China Hits Back At U.S. With 25 Percent Duty On American-Made Cars

Image: Ford
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American-made cars are getting slapped with a tariff in China, Porsche mulls bringing entertainment to the Taycan, a Volkswagen recall and more await you in The Morning Shift for Friday, Aug. 23, 2019.

1st Gear: Trade War :)

As the trade war between President Donald Trump and everyone else escalates, China just threw down its latest. And it affects the cars.

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In retaliation to Trump’s most recent levies on Chinese imports, China will impose additional tariffs on $75 billion of American products, such as soybeans, oil and cars. Some will take effect starting on Sept. 1 and the rest will begin from Dec. 15, reports Bloomberg.

Last December, China temporarily suspended a 25 percent tariff on American-made cars and car parts. Now, the tariff is being resumed.

From the story:

The resumption of a suspended extra 25% duty on U.S. cars will resume Dec. 15, with another 10% on top for some vehicles. With existing general duties on autos taken into account, the total tariff charged on U.S. made cars would be as high as 50%.

Among automakers, Tesla Inc. and Germany’s Daimler AGand BMW AG are the most vulnerable to the additional levies. Shares of the two German companies fell at least 2% in Frankfurt, while Tesla fell in premarket trading in New York.

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Both BMW and Daimler have plants here in the U.S. and ship the cars to China. Many other American-branded cars, like the Lincoln MKC, Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee are top-selling models in the Chinese market. When this new tariff goes into effect, sales will likely tumble.

This is also in the face of a global automotive downturn. Sales are down and many predict a recession to hit soon. But besides that, everything is fine. Just fine! (No, it isn’t.)

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2nd Gear: Coming To A Big Screen Near You?

Yesterday, our own David Tracy published a wonderful look at the all-electric and upcoming Porsche Taycan’s interior with its five screens, including one just for the passenger.

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Details on all the screens are thin at the moment, the Automotive News reports the German automaker could have plans to turn it some of them into an in-car movie experience. From the story:

With twin high-resolution in-dash 10.9-inch digital screens and a high-end audio system, the Porsche Taycan seems designed as much for an evening at the cinema as a spirited drive on the autobahn.

Video streaming could come to the Taycan, Oliver Fritz, Porsche’s director of driver experience, said this week on the sidelines of a press event at Porsche Cars North America headquarters. But he said the plans are not yet firm.

“We are working on the video use case, but we want to make it safe,” Fritz said.

This is certainly something we here at Jalopnik have tried out before, in a fashion. We once used a Cadillac CT6's rear-facing screens to play video games. It worked, surprisingly.

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As long as things aren’t distracting to the driver, I think it’s a pretty neat idea. How many of us just put on a movie to listen to while we do other chores around the house, anyway? Porsche just had to make very, very certain the system won’t mess with the driver.

3rd Gear: They See Me Rollin’

Technically, all cars roll, but they should only roll when we want them to. Unapproved automotive rolling is very bad. And that’s exactly what this new Volkswagen recall addresses.

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Today, the German automaker said it is recalling 679,000 cars in the U.S., sold since 2011, that could roll away over an electrical problem, according to Reuters. From the story:

The automaker said drivers could remove the key after stopping without placing the car in park, which increases the risk the vehicle could roll away. VW said a build up of silicate on the shift lever micro switch contacts is to blame.

Dealers will install and additional switch and circuit board and disable a micro switch.

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Thankfully, there are no reported injuries. Affected cars include the Golf, Golf Sportwagen, GTI, Beetle, Beetle Convertible and Jetta from model years 2011 through 2019.

If you own one of these cars, please go and have it checked.

4th Gear: Strike Authorization Vote

Negotiations between the UAW and Detroit’s Big Three (General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler) are still ongoing as both sides work to finalize a new contract before the current labor agreement expires on Sept. 14. The union has started holding strike authorization votes among its members, reports Wards Auto.

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Basically, a strike authorization vote is when, ideally, all members of the union basically agree to go on strike if members of the bargaining committee deem it appropriate to do so. It doesn’t mean there will definitely be a strike.

The vote itself is pretty routine, but is especially significant during these negotiations because of high tensions, scandal and tons of uncertainty regarding the automotive industry.

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Wards Auto reports the union is “expected to select a strike target company around Labor Day.”

5th Gear: Camry TRD Pricing

In this weird reality we live in, the Camry can be optioned to no longer be boring. Enter the 2020 Toyota Camry TRD, with performance modifications and sporty exterior additions.

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It’ll have a tuned suspension, bigger brakes, a TRD exhaust, black wheels and red brake calipers. And it’ll be priced affordably from $31,995, reports CarsDirect.

We liked the Camry very much when we drove it, both as the four-cylinder and 300-horsepower six-cylinder versions. Why shouldn’t a “boring” car like the Camry get the chance to ditch some of that image? Full speed ahead with this, I say.

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Reverse: London Gets Its First One-Way Streets

An Act of Common Council was passed to regulate the “disorder and rude behaviour of Carmen, Draymen and others using Cartes.” Seventeen narrow and congested lanes were specified. They ran into Thames Street, including Pudding Lane (where the Great Fire of London began in 1667). The next one-way street in London was Albemarle Street in Mayfair, the location of the Royal Institution.

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Neutral: Has The Trade War Affected You?

Have you seen prices of your goods go up?

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About the author

Kristen Lee

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.