How Much More Expensive Could Cars Get Under Trade Tariffs?

Sam McEachern
by Sam McEachern

U.S. president Donald Trump has threatened to impose a 20 percent tax on imported vehicles from Japan, Europe and elsewhere, along with a 25 percent tax on vehicles imported from Mexico and Canada.

In addition to the vehicle import tariffs, Trump may also put in place a 20 percent import tax on automotive parts. This could mean that the prices of U.S.-built vehicles will rise as well, as most cars feature some components that were manufactured in factories abroad.

While it’s not clear if the import tariffs will indeed be implemented, they could have a major effect on vehicle prices in America. Credit reporting agency Experian recently looked into how the prices of products would change if the proposed tariffs were to be put in place and included the top 20 best-selling automobiles in America in its data collecting. According to their data, even vehicles manufactured in America with mostly American made parts could become more expensive – if the automakers were to roll the tariff costs into the vehicle prices, that is.

One vehicle that could become very expensive under these new tariffs is the Toyota RAV4. American examples of the compact crossover are manufactured in Japan and Canada and use U.S.-built engines and transmissions. Depending on the trim level, the RAV4 could become $6,426-$9,361 more expensive with tariffs, according to Experian. The Equinox is in a similar position. Manufactured in Canada with 45% American content, it could rise in price by $6,131-$8,499 depending on the trim level. Another crossover, the very popular Nissan Rogue, could go up by $5,155-$6,701. It’s made in factories in the US, South Korea and Japan with 20% foreign content.

SEE ALSO: Trump Tariff Could Spell the End of Niche Euro Cars in the US

Crucially, America’s beloved pickup trucks will also get pricier under tariffs. The Ford F-Series, including the hot-selling F-150, is made in the U.S. with 65% foreign content and could rise in price by $2,572-$5,746. The Chevrolet Silverado is no different. Made in the U.S. with 46% foreign content, the pickup could potentially rise in price by $3,993-$7,650. The Ram 1500, made in the US but also Mexico depending on the model, could spike in price by $3,063-$6,298.

Then there’s two of the best-selling sedans in America: the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. The Corolla, a U.S. and Canadian made vehicle with 60% American content, may go up by $1,952-$2,370. The Civic, made in the U.S. and Canada with 60% foreign content, could go up by $2,223-$2,769, Experian says. The Honda Accord could go up by $2,836-$3,469, while the Toyota Camry could rise in price by $2,763-$4,052. Both the Accord and Camry are built in the US with over 50% foreign content.

View the full chart put together by Experian at this link to see how much more expensive some of America’s best-selling cars will get under the Trump Administration’s proposed import tariffs.

[Source: Experian]

Sam McEachern
Sam McEachern

Sam McEachern holds a diploma in journalism from St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario, and has been covering the automotive industry for over 5 years. He conducts reviews and writes AutoGuide's news content. He's a die-hard motorsports fan with a passion for performance cars of all sorts.

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  • Jack Woodburn Jack Woodburn on Aug 01, 2018

    Relax and stop listening to the hyper frenzied MSM. Tarrifs are a bargaining/negotiation tactic, and they are WORKING--the EU is already coming around. China NEEDS our huge buyer market. They'll come around, too. They no choice. There is no alternative market as lucrative as the USA on the planet. In the meantime if you absolutely must buy immediately, just buy a gently used certified vehicle and save the "drive off the lot depreciation" as well as any temporary modest tariff markups that dealers will no doubt at least double to pad their profits. And you just KNOW they will... This long overdue trade correction process/negotiation will pass far sooner than the Trump loathing macroeconomically ignorant MSM would have us believe.

  • Robert mudry Robert mudry on Aug 02, 2018

    Google "Hawley Smoot Tariff of 1930". Intended to protect American businesses, it was a major contributor to the Great Depression.