Manufacturing News

Mercedes-Benz's sales growth slows as tariffs dent demand

Mercedes Benz’s China deliveries, while still growing, are losing steam as China’s punitive tariffs on U.S.-made vehicles put a dent in volume.

In August, the German brand delivered 53,295 vehicles in China, a gain of 5.5 percent from a year earlier, according to Daimler AG.

In the first eight months of the year, Mercedes-Benz’s China sales advanced nearly 14 percent to 445,075, reflecting robust first-half demand.

Mercedes-Benz is caught in the crossfire of the ongoing trade war between China and the U.S. because it imports the GLE and GLS models from a plant in the United States.

On July 6, in retaliation for the Trump administration’s tariffs on a wide range of Chinese goods, Beijing raised tariffs on U.S.-made products, including light vehicles, from 15 percent to 40 percent.

In June, Daimler warned 2018 profits would fall as new import tariffs on light vehicles exported from the U.S. to China would hurt sales of high-margin Mercedes-Benz SUVs and crossovers.

Mercedes’ primary German rivals, Audi and BMW, have not disclosed China sales tallies for August.

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