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Tariffs May Have Caused Ford Sales to Plummet in China

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KEYWORDS China Ford tariffs

July 12, 2018—Ford Motor sales in China plunged 26 percent in the first half of 2018 compared with the same period last year, the Wall Street Journal reports, likely in part thanks to the Trump administration's tariffs.

China’s auto market overall grew 5.6 percent in the first six months, with sales reaching 14.1 million vehicles, according to figures released Wednesday by the government-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Ford sold just 400,443 of those—the company’s poorest first-half showing in China since 2012. By comparison, General Motors Co. booked a record first-half performance in China, with sales increasing 4 percent to 1.84 million.

While there are no signs yet of Chinese consumers turning against American products, previous backlashes against Japanese and Korean goods suggest Detroit might become a casualty of the U.S.-China confrontation.

“There will definitely be some impact on the Chinese auto market,” should the U.S. impose its threatened tariffs, said Xu Haidong, assistant secretary-general of the manufacturers association.

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