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ACEA: EU-US automobile trade and production in contextBack

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has reacted to recent discussions on possible tariffs on EU car imports to the United States by putting the trade relations between the two regions in context.

Donald Trump had previously announced a 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% on aluminium, to which Brussels reacted by discussing countermeasures. As a result, Trump threatened over the weekend he would answer by raising the import tariff on EU car imports. The ACEA warned that this would hurt the trade, as well as affect jobs and tax revenues in the US.

“ACEA’s members are global companies, and international trade is an important pillar of the European automobile industry’s competitiveness,” stated ACEA Secretary General Erik Jonnaert. “Indeed, EU and US carmakers have been integrated for decades.”

ACEA said that it therefore supports trade that is both free and fair, and respect for the international trade rules upon which these principles are based.

EU-US auto-related trade currently accounts for some 10% of total trade between the two regions, according to the ACEA. Today, the US is the third biggest exporter of cars to the EU in terms of value, representing a 15.4% share of EU imports in 2017. The US is the number one destination of EU car exports both in terms of units (with a 20.4% share of EU exports in 2017) and of value (29.3% share).

Jonnaert: “It is important to note that European manufacturers do not only import vehicles into the US, but that they have a major manufacturing footprint there, providing significant local employment and generating tax revenue. Indeed, some European manufacturers have their biggest plants not in the EU, but in the US.”

During discussions about a possible free trade agreement between the EU and the US, the so-called TTIP, manufacturers on either side of the Atlantic agreed that the elimination of tariffs and of non-tariff barriers through regulatory convergence would enable the automobile sector to lower costs and improve efficiency, while upholding high safety and environmental standards, ACEA said.


About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.6 million people – or 5.7% of the EU employed population – work in the sector.
  • The 3.3 million jobs in automotive manufacturing represent almost 11% of EU manufacturing employment.
  • Motor vehicles account for almost €396 billion in tax contributions in the EU15.
  • The sector is also a key driver of knowledge and innovation, representing Europe’s largest private contributor to R&D, with more than €50 billion invested annually.
  • The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of about €90 billion for the EU.


Posted by Sue Robinson on 09/03/2018