicle,trailer,load) of 6 000kg. US 1/2 ton ranges from 5 000 – 6 000kg.

        So in effect a global midsize pretty much does what a US fullsize 1/2 ton does.

        The global Colorado hlcan carry 3 080lbs, there are F 350s with similar payloads.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge

          Payload ratings cannot be compared across borders. Well, at least the US border. Even if we had the exact same Colorado as the rest of the world, it would not have 3/4 ton payloads. Same goes for towing. The Escape and Kuga are virtually identical. One has a max tow capacity of 3500 lbs and the other 4620 lbs. The Golf 1.8T has a tow rating of 0 here while the Golf 1.0L has a 2200 lbs tow rating in Europe.

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      Then why are the tariffs there if they aren’t scared? Clearly Europe is trying to lock out competition from American manufacturers.

      And who knows how other companies might respond if a new market opens up to them where they can now be competitive?

      • 0 avatar
        dstblj52

        No its mostly revenge for the chicken tariffs (Called that because the us was trying to push eggs in the EU that failed EU health regulations). SO the US blocked European light commercial vans. So the EU blocked US cars, in revenge over that.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Oh Jacob, what nonsense you spurn.

        US pickup footprint to vehicle capability is under utilised for markets outside of the US, Canada.

        A truck with the footprint of a US 1/2 ton in the EU would want at least a 5 000 – 6 000lb payload with a 12′ flatbed.

        Towing is not common, so US pickups will finf it hard, this discounts the poor FE from US pickups.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAFO – US pickups are held to strict SAE GVWR standards. Global’s “ratings” are left entirely to the sense of humor of their manufacturers (marketing)!

          What a joke! You’ve got pickups in your part of the world, including Africa that are dangerous when filled and driven at or below their capacity ratings… That won’t happen in the US and SAE markets.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – The “FE” of global midsize pickups are equal to US fullsize, when adjusted for equivalent measures, diesel to diesel, gas to gas. But of course you never mix facts and a good rant.

          • 0 avatar
            dont.fit.in.cars

            Heavy crew served weapons seem to do fine in a HiLux.

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      Europeans would definitely line up for American V8 cars for the price of Euro 2.0 four cylinder crap. You don’t know much about what people want if you don’t think that they’d rather buy Chargers, Mustangs, Camaros, Explorers, Durangos… Even V6 models are in a completely different league than the cookie-cutter, boring Euro offerings.

      Cadillac’s model lineup is partly very well suited to the European market, but they haven’t pushed into Europe properly for good reason: a few models that are competitive isn’t enough. If their larger models weren’t blocked out of the market with trade barriers then they would have the volume and the large enough lineup to justify setting up a proper dealership network.

      Without huge taxation and if they were available at the nearest dealership at even near US prices then US cars would sell like hot cakes in Europe. All gear heads are tired of having to settle with 4-cylinder cars or having to pay massive amounts for turbo 6-pots. Getting a 6-cylinder or even V8 car for the price of a Euro 4-pot is a great deal, and most of us don’t care if the interior plastics are a very slight bit less glitzy. Camaro 1LE models are amazing performance cars, and it would be nice to have those as options instead of paying €60K+ to get an ‘almost-performance badge’ model from Mercedes, BMW etc. that finally steps up from 4-cylinder…

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        Yes, it is not about what Euro customers “want.” It is about what their regulatory overlords permit them to have. Except for the truly wealthy. They can pay for their freedom.

        • 0 avatar
          Lockstops

          I’m not sure about the exact statistics on this, especially since taxation and other regulations vary so wildly within the EU, but at least in the country where I’m residing at least about half of all new cars are company cars. And out of everyone I know, every single person working in a medium to large size company is restricted in their company car choice with company rules. The most common CO2 emissions limit I hear is 140g/km, thought that of course varies a bit depending on the company. And there are _no_ exceptions allowed. This includes all foreign companies, and actually in my experience the big foreign companies like Americans companies are the strictest with these things.

          In some countries like Holland the amount of tax you pay on your company car is based on the CO2 emissions…measured by the flawed NEDC and now the slightly less flawed but still flawed WLTP test cycle. The first thing people in Holland look at is the tax liability of the car (determined by CO2 as said above), because that’s pretty much the most important thing since it determines how much that car will cost you.

          So if roughly half, or even a third of all new cars sold have to be under 140g/km or so due to self-imposed company limits, how many cars do people expect American manufacturers to be able to sell? American cars are designed for free people, living under more intelligent rules instead of leftist extremism and whatever gives more power to the massive government bureaucracies. American cars are large because people want large cars, they have big naturally aspirated engines with many cylinders because that’s what people want since they are technically superior and more reliable without being significantly worse in emissions in the real world. American cars weren’t designed to benefit from incredibly stupid, dramatically flawed emissions testing idiocy to the detriment of their actual performance, reliability etc.

