Economic Plans

The German Carmakers' Fears

Mercedes depends heavily on the U.S. market, but produces cars in Mexico. Will Trump change that? Source: Picture Alliance
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Germany’s luxury carmakers depend on the United States for a large part of their revenue. If Donald Trump were to clamp down on trade, they could take a big hit.

  • Facts


    • The United States is the largest foreign market for German carmakers outside of China.
    • BMW produces all of its cars for the North American market in the United States, while VW and Daimler have plants in the United States and Mexico.
    • Donald Trump has suggested he would impose import tariffs on carmakers that produce cars abroad. Hillary Clinton has sounded tough notes on trade but stopped short of tariffs.
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When the United States elects a new head of state, the whole world is a captive audience. Even if the 2016 election might be decided more on the basis of domestic issues – or the polarizing personalities of the two candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – the consequences also have a global dimension, both politically and economically.

Germany’s vaunted automakers will be watching closely, too. The United States is their second-most important market for sales abroad – just after China.

And this may matter more than others from the past. Whether the likes of Daimler, Volkswagen and BMW will succeed depends in part on the next occupant of the White House.

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