Beijing/Shanghai — For BMW, Tesla and other global vehicle makers whose future is ever-more dependent on China’s burgeoning market, any gains from lower import tariffs this week will likely be short-lived — thanks to US President Donald Trump’s trade war. After decades of pleading for easier access to the world’s biggest car market, manufacturers finally had duties on overseas imports almost halved to 15% on Sunday. But the reprieve for producers of those models — if they are built in the US — is set to end in five days, when a retaliatory 25% levy makes them more expensive. Trump’s tit-for-tat trade squabble with China threatens to undo years of lobbying by car makers and drag Europe’s leading luxury brands into the fray because of decisions that were made when global manufacturing and exporting were buzzwords. Now the uncertain implications of a tariff whiplash are unnerving dealers and consumers in a country where a record 24-million vehicles were sold in 2018. "It is a nightmare...

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