Monday, May 13, 2024

"Biden slaps tariffs on nonexistent Chinese EV imports"

I think we're seeing a bit of playacting here. As recently as a few months ago BYD, the world's largest electric vehicle manufacturer (counting hybrids) was saying:

BYD has no plans to launch EVs in the US, says the market is too confusing for buyers
And from Asia Times, May 13:
US leader imposes 100% tax on China-made EVs while US automakers desperately reach to China for EV tech and know-how 

The Biden administration reportedly will slap a 100% tariff on Chinese electric vehicle (EV) imports, except that no Chinese cars presently are offered for sale in the United States.

If they were, they would crush the American competition, even with the present 25% tariff. Chevy’s Bolt, a starter EV with a US$29,000 sticker price, has the same size and less range than the Dongfeng Nammi 01 hatchback priced at just $11,000.

If China wanted to retaliate against the new American tariffs, it has a target-rich environment. General Motors last year sold 2.1 million cars in China. In most years, GM sells more cars in China than in the United States.

Chances are that China will ignore the American tariffs. China’s automotive industry association forecasts a 22% increase in the country’s auto exports during 2024, following a more than 60% increase in 2023, with the strongest growth in East Asia and the Middle East.

Henry Ford’s Model T sold for $850 in 1908, roughly the US per capita GDP at the time. By 1925, the price had fallen to $260 thanks to economies of scale. China’s EV makers are compressing this time scale into as many months as it took Ford years to bring down the price....


And that is why Elon Musk was so focused on the cost-cutting that allowed the price-cutting that kept Tesla competitive for the last eighteen months.

In January 2023 this bit of nonsense was making the rounds:

Tesla is about to experience the seven perils of discounting

It went in the same folder as 2015's:

Tesla's Battery: No Thanks