  • avatar
    srh

    This is the problem with viewing trade as a zero-sum contest. To Trump, if the other side isn’t screaming bloody murder, then they must be “winning”.

    The reality is that /everyone/ wins when we trade more. But Trump fragile ego means that he needs to win /more/ than everyone else (even if it means America loses).

    • 0 avatar
      chrishs2000

      Who wins when third world countries assemble and build all of our consumer products for 1/10th the cost? It’s not as simple as you suggest and it should indeed be on a case by case basis. Free trade with countries of comparable labor rates does work (as long as they do not subsidize their industries – a la Germany with their automakers).

      • 0 avatar
        Ce he sin

        Actually, both win. The country with lower costs gains jobs and trade, the richer country can now concentrate on more productive work.
        Don’t believe me? Try banning all imports from China. Now, who’s going to make this stuff, bearing in mind that the US has historically low unemployment and therefore no available workforce to do all these boring, repetitive, dead end jobs now being done in China?

        • 0 avatar
          chrishs2000

          Spoken like someone who has never experienced a highly skilled and highly paid domestic production plant close down and a new one rebuilt in Mexico, where double the people can be hired at 1/4 the cost to no benefit of anyone except the corporation. Again, it’s not as simple as plastic toys and tshirts and other unskilled work. No one is in favor of banning imports, but tariffs against skilled work are necessary to balance out the significant gap in labor rates and regulations.

          Is assembling the Buick Envision “unproductive work”? Or any of the thousands of automotive plants in Mexico, China, etc that used to be in the US? Tell those people who used to work at those plants who now work at KFC or Homegoods that they can now focus on more productive work.

          Third world countries provide a source of what is essentially slave labor for corporations. Those profits do trickle down somewhat, but the vast majority do not. That’s why the entrenched system is so in favor of globalism – it provides massive wealth for the top.

          I am all for fair trade, but the concept of free trade does not work unless both countries are relatively equivalent in standards and wages. US and Japan, US and UK are good examples of where free trade is applicable.

          • 0 avatar
            Ce he sin

            That’s what happens in business I’m afraid. Low end jobs in particular migrate to where costs are lower because consumers want to buy things cheap. Take the Dell computer company. They had a factory in Ireland which they closed and moved to Poland because Poles are cheaper. But these were low end jobs often done by immigrants, some of whom followed their jobs back to Poland. Life went on. Or take Apple. They had a substantial manufacturing presence in Ireland which was scaled back but not eliminated – until recently Apple’s Cork operation was the only Apple facility anywhere in the world which did anything physical. Thing is though that Apple’s Irish operations are much bigger now than they have ever been before. They’re just switched from sticking electrical bits into plastic boxes to software, sales, customer service and so on. Many of these jobs are better paying than the jobs they replaced.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Chris,
            Obviously the plant you talk of is not productive or automated enough.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Ce he sin,

          there are plenty of workforce in US sitting in ghettos on welfare.

      • 0 avatar

        What you describe has resulted in truly incredible amounts of wealth in the U.S. and we are essentially at job saturation. You could stop all imports, but no one is going to be around to work the factories. If you want to talk the real problem, lack of regulation and wealth redistribution leading to the 0.01% capturing 99% of that incredible wealth, you’re going to want to look somewhere other than Trump and the GOP.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          We have plenty of regulation. It’s the enforcement that’s the problem. If you think this is solely the domain of the GOP, name the bankers that went to jail for fraud between 2008-2016.

          Both parties are corrupt. Thinking the GOP owns that space is giving them way too much credit.

          Look at what’s happening with California’s crazy train and the environmental laws getting trampled on to build it.

          Hypocrisy is bipartisan.

          • 0 avatar
            fIEtser

            No environmental laws are getting trampled on to build the CAHSR project. The reality is the exact opposite as the Authority is spending millions of dollars on habitat restoration, retrofitting heavy diesel engines in the region to offset construction emissions, and of course, completely environmental reports for all the sections in the first place.

    • 0 avatar
      dont.fit.in.cars

      Really? Trump is working to reduce US trade deficit. He’s successfully used Mexico to leverage against Canada’s insistence on maintaining Chinese parts imports.

      When he’s done with the Frogs, he’ll pivot to the EU, then use most favored nation status towards India leveraging Chinese into muzzling NK and securing IP rights.

