The current developments are a great cause for concern. Punitive tariffs cannot be the solution. A trade war between the US and Europe must be avoided at all costs. In this kind of trade war there are only losers – on all sides.
While we have strategically increased our production in the US for several years, exports from Germany have fallen. Last year the German manufacturers exported 494,000 vehicles to America. That was down by one quarter on 2013.
We have simultaneously pushed up our production at US facilities by 180,000 units since 2013 – to 804,000 vehicles.
German OEMs employ 36,500 people in the US, which is 5,700 more than in 2013. To add to this, there are around 80,000 employees at German suppliers. This high level of employment is supported by the fact that the suppliers’ customers include not only the German manufacturers, but also other vehicle-makers who produce either in the US or in NAFTA.
The German OEMs make a considerable contribution to the automotive trade balance of the US. More than half of all cars that our manufacturers build in the US are exported to Europe, Asia or the rest of the world. That comes to around 430,000 vehicles. This means that our share of all US exports (of light vehicles) is around one quarter, which is three times as high as our share of the US market.
This brings advantages for both sides which must not be thoughtlessly put at risk.