The auto industry has been roiled as talk of tariffs hit close to home. Recently, the Trump administration said it planned to look into tariffs on imported autos and parts as a way to circumvent possible national security threats.
Since then, automakers have scrambled to promote unified messaging and research, sending a strong signal to the administration that they feel tariffs on imports will hurt the industry and consumers alike. A hearing held last week saw the proposal take a beating from nearly every industry stakeholder, and the implications, they say, are far-ranging.
For one, consumer choice could be impacted. The head of Toyota’s North America operations, Jim Lentz, said the company might need to cost hikes for buyers of nearly $2,000.of certain vehicle models that it produces overseas, including the hugely popular RAV4. And even those models made primarily in the USA, like the Camry, will face
Other implications of the tariff hike would hit consumers’ pocketbooks as well, says the auto industry. As reported in, an insurance company coalition says premiums for personal auto insurance policies would go up by an average of 2.7 percent – a result of higher repair costs, reduced availability of repair parts and an increase in auto thefts. That’s right – they say that more vehicles would be stolen to help thieves cash in on the demand for parts.
When it comes to jobs, the Center for Automotive Research submitted a 20-page research document that suggests 750,000 jobs would be eliminated by the ruling, and that 2 million fewer cars would be sold each year.
And finally, according to the Auto Care Association – an umbrella group representing 150,000 manufacturers, distributors and sellers of vehicles, parts and related goods – its own economic study suggests an increase in the cost of ownership for cars if the tariffs move forward, and it’s no pocket change: they say costs will increase more than $700 per household annually.
According to Forbes, “only 52% of the cars, SUVs and pickup trucks sold in the U.S. are assembled in the U.S.” leaving a lot of familiar makes and models in the line of fire. President Trump is expected to make a decision by the end of August or early September.