President Donald Trump is no fan of German automakers. Take for instance this quote from last January,
“When you walk down Fifth Avenue, everyone has a Mercedes-Benz in front of their house. How many Chevrolets do you see in Germany? Not too many, maybe none at all, you do not see anything over there, it’s a one-way street.”
He has also made comments about BMW in the past few months in light of possible tariffs (which appear to be going into effect today). Now, new comments have been brought to light where the president wants to try and ban German cars from the U.S.
German magazine Wirtschaftswoche reports that during French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to the U.S. in April, Trump said that he will maintain his current trade policy "until no Mercedes models rolled on Fifth Avenue in New York." This information comes from several unnamed European and U.S. diplomats. At the time of this writing, Reuters hasn't able to verify this information.
As we reported last week, the Trump administration has ordered a probe into new car imports on the basis of national security. It may result in imported vehicles being hit with a 25 percent tariff.
Let's suppose that President Trump somehow presents a ban on German cars, trying to get it implemented may be quite problematic .For one, not all vehicles from German automakers will fall under the ban - an example is the Mercedes-Benz G-Class is built in Austria by Magna-Steyr. German automakers also have a sizable production presence in the U.S. Germany’s auto industry association VDA said German automakers built 804,000 vehicles in the U.S. last year.
One thing is for sure; automakers will be dealing with more uncertainty for some time.