      Countries are starting to understand there is no defense against the largest market in the world. If you want play in it you pay. No more lopsided trade deals.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    It’s funny watching supposed free traders scream about Trump forcing other countries to adopt…free trade.

    I guess the “intelligent” position on trade is let other countries have lopsided agreements against us because….slavery or something.

    What I’m seeing is what any country should be doing, unless you think American leaders should serve the global community and not actual Americans.

    • 0 avatar
      Ce he sin

      I guess you read a different article to me. The article I read suggested that Trump had been offered the elimination of tariffs by the EU on condition that the US did the same – free trade in other words. Now seemingly he wants something more because he has realised the bleeding obvious – most vehicles made in America have little chance of commercial success in Europe even without tariffs. He appears to want trade to be in some way biased in favour of the US to overcome the lack of appeal of their cars.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      exactly

      Trump is using the threat of tariffs to push a free trade agenda

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        No, this is Trump acting like a toddler throwing a tantrum. I want it all… not some of it… All of it! And I’m not gonna stop till I get all of it!

        He’s not attempting to persuade anyone.

        Chris Pine did a psa to get people to vote – it’s on youtube. The way Pine acts in that video is basically Trump.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “It’s funny watching supposed free traders scream about Trump forcing other countries to adopt…free trade.”

      it’s funny watching you admit you don’t know how to read.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Free Trade is only part of the solution. The bigger issue is “non tariff” barriers, clearly one-sided, and much tougher for US OEMs, including Toyota, Nissan, Honda, etc, to deal with, than simple tariffs.

      Tariffs are easy. For those you just cut a check.

      • 0 avatar
        Ce he sin

        I remain intrigued by these “non tariff barriers”.

        Some years ago Ford decided to sell the Mustang globally. They also decided to sell the previous model Fiesta in North America.

        In one of these cases the model needed minor changes, mainly to the lights. In the other case something like 40% of the parts had to be changed due to a mixture of regulatory and market differences.

        By my understanding the model that needed most changes was the one being subjected to the most “non tariff barriers”

        So which one was it?

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Ce he sin,
          The guys throwing around tech barriers fail to realise most UNECE signatories allow US regulated vehicles on their roads.

          The US doesn’t allow UNECE regualted vehicles on its streets. Really a one way street

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          No kidding, many “mods” are necessary for exporting cars designed specifically and custom tailored for the European market. Ask Fiat, Peugeot, Citroen, etc.

          Euro extreme protectionism cuts both ways. The Fiesta is a great example. The Mustang needed to keep its traditional V8 and a 0.9 liter “base” engine would’ve been wildly rejected by European/global market Mustang “enthusiasts”.

          Things shouldn’t have to be that way and clearly that’s what Trump is referring to. Having zero tariffs would be great, but that’s a small piece of the complicated European puzzle.

          .

          • 0 avatar
            Ce he sin

            You’ve yet to explain what this “extreme protectionism” and “non tariff barriers” actually are but something Trump is reported to have said recently might be a clue. He apparently wants the EU (and by extension much of the world) to reduce fuel prices so that large, thirsty cars are no longer prohibitively expensive to buy and run. In other words other countries are expected to encourage a greater production of CO2 and import more oil just so that an American car maker can sell large thirsty cars. Presumably he also wants roads to be widened, parking spaces to be made bigger and so on.

            Talking of protectionism, how do you feel about Australia? Big place with long distances and a liking for pick ups so great scope for American cars? Nope, there are very few US built vehicles sold there. Can you work out why, and how you would rectify this?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Europe’s bigger non tariff barriers are throughout the comments. There’s little point in “zero tariffs” when US autos, compacts on up, are up against artificially high fuel prices and tiny undersized engine remain the rule (through taxes).

            Australia lives in the shadow of Europe, with left-hand-drive not an option. Yes a bad scene for US built cars/trucks.

            Except the EU has Shanghi type of dangerous smog levels, thanks to their taxation regulations, push toward tiny screaming engines, not the least of which are millions of unfiltered, unregulated little diesels… That clusterfuk is for an other article, but rest assured the bloody mess could’ve been avoided by minimal fuel taxes and FE regs more in line with CAFE, but this Europe we’re talking about, gotta be different and what not, protecting their domestic automakers obviously at all costs, to their citizen’s pocketbooks and health!!

            Corruption? Protectionism? Both?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The “extremely narrow” roads of Europe and tiny tiny parking spaces is a myth that’s been busted!

            Same exact *problems* occur in the US with fullsize vehicles.
            Vulpine can’t even get a fullsize pickup to his house!

