Although the Republican tariffs will take a while to damage our economy, we’re beginning to see how manufacturers in the US will react. Jacqueline Thomsen reports in The Hill:
BMW exports more cars from the US than does GM, Ford, or anyone else. And they’re moving production of some their SUVs to China, in response to the recent trade war that Trump started.
And it’s not just existing SUV models that will be affected. Planned future models, including those with technology not yet available to BMW customers, will also be made outside the US. Fred Lambert reports in Electrek that BMW recently confirmed that production of the all-electric iX3 SUV will be in China, using batteries produced in Europe — of course this sort of thing would have been risky to plan in the US due to the Republican trade war in progress, and automakers hate risk. These Chinese-produced BMWs will be exported to other countries, though not likely to the US.
And it’s not just SUVs. Today BMW announced that it will start making Mini cars in China. Bloomberg News reports that BMW AG signed a joint venture with Great Wall Motor Company, China’s leading SUV producer. The 50-50 venture will make electric vehicles for both partners. China is the world’s largest automotive market.
It looks like the 10,000 BMW employees in Spartanburg, South Carolina will be out of luck in all this. They can thank Republicans for the hostile business environment in the US, one that will be costing them jobs.