Ford Motor Company isn’t about to start hiking prices for Chinese-market vehicles, Automotive News reports, despite new tariffs on US-built vehicles that could start taking effect on Friday. China plans to implement an extra 25-percent tariff on a total of 545 US-made products – including light vehicles – if the administration of US President Donald Trump makes good on threats to implement border taxes on $34-billion worth of Chinese-made products, effective July 6th.
Not raising prices on imported passenger vehicles from the US would cut into Ford China’s margins, although the automaker is steadily ramping up its local manufacturing footprint in the Asian country. Ford last year shipped roughly 80k vehicles to China from North America, the majority of which were from the automaker’s premium Lincoln brand. Ford doesn’t manufacture any Lincoln vehicles locally in China.
In a statement issued Thursday, Ford Motor Company addressed concerns over China’s new potential tariffs head-on, saying it “has no current plans to increase the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) on its import lineup in China,” even if the import duty is raised. The company cut prices on imported passenger vehicles in May when China announced a steep tariff cut that took effect on July 1st; as of right now, US-built vehicles are taxed at just 15 percent.
Should that import duty be elevated dramatically tomorrow, Ford stands to lose quite a lot. The company’s China sales have already been dismal so far in 2018, slipping nearly 40 percent through May versus the same five-month period in 2017.