Trade

The biggest winner from the unfolding US-China trade deal so far is Germany

Key Points
  • In the first four months of this year, German-made vehicles accounted for 20.8 percent of passenger cars sold in China, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
  • American-made cars accounted for 11 percent, in third place behind Japan and a slight decrease from the same period last year, the data showed.
  • Of the top 10 brands by sales during that time, Volkswagen-affiliated sedans accounted for six, the association said.
A man walks next to the Volkswagen Group China office in Beijing on March 29, 2017.
Fred Dufour | AFP | Getty Images

Beijing's latest concession in a trade dispute with the U.S. will likely benefit Germany the most.

On Tuesday, China's Finance Ministry announced plans to cut tariffs on some foreign automobiles to 15 percent, down from as much as 25 percent. The lowered duties will take effect July 1 and come after the Trump administration agreed this weekend to hold off on imposing tariffs on $150 billion worth of Chinese goods.

China is a major market for U.S. automakers, and shares of General Motors and Ford rose more than half a percent in Tuesday trading.

But when it comes to global trade, Germany sells more passenger cars in China than any other country does, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

In the first four months of this year, German-made vehicles accounted for 20.8 percent of passenger cars sold in China, or 1.67 million units, the association said in an online post dated Friday. In contrast, American-made cars accounted for 11 percent, in third place behind Japan and a slight decrease from the same period last year, the data showed.

Of the top 10 brands by sales during that time, Volkswagen-affiliated sedans accounted for six, the association said.

The only American brand on the list was General Motors' Buick. Japan's Nissan and Toyota had one car each on the top 10 list, and the lone Chinese-made brand was Geely.

Shares of BMW climbed 2.75 percent, Volkswagen gained 2.2 percent and Daimler rose nearly 1.7 percent, as some of the top advancers in the German DAX in Tuesday trading.

In 2017, Chinese imports of automobiles rose well over 15 percent to 1.2 million vehicles, the association said. Demand for sedans and SUVs grew the most.