Prices of new cars and trucks could jump by several thousand dollars in the U.S. if President Donald Trump follows through on his threat to raise tariffs on imports.
The same likely would hold true even if a particular car is made in the U.S. because analysts believe automakers would spread the cost of tariffs among many different vehicles to avoid putting at a disadvantage any of their models made in foreign markets.
Automakers, including U.S. companies, are trembling at the prospect of increased tariffs on imported vehicles, which could range up to 25 percent based on the president's threats.
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"If you put that kind of a tariff on a vehicle or an industry, prices are definitely going to go up on average," said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive, which tracks vehicle manufacturing. "There’s no way around that."
With current new-vehicle prices averaging about $32,000 after discounts are factored in, a 25 percent tariff likely would increase prices by about $4,000 to $5,000 per vehicle, Schuster said.
That estimate assumes automakers pass about half of the cost along to customers and absorb the rest.