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German automobile shares tank on US tariff fears

Brace yourselves, for your dream of that German supercar just got dearer. The shares of German autogiants Daimler, BMW, and Volkswagen slid after a US warning to possibly introduce vehicle import tariffs. The three European carmakers jointly make up at least 90% of the premium car market in North America.

According to reports, the US government said on Wednesday that it is investigating various accusations that the car-truck imports have allegedly damaged the US automobile industry. Citing that this could result in imposing tariffs quite similar to the steel and aluminum ones in March, Daimler (DAIGn:Frankfurt) and BMW (BMWG:Frankfurt) fell at least 3% in early trading on Thursday. Volkswagen (VOWG_p.Frankfurt) shares dipped as much as 2.5%.

The impending threat of more tariffs seems to be another feather in the cap for US President Donald Trump, as tensions rise internationally fearing an all-out trade war.

Shares of German car gaints slide on US tariff fears
The BMW 507 was driven by US musician Elvis Presley while serving in Germany (Credit: BMW Global)

Maker of many a James Bond car, BMW, brought out a statement condemning the move, stating that the company is “committed to free trade worldwide.” The 507 driven by US music legend Elvis Presley during his military service in Germany was also a BMW.

“Barrier-free access to markets is, therefore, a key factor not only for our business model,” the Munich-based international giant said, “but also for growth welfare and employment throughout the global economy.”

The company has its biggest factory in the world in the US – in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It is also the largest automobile exporter, in regards to export goods value. French car giant PSA Group (PEUP:Paris), which recently acquired Opel from General Motors (GM), was also among the companies that saw shares dip as a result of the US move.

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