Monday, May 27, 2024

Americans have been driving these Chinese-built cars for years — and Biden’s tariffs likely won’t impact them

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Of the more than 15 million cars sold in the US last year, none wore the badge of a Chinese car brand.

Chinese EV heavy hitters like BYD and SAIC are conspicuously missing from US showrooms. With the government’s existing 27.5% tariffs on Chinese-made cars and Tuesday’s new 100% tariffs on Chinese-made EVs imported to the US, the situation isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

What some people might not realize, however, is that tens of thousands of cars manufactured in China are sold in the US every year.

Volvo’s S60L sedan was one of the first Chinese-made cars to be sold in the US starting in 2016, followed by Buick’s Envision SUV and Cadillac’s CT6 Hybrid.

According to Automotive News data, US consumers purchased more than 104,000 Chinese-made vehicles in 2023, up 45% from 2022.

Americans bought another 28,000 Chinese-made cars during the first quarter of 2024.

Currently, Buick, Lincoln, Polestar, and Volvo sell Chinese-made vehicles in the US. Of those, the only Chinese-made EVs come from Polestar, a brand co-owned by Volvo and its parent company, Geely Automotive. The EV brand imported just 2,217 cars in the first three months of 2024.

It is unclear how the new tariffs will affect Polestar’s future production plans. The company eventually plans to move some of its car production to South Carolina in 2024.

In a statement to Business Insider, a Polestar spokesperson said the company is evaluating the Biden Administration’s announcement.

Here’s a closer look at the Chinese-made cars on sale in the US.

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