            Next!?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            https://www.britishparking.co.uk/write/Documents/Library%/202016/Bay_Sizes_-_Jul_2016.pdf

  • avatar
    Robbie

    Let’s hope and pray that all the damage inflicted onto America can somehow be repaired within say, ten years.

    But realistically, the American century has now ended and can be exactly pinpointed as April 6, 1917 (entry into world war 1) to January 20, 2017 (Trump inauguration).

    • 0 avatar
      chrishs2000

      Wow. Take the insubstantial political chicken little comments elsewhere.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Cleaning up after BO will take years but Trump is doing a superlative job so far.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Robbie,
      The US is not down the drain ….. yet.

      I believe people in the US will need to own vehicles and conumable products for 25% longer.

      A drop in their standard of living is occurring. This will make America more competitive with Mexico, China and other developing nations just like Trump wants.

      5 decades ago many countries looked up to America and wanted their standard of living.

      Now, America (driven by Trump and his Luddite followers) wants to be like China and Mexico.

      Who would of thought many Americans want to be like the Chinese.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Trump has his foot on Trudeau’s neck.

    And that’s actually good for both countries.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “And that’s actually good for both countries.”

      according to some anonymous Internet a**hole.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “Trump has his foot on Trudeau’s neck.”

      Many on both sides of the 49th parallel are saying that Canada is better off with no trade deal than what Trump is proposing. The head of UNIFOR feels that no deal and 25% tariffs would decimate the Canadian auto sector but would hurt USA manufacturers equally. 60% of parts used in Canadian assembly come from the USA. Most of the companies in Canada are American. Most Canadian vehicle imports are from the USA.
      Trump’s attacks on Trudeau and Canada benefit Trudeau politically. It strengthens Canada’s sense of Nationalism and since Trump claims to be Conservative, it hurts conservativism in Canada.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    For what it’s worth, I’m trying to buy a refrigerator and guess which brands I’m having trouble even being able to find – LG and Samsung.

    Apparently they’re not shipping more because the tariff would make them too expensive.

    So domestic mfg may win but as with many tariffs, the customer loses.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    What can you say? Trump is a very poor leader.

    History will show how one man turned the greatest nation on earth into a laughing stock.

    • 0 avatar
      markf

      “What can you say? Trump is a very poor leader.

      History will show how one man turned the greatest nation on earth into a laughing stock.”

      Me thinks you should seek immediate treatment for your Trump Derangement Syndrome.

      Go back to moaning about the Chicken tax

  • avatar
    hpycamper

    Trade policy is about more than tariffs. You need to consider if you’re competing with government subsidies. Or if there are other anti competition business practices, official or otherwise. Also, as others have pointed, the US still wouldn’t sell a lot of cars in Europe; but there may be tariffs on some other products that the US could be competitive on. The US could stop tariffs on product X if the EU stops tariffs on product Y. The goal should be balance, which is complicated, and I suspect that is what is behind the change up.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Hpy,
      The US leads the world in non tariff barriers.

      • 0 avatar
        hpycamper

        Big Al from Oz
        Not even close to the Chinese.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAFO – Name one US “non tariff” barrier, the specific car it could negatively affect enough to prevent its import to the US and who wants to buy it?

        If you’re squawking about US “Lemon Laws”, I hear you, but they’re for a very good reason, “consumer protection”, obviously missing from your part of the world, Australia/Africa/SE Asia, and the “rich” selection of half-baked, dangerous and gross polluting cars from China, India, etc, you get to “enjoy”.

        • 0 avatar
          Snooder

          Hey, have you noticed the complete lack of new Lotus vehicles in the US?

          Or maybe you’ve never heard of the Nissan GTR r33? I’m sure some of those folks who got their cars crushed for violating import regs would be interested to know that no such barriers exist.

          Or maybe Bill Gates might like to know that he could have saved himself a ton of hassle getting “Show and Display” passed just so he could bring over his porsche 959.

          Honestly, I cannot actually believe that you are any sort of automotive enthusiast if you really think that the US has no barriers to bringing over cool cars. Practically half of import car enthusiasm is drooling over JDM and Euro market beauties we don’t get to drive here. Even if you only drive American cars, you would have to have had at least conversation with someone into import cars at some point.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Those are ultra rare and expensive in their home markets, unobtainium for most of us mortals regardless. But there’s plenty of sports car imports, widely available and affordable, to get otherwise excited about, plus quite a few “domestics” also widely available/affordable, other markets can’t readily obtain.

            Lotus imports in very low quantities.

            So all said, there’s not a better place to live than right here, as a hot rod, pickup, luxury, sports car enthusiast.

