(June 28): Toyota Motor Corp. is piling onto the broader auto industry’s criticism of the Trump administration’s imports investigation by warning how much more one of its most popular cars could cost due to tariffs.
“We are an exemplar of the manufacturing might of America,” the Japanese automaker said in an emailed statement, noting its 10 U.S. manufacturing plants. “A 25 percent tariff on automotive imports, which is just a tax on consumers, would increase the cost of every vehicle sold in the country. Even the Toyota Camry, the best-selling car in America, made in Georgetown, Kentucky, would face $1,800 in increased costs.”
Toyota sent the statement to media before submitting official comments to the Commerce Department on Thursday. The Association of Global Automakers, a Washington-based trade group that represents car manufacturers and parts suppliers based outside the U.S., condemned the Trump administration’s investigation earlier Wednesday, calling the potential duties “the greatest threat to the U.S. automotive industry at this time.”
The Commerce Department is looking into the national security implications of imported vehicles and components as part of a Section 232 investigation, the same type of probe that the Trump administration used to justify steel and aluminum tariffs. U.S.-built truck and car models like the Camry would be affected by the parts levies because all of them use at least some parts sourced from other countries.
Toyota would most likely pass additional cost onto consumers, according to a spokesman. About 55 percent of a conventional Camry’s parts are sourced domestically, and the share of local content in the hybrid version is 45 percent. - Bloomberg