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A general view of BYD's first electric vehicle factory in Rayong, Thailand. Picture: CHALINEE THIRASUPA
A general view of BYD's first electric vehicle factory in Rayong, Thailand. Picture: CHALINEE THIRASUPA

With the European Union’s extra duties on Chinese-made electric vehicles (EVs) taking effect on Friday, some car makers have been considering whether to raise their prices or take other measures in response.

So far, only Tesla has announced plans to increase prices, while Chinese brands MG and NIO suggested they might increase the cost of their cars in Europe later this year.

Analysts think other manufacturers producing in China will also pass on part of the extra cost to consumers.

Below is a list of carmakers’ response to the provisional tariffs, which are set to become definite in November:

BYD

The Chinese carmaker, which faces the lowest tariff hike of 17.4% on top of the current 10% duty, has not decided yet whether to hike prices on EVs sold in the EU, sources close to the company told Reuters.

The sources said no decision would be made before the provisional duties took effect.

CHERY AUTO

The Chinese automaker said its planned EV production in Spain, set up through a joint venture with Spain’s EV Motors, should help offset tariffs on imports into the EU.

Production at the Barcelona-based site is expected to start by year-end, said Charlie Zhang, the company’s vice-president.

A detail of the Omoda 5 manufactured by Chinese automaker Chery is seen during an event to launch Omoda and Jaecoo cars on the Italian market in Milan, Italy. Picture: DANIELE MASCOLO/REUTERS
A detail of the Omoda 5 manufactured by Chinese automaker Chery is seen during an event to launch Omoda and Jaecoo cars on the Italian market in Milan, Italy. Picture: DANIELE MASCOLO/REUTERS

The site is not big enough to accommodate the carmaker’s medium- and long-term production plans in Europe, Zhang added, saying the company was looking for a possible second site.

MG

A spokesperson for MG, produced by China’s SAIC Motor, told Reuters in France that the automaker had enough vehicles in stock “to last until November without increasing prices”, referring in particular to the MG4 model.

MG’s country manager for Italy, Andrea Bartolomeo, said for the moment the brand was not planning any price changes on its car line-up in the country.

The EU has imposed a tariff of 37.6% on EVs produced by SAIC.

NIO

The Chinese automaker said it may adjust the price of its cars in Europe as a result of the preliminary tariffs. It added that it hoped to reach a resolution with the EU before the measures become definite in November.

NIO is facing a tariff of 20.8% on its EVs.

POLESTAR

After posting a first-quarter operating loss, the Swedish carmaker, owned by China’s Geely, said it would need to take “mitigating measures” to offset tariffs and pressure on car prices.

Workers are seen on a production line for Polestar, Volvo and Lynk&Co vehicles at a Geely plant in Taizhou, Zhejiang province, China. Picture taken July 29, 2020. Picture: REUTERS/YILEI SUN/FILE
Workers are seen on a production line for Polestar, Volvo and Lynk&Co vehicles at a Geely plant in Taizhou, Zhejiang province, China. Picture taken July 29, 2020. Picture: REUTERS/YILEI SUN/FILE

Such steps could include cost reductions across its supply chain, but not further job cuts, a company spokesperson added.

SAIC MOTOR

The Chinese carmaker will request a hearing from the EU’s executive arm, the European Commission, on the extra duties it faces, it said on Friday.

“The European Commission overlooked some of the information and counterarguments submitted by SAIC during the investigation,” the state-owned automaker said in a statement.

TESLA INC

The carmaker plans to increase the price of its Model 3 to compensate for the higher cost at European borders as a result of the tariffs.

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