  • avatar
    hpycamper

    Not even close to the Chinese.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    From the article:

    “Figuring out exactly what the US wants out of this arrangement is difficult to pick apart…”

    You came to the right place, and as always, there’s no dumb questions, son…

    Clearly Trump is referencing Europe’s insipid “non tariff” barriers. Figure without any tariffs, US cars, including Toyota, Nissan, Honda, etc, can’t simply be put on a boat headed for Europe.

    Nope, there’s heavy taxes to be levied on engine sizes above a certain threshold. With luxury cars, who cares? But we’re talking everyday cars held to the same, regardless of how economical.

    Euro regulations basically zig everywhere US regs “zag”. Do we still have to wonder why? It’s to the point of comedy. Just more of Europe sandbagging imports.

    Bottom line, for cars to be successful in Europe, they must be designed specifically for Europe, thanks to protectionist, underhanded Euro regulations.

    It’s lead to some of the crappiest cars known to mankind, wildly successful in Europe, yet unfit for export.

    And what’s with the “engine output” told in kilowatts nonsense?

    Try some “research”, Matt…

    • 0 avatar
      Ce he sin

      “And what’s with the “engine output” told in kilowatts nonsense?”

      I don’t see kW in the article, but for your information it’s a unit of power. It’s 1,000 watts. A watt is one joule/sec. The watt was originally proposed, appropriately enough for a unit often associated with electrical power, by one of the Siemens family.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        “Horse Power” is easy to understand and a well established unit of measurement. How does measuring the same in watts help anything or whats the reason for it?

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          How is “horsepower” easier to understand than kW? both are a measure of power. 1 hp = 746 watts.

          you only think horsepower is “easier” because you’re more familiar with it.

          is PS (pferdestärke or “metric” horsepower) ok with you even though it’s not the same as SAE horsepower?

          which horse is the correct measurement reference?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Internal combustion engines provide twist/motivation, not voltage. No doubt it’s easy enough to punch “watts” into a formula that translates it back to twist/motivation, but what the heck’s the point? I mean other than to be difficult?

  • avatar
    Ce he sin

    “Bottom line, for cars to be successful in Europe, they must be designed specifically for Europe, thanks to protectionist, underhanded Euro regulations.”

    That’s an interesting claim. I live in a place that is in Europe, yet the best selling car last year was the Hyundai Tucson, which is sold globally. You can even buy it in America. Another big seller is the VW Golf, also sold globally and which you can even buy in America.

    Now that we’re on the subject, I can go through a few more good sellers. The Nissan Qashqai? Made in the UK, Russia, China and Japan so presumably sold there. Also even sold in the US under a different name. Ford Focus? Ditto. Skoda Octavia? Made in the Czech Republic, India, China, Russia, Algeria, Ukraine…
    I could go on but I’ve made my point.

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      No you haven’t. The claim is correct. I reside in a country in the EU. I was considering buying an American made pickup truck, but regulations are absolutely insane. They are incredibly detailed and complex. They all steer towards buying very certain types of vehicles, and only make it easy to buy the ‘standard’ choices of vehicles from your local dealer. Anything else and you’re in a bureaucratic nightmare. And have to pay 20 thousand euros more in taxes…

      If it has more than one row of seats then the taxation is completely different, raising registration tax by approx. 21%. That’s 21 percentage points on top of the CO2-based tax which for something like a RAM is about 27%. So in total that would be 48%. And that’s not a percentage calculated on the import price but on sales price, meaning you calculate the tax on the price that includes the registration tax… And since US pickup trucks like RAMs are high value vehicles then that means that the sales value is high, then the tax percentage is extremely high due to the CO2 emissions number (real world emissions is a very different story of course…), what we end up with is something in a completely different taxation category than the 2-litre diesel pickup trucks offered by EU manufacturers.

      If it has a power (kW) to GVWR (kg) ratio of more than 0,05 (or 0,06 if its payload is over 1000kg) then that also means you have to pay that extra 21% of registration tax. So all American Rams, F-150s etc. have to pay extra 21% tax, while no diesel Mercedes, VW etc. trucks do. Another piece of evidence that they want to favour EU vehicles with their 2-litre diesels and some can even sneak in the 6-cylinder diesels since diesels have lower power numbers and higher torque.

      There are lots of other regulations and taxes to consider too, far too many to list. Far too many for non-experts to even get their heads around. And that’s a separate and new story for each country as these tax regulations are not harmonised within the EU! Only technical regulations are harmonised, and some underlying principles behind the taxation. But the taxation itself is up to the member countries. And FYI yes, VW et al have the politicians and officials in charge of those regulations in their pocket.

