Saturday, July 13, 2024
BusinessEU Tariffs Act as Catalyst, Chinese Automakers to Accelerate Launch of 14...

EU Tariffs Act as Catalyst, Chinese Automakers to Accelerate Launch of 14 New Overseas Plants

The EU has initiated provisional countervailing duties on Chinese-made BEVs as of July 4, 2024. While new tariff percentages have been announced, they show minimal change from the rates published on June 12. The tariffs include 17.4% for BYD, 19.9% for Geely, and 37.6% for SAIC. Additionally, automakers identified as cooperating with the investigation but not sampled will face a 20.8% tariff—affecting a total of 13 companies—while other automakers not listed will be subject to a 37.6% tariff.

TrendForce points out that the current EU tariff on Chinese vehicles is 10%. This means the tariff on BEVs exported from China will increase to between 27.4% and 47.6%. European and American automakers will also be affected. The investigation will continue until November 2, 2024, allowing time for negotiations between China and the EU, responses and independent review requests from stakeholders, and the influence of EU member states’ positions on final measures. Therefore, there is still room for discussion regarding the EU’s tariff position on Chinese BEVs.

TrendForce analysis reveals that the EU’s increased tariff will impact several aspects. One is the acceleration of overseas plant construction and supply chain layout by Chinese automakers. Another is that the EU’s measures target BEVs and exclude PHEVs. Chinese automakers have advantages in PHEV technology and costs, and offering PHEV models could be a viable option given the resurgence in PHEV demand in the European market.

TrendForce reveals that more than 14 overseas NEV factories/production lines by Chinese automakers will be operational between 2024 and 2026, primarily in Southeast Asia, Europe, and South America. BYD is the most proactive, having officially started production at its new Uzbekistan plant in June 2024 and is launching its Thailand plant on July 4, with additional plants under construction in Indonesia, Hungary, and Brazil.

Although not every overseas plant is aimed at the EU market, automakers with overseas facilities are relatively less affected. While tariffs may lead to reduced profits or increased prices, it is estimated that the pricing Chinese brands will remain competitive. The market share of Chinese brands (excluding Volvo) in the EU BEV market is expected to increase from 8.2% in 2023 to 10% in 2024. For automakers with smaller sales volumes in the EU market, the tariffs may prompt adjustments in overseas market strategies, including shifting target markets or changing approaches to the European market.

Furthermore, the decisions of the US and the EU will also impact other countries. Beyond international relations, the strategies adopted by companies in response to tariff barriers by these two regions could positively or negatively affect industries in other countries. Consequently, the influence of geopolitics on the automotive/EV sector continues to intensify, testing each automaker’s global layout and supply chain design.

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