German car manufacturers are opposing possible European punitive tariffs on the import of electric cars from China. The Association of the Automotive Industry expressed a willingness to engage in dialogue on both sides. “Anti-subsidy measures such as additional tariffs would not solve the challenges for the European and German automotive industry – on the contrary: the EU Commission’s intended purpose of countervailing duties could quickly have a negative impact in the event of a trade conflict,” said association president Hildegard Müller to “Welt am Sunday”. According to her, a trade conflict would also endanger the transformation towards electromobility and digitalization.

The EU Commission has been investigating since last autumn whether electric cars in China benefit from illegal subsidies. According to Commission data, Chinese electric cars are typically around 20 percent cheaper than models manufactured in the EU. An anti-subsidy investigation may result in punitive tariffs being imposed. According to “Welt am Sonntag”, an advance announcement from the commission is planned by June 5th.

According to the Duisburg Center Automotive Research, the Germans sell 30 to 40 percent of their cars on the Chinese market. In the event of European punitive tariffs, German car manufacturers could be the first target of possible Chinese countermeasures.