      There are some small companies that specialise in importing certain trucks, modifying them technically to be able to register them as commercial trucks, making it economically viable for some businesses to buy those trucks. But even that is expensive since that naturally incurs extra costs. Not to mention the increased regulations of operating a commercial truck (limit to 80km/h in most countries I believe) and super-expensive license requirements for the driver.

      If you haven’t noticed, the EU used its crooked, corrupt legislation specifically to clean out US and Japanese manufacturers from the top positions in sales statistics from the mid-90’s onwards and by about 2005 it was mission accomplished! The amount the local manufacturers gained from cleaning out so much foreign competition is worth so much more than they could’ve ever gained by other (fair) means. Only now are Japanese manufacturers starting to regain ground after the decade of doom in Europe. They reluctantly introduced some diesels and they were fortunate that their hybrids fit in with the regulations, something that VW et al didn’t see coming. The US manufacturers were pushed out and never came back. Only now is the Mustang doing on, only thanks to ‘the European Ford’ keeping their presence in the marketplace. All other US manufacturers would have to completely re-establish themselves on that continent and that is a monumental task. VW won, they beat the Americans out of Europe with dishonest, corrupt regulations.

      I believe even before the emissions regulation scheme the EU used tariffs etc. to push them out but the Japanese moved enough manufacturing to the EU to counter that largely. (I’m not so familiar with those times, and the details of that stuff).

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Lockstops,
        And yet Americans buy these vehicles as well.

        The US needs to produce what the consumer wants.

        If everyone is eating fried chicken and your burgerstand isn’t performing what would you do? Blame them because you ain’t selling burgers?

        The US build low quality large vehicles because no one else does.

        If everyone had a similar vehicle market as the US the US would have NO vehicle industry.

        If the US can’t produce competitive small vehicles it can’t produce competitive large vehicles.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          “…The US needs to produce what…”

          @BAFO – If you keep telling yourself that, you may believe it someday…

          Except a huge part of US larger vehicles are by Toyota, Honda, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes, etc. How do they sell in Europe? Are they low quality? Is that it?

          The position of the US makes no distinctions.

          What if the US pulled a reverse tactic and smaller cars and tiny engines were taxed the most?

          Let’s start by taking away overbearing EU regulations, lifting crazy fuel taxes pushing consumers into tiny vehicles they likely hate, or into everything with undersized engines, artificially shielding/isolating their domestic automakers and then we’ll see what consumers really want, and how they want it powered.

          • 0 avatar
            Maymar

            Let’s break it down into simple numbers then – from what I can find, the entirety of Europe buys about 200k pickups per year. While that’s a growing market, it’s peanuts compared to North America (Canada, which is puny in comparison, buys 150k F150s per year). Furthermore, Ford and Chrysler already have 3.0L diesels, and Chevy will soon have a sub-3.0L gas engine (along with the 2.7 Ford already has), so it’s not like a dependence on big V8s is keeping them out. Furthermore, while it doesn’t do anything for North American labour, if Ford chose to produce the F150 out of one of their European factories, it wouldn’t be subject to EU tariffs, correct? At that point, it should just be a matter of a couple bumper and light tweaks.

          • 0 avatar
            philipwitak

            what most consumers really prize – even more than petroleum pollution – is clear, clean, fresh air.

            turns out that breathing it is very good for everyone’s health.

        • 0 avatar
          Lockstops

          Bafo: In pickup trucks it’s the US vehicles that are by far the most high-end and luxurious. That’s why after all the taxes they are at about €80K starting price in some countries…while the European ones (or in the case of Mercedes the rebadged Japanese ones) start at about €35K… The latter category does include Ford Ranger though, that is because Ford is an exception since it is partly a European company making products for the European market. And of course the €80K US pickup trucks and €35K Euro trucks are not in exactly the same category, but everyone knows that’s not the price difference they should have!!

          It is a fact that lots of people like me would want to buy US pickup trucks but are prevented from doing so due to massive and disproportionate taxation. The tariffs of about 12% (10% plus VAT on that 10% tariff) aren’t the biggest barrier, though they are significant in many EU countries since they raise the base price which is used to calculate the steep taxes, ballooning their effect.

        • 0 avatar
          Lockstops

          Paying 1,6€/l for gasoline is peanuts, and the 12% tariff is not that significant either (10% calculated on import price, plus VAT on the tariff) when compared to paying 21% extra for a Ram with the sales price it’s calculated on being about €80K, so about an extra €17K in taxes…

      • 0 avatar
        Ce he sin

        Yes, indeed I have. I’ve been through my local sales figures again. None of the top ten models are designed specifically for the European market.

        You mention your financial difficulties in importing a vehicle not originally intended for this market. Most if not all countries in the EU favour low CO2 vehicles, not because of any bias as to where the vehicles are made but for environmental and fiscal reasons. Consequently, vehicles with high CO2 emissions, regardless of where they’re made, are penalised. Makers who want to sell in a particular market make vehicles that suit that market. Those who don’t want to sell there, don’t. Take the Ford F150, which produces most of Ford’s profits. You can’t buy this in the EU except as a personal import. Thing is though you can’t buy it in most of the world. It’s sold in small numbers in the Middle East and a few islands in the Caribbean, but it’s essentially a North American specific vehicle with little export potential. Is the whole world therefore operating an international conspiracy to deprive people of the F150?

        You claim that the EU has “used its crooked, corrupt legislation specifically to clean out US and Japanese manufacturers from the top positions in sales statistics from the mid-90’s onwards”.

        Well, let’s see. In my local market Ford was market leader with a share of 25% or so for a long time. They’re now in the top four with a share of about 10 or 11%. So, which EU maker did they lose sales to due this corrupt EU? None. They lost sales to the Japanese (mainly Toyota) and now the Koreans (mainly Hyundai). Second to Ford used to be Fiat, a European company. They’ve faded to insignificance due to guess who…

        Anyway, you’re able to import a US built pickup to the EU if you wish and can afford it. So how easy is it for an American to import a foreign vehicle not intended for their market? It’s impossible. There’s an absolute ban on vehicles not intended for the US market being imported unless they’re at least 25 years old or qualify for “show and display” exemptions. So, who’s the fair trade market now?

        • 0 avatar
          bullnuke

          I believe that the 25-year rule was enthusiastically promoted by a European car manufacturer to maintain its high pricing in the US – Daimler-Benz IIRC.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Your top 10 sellers are clearly European cars, regardless of where they’re designed for “specifically”, according to you.

          Yeah that doesn’t make sense, but there’s about zero need for a US grey market. About 99.8% of the greatness Europe has to offer the world, is already for sale in the US. Not many US consumers are dying to own any of the others.

          We had a grey market and all anyone bothered to self/broker import were extremely rare Euro exotics/luxury (plus Japanese sports) cars, made in such small numbers, they weren’t worth federalizing.

          The F-150 needs to sell in Europe, to make it worthwhile selling around the world, not unlike the Mustang. Building the F-150 in Europe wouldn’t be worth it for niche buyers, at first, again, not unlike the Mustang, except the Mustang is just a simple coupe. The F-150 build is a huge undertaking, to do it right.

          Somehow it will be done, even if the F-150 gets put together in Europe from complete knockdown kits (CKD).

          • 0 avatar
            Ce he sin

            How do you define a European car? The Nissan Qashqai is a good seller in many markets. It’s designed by a Japanese company, built in several countries and sold worldwide. One of those factories is in the UK. Is that sufficient to make it European? The Ford Focus is designed by a US company, built in several countries and sold worldwide. One of those factories is in Germany. Is that sufficient to make it European?

            The Ford F150 doesn’t need to sell in Europe. It’s not designed for global sales and sales in North America are adequate for Ford’s purposes. The market for pickups in Europe isn’t large and Ford already have the Ranger which is built in low-cost Thailand. If they felt the need for something larger built in high-cost America they’d sell it. Bear in mind that tariffs on Thai and US built vehicles are the same.

          • 0 avatar
            Lockstops

            Ce he sin:
            If it’s a car that is clearly designed for the European market, as a rival to European cars, then I define it as a European car.

            Focus is definitely not made to cater for the American consumers. It’s a rival for VW Golf.

            Saying that Ford doesn’t need to sell F-150 in Europe is like saying that Audi doesn’t need to sell the Q7 in Europe. The F-150 would be sold at a significant premium since it’s a pretty luxurious, large vehicle with good performance. And they produce it very efficiently with relatively low costs.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Ce he sin – European sales are important for the F-150/F-series’ impeding, unofficial worldwide, official export.

            We’re not talking them setting the world on fire, at least not at first, but underselling the Hilux 5:1, inverse of the F-series vs the Tacoma in the US.

      • 0 avatar
        Tele Vision

        I hope @DenverMike doesn’t – or can’t – read this.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        Facts. The regulatory thicket in the EU was set up specifically for protectionism.

        • 0 avatar
          Ce he sin

          Hasn’t worked very well in that case. Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Suzuki, Honda, Subaru, Hyundai, Kia, Ssangyong – they’ve all managed to work their way through the “thicket”. There are more makes of car sold in the EU than there are in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Most of their specific cars sold in big numbers in Europe are very European specific. Yes it’s *possible* to work through the EU system/maze but that’s not the point.

            There’s more brands in Europe but how many have been created in Europe, for Europe and are landlocked due to their EU specific-ness and or crappy over all qualities.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Thelaime,
          US auto manufacturers are the worst at globalisation…..period.

          Asians, then the EU are the best.

          The US business model worked when the US was the dominant trading nation. Now it has the Chinese, EU, Japanese and Koreans who are competing.

          The US since the 70s has proven its uncompetitiveness in small car manufacturing (overall). Big pickups are protected and subsidise indirectly big SUVs.

          The US should feel lucky no one wants large lower quality vehicles, or like small cars the US will not compete.

          Due to disparity in the US many Americans can ONLY afford smaller Asian cars. Many European cars are sold due to quality and prestige.

          America can’t compete. All the chatter on this site about why the EU doesn’t buy US vehicles is pure BS and a cope out by some.

          Like the Asian and EU manufactures why doesn’t the US set up factories overseas and compete like all other manufacturers?

          Because the US auto manufacturing business model is very broken along with the US’es inability to adopt the global system of global vehicle production.

          So, if the EU and Asians want a particular product delivered a certain way provide it, or if US large vehicles are potentially popular in the EU build them there in the East with low wages.

          Fact ….. US large vehicle are only good for the tailored via regulation/tariff US market ….. no where else.

          Wake up, just because its American doesn’t translate to better in n another country.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – The US is perfect case study in which vehicles “global consumers” would buy with minimal fuel tax, no taxes based on engine size, and what imports would sell good with minimal tariffs/non tariff barriers.

            Once you’re allowed to get what you really want, as if you’re an adult or something, trusted with sharp objects, etc, you’re suddenly less focused/anal about interior panel feel and textures.

            “Quality” means different things to different people. With many, it has less to do with panel gaps, more to do with vehicle reliability.

            If you otherwise hate the car you’re forced to buy (lease), limited too, or your company/boss hands you, I hope you’re at least happy with the darn interior.

            But I don’t know if I would hate the US and all its vehicle choices, classes, segments, etc, if I lived in Europe or something, could only watch from the stinkin’ sidelines, and forced to drive (as a car/truck enthusiast) a crappy little car (with a wonderful set of door panels and dash surfaces) everyday of my life.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            BAFO,

            Yes, it does. That is why they have set up a protectionist regulatory structure to keep the US out. Read the posts from Locksteps, and get your head out of the sand. Stop being so provincial.

            “Blowhard is a small Victorian unbounded locality within the local government area of Ballarat, it is located approximately 112kms from the capital Melbourne. Blowhard is within the Australian Eastern Daylight Time zone Australia/Melbourne.

            If you are planning a visit to Blowhard we’ve put together some of the things nearby that you can see or do while you are here.”

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      No where in the world is the Hyundai Tucson a Top 10 Seller, never mind #1. Especially not in Tucson, Arizona. But where a car is made often has zero to do with where it’s designed for, hence the Tijuana Tacoma.

      • 0 avatar
        Ce he sin

        “No where in the world is the Hyundai Tucson a Top 10 Seller, never mind #1.”

        That’s an intriguing statement, given that I live in a place where the Tucson was the best selling car in 2016 and 2017!

        So far in 2018 it’s at no 2, having lost out the similarly sized and priced Nissan Qashqai

  • avatar
    Tstag

    As a European I think we should lower our trade barriers to zero on US cars. But if Trump subsequently attacks European cars with tarrifs then we should all out retaliate. The EU is actually a bigger market than the US if Trump insitis on a fight then he’s in for a shock!

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Seems like many of the compact and subcompact cars could qualify for the EU those with less than 2.0 ccs especially the turbo charged 4 cylinders. As for US brands that would for the most part leave GM which doesn’t have a presence in the EU since selling off Opel. Ford already has the Focus and Fiesta in the EU. On second thought maybe not. Agree the EU standards make importing most vehicles impossible. Maybe Tesla and other electric vehicles. Do we really need the European market for US made vehicles except maybe BMW, Mercedes, VW, the Japanese, and the Korean brands made in the US? Seems China and Asia are the markets to concentrate on. European standards will become harder to comply with except electric because they will eventually eliminate ICE. Sounds like the EU might not be worth going after with their increasing complex and more restrictive regulations. There are other US made products that would do much better in the EU. Also most of the EU cars that aren’t in the US market might not be worth bringing over. I doubt they are as good as the Japanese and South Korean brands unless you like lots of repairs and higher cost